Pastors Juan and Mary Guarin and Judy Fuentes are like minded individuals with a passion to serve in our community. While we are currently focusing on Latino issues and concerns, we hope to eventually increase the scope of our work to include our community at large.
When this trio met, we discovered that we were working on the same issues and similar projects. We quickly realized that we could be more effective if we joined forces. To that end, we have diligently presented Latino issues and concerns to our various community leaders with a focus on access to health care, law enforcement and immigration issues. We effectively bridged the gap between the Latino community and the various agencies that are available to them, most notably law enforcement agencies and the health department.
Our combined efforts have been fruitful as we have successfully concluded various events including: United Voices, an all day family event that included an open panel discussion that allowed the Latino conmunity to ask law enforcement, health care officials and other entities questions in a safe place without fear of reprisals.
As our our collaboration with law enforcement and the health department grew, so did our ability to to impact the community. A health fair geared towards Latina health concerns was successfully held and we are hoping to collaborate further with the health department in order add several more such fairs to the annual calendar. In addition, the Ocean county Prosecutors office has helped us produce a much needed Public Service Announcement that will be used as both an information and education tool. The PSA will be making the rounds to our schools and congregations to inform concerned Latinos about the current executive order and its impact on pressing concerns to Latino families.
While this trio continues to make connections and work with embassies, consulates, lawyers, schools, and clergies, it is also embedded in various boards, committees and programs in order to be a voice to those who may otherwise not have a voice. Together we are committed to continue impacting our community in a positive way and are currently working towards the creation of a Latino exhibition and conference as well as the launching of a Community Ambassadors, a bilingual one stop resource and information helpline with Latino needs in mind. Community Ambassadors will offer free one on one services for individuals who find themselves involved in minor contact with law enforcement, individuals having difficulty accessing the health care system and individuals needing assistance with various immigration issues. Our aim is not to provide legal advice, but to facilitate access to same by breaking down language barriers as we help navigate the various Court systems thereby reducing current abuses by those who are taking advantage of unfounded fears. Finally, Community Ambassadors seeks to find partnerships with local entities that will provide volunteer opportunities for marginalized populations