In commemoration of HUF's 35th Anniversary, and to honor the enormous contributions along this journey, we are publishing a selection of client stories and guest blogs written by HUF collaborators. Our aim is to celebrate our social impact, and in some cases, continue conversations set aside nearly 35 years ago.
MEMORIES of FLORIDA
by Eugenio Torres - Founder of Hispanic Unity



"One day, upon my arrival in Broward,  I felt very lonely, and so did many other people. 
It was difficult to 
adapt to life in Florida. 
Hispanics did not have
much political influence (if any) and everything was difficult for us."
 
In the 1980s in Florida, on Saturdays and Sundays, people would approach me to ask for my help in creating an agency that could defend their rights. They had heard about my previous work and the agencies I had founded, but I refused to do it. The pressure became such that, on one such Sunday, accompanied by a group of friends at home, I formed what is, today, Hispanic Unity of Florida Inc. (HUF).

Among those friends were co-founders Miriam Ruiz, José Rodríguez, Ajenol Fernández, María Rivera, and Eduardo Pagan. Sometime after we had already begun our work, the priest of the local San Isidro Catholic Church gave us sixty dollars to incorporate the new agency. Since the population we served was so diverse, we decided that the word Unity was appropriate for the name.

We soon began meeting with politicians at local, state and federal levels, which was a great help in getting HUF off the ground. I took a position serving on the Board of Catholic Charities. Because San Isidro was the only Hispanic Church in the county, and the central meeting place for Hispanics, I was able to access funds for community assistance, such as buying food for the poor. For this I owe so much to Dr. William Stone, a dedicated community activist, who lent his time and effort to our cause.

Watch Eugenio's video interview>> Compliments of Comcast

The "Ellis Island" for new immigrants arriving in South Florida, Hispanic Unity celebrates 35 years of Empowering a New Generation of Americans.


Back then, there was a newspaper called El  Heraldo de Broward , which helped us to spread the news of our work and mission. Both English and Spanish newspapers were interested in what we were doing. In the early days of HUF, we operated from my office at the Henderson Clinic. We held our meetings there in the evenings. All of us at the agency were there as volunteers, with day jobs, but our labors saw great fruits: More and more people began to join us, and new leadership developed as we worked to benefit the community, helping anyone who needed our services.

Community service can be challenging. Between 1980 and 1982, amid constant criticism despite their great effort and accomplishments, most community leaders did not last more than... Continue Reading.

In honor of HUF's 35th Anniversary, our Board of Directors
will be matching  dollar-for-dollar,  up to $35,000 in 2017.


With your  tax-deductible gift , we can give dignity, equal access, 
education, and prosperity to more than 15,000 children and families
in our community every year!

Become part of the EMPOWERMENT MOVEMENT today!
Our community needs it more than ever!
Meet us for cafecito at our monthly Empowerment Tours.
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