Hispanic Service Center WIll soon Open in Dothan

This weekend, a center will open up inside the Alfred Saliba service building on Lafayette street in Dothan.

The new center will give Hispanics across the Wiregrass a chance to get assistance for whatever services they may need.

According to a survey done by those who put together the center, there are 36,000 Hispanics across the Wiregrass and 11,000 of them are right here in Dothan.

After a long time in the works- the Hispanic service center at Alfred Saliba is finished and Executive Director Margarita Presson has named it "Green Pastures, Calm Waters", after her home: Texas.

"I come from a desert place full of green pastures and mountains, and when I got here, I was received by beautiful woods, and I said this is green pastures. Then I found out about the calm lakes. So its calm waters also", says Presson.

The center, complete with a conference room and children's room, will contain a job bank, a food bank, and offer Consolate Services.

According to Presson, many people from Mexico have a great desire to be in the U.S.

"They make 55 cents an hour, so you can imagine why they want to be here. In Mexico it takes them one day to make what they would here in one hour."

Volunteers, along with extra space at Alfred Saliba, made the center's existence possible.

Directors are excited about the opportunity.

"We didn’t have the funding to open a formal program, but we were blessed to have this opportunity with Margarita. She came here and asked if we had the space available," said Belinda Mitchell, Director of The Alfred Saliba Family Services Center.

The facility will also help some people to work on their American citizenship, a controversial topic that some feel needs to be controlled.

"We want people here in the United States - we are a melting pot - but we want people to sign the guest book on their way in the door. We want them to learn our language. We want them to learn our culture and history, and I think its an amazing part of it, and if we have resources that will help them get legalized the right way, then I am all for it," said Rick Barber, Alabama Congressional Candidate
This is not just a chance for Hispanics to get assistance. For instance, Spanish classes will be taught there so you and I can go and learn about their culture and how to speak their language.

The official grand opening will be taking place at the Alfred Saliba center Saturday night at 5:00 pm.

The public is invited to attend.


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