Gloria Vicente is member of our community. We asked her to tell her Casa Latina Story.
Gloria Vicente’s Casa Latina Story
by Johanna Walter as told by Gloria Vicente
Gloria Vicente came from Puerto Rico to Northampton in 1995 with her two children in hopes of starting a new life. When she first arrived to this country she stayed with her brother but dreamed of getting her own place for her and her family. She learned about Casa from her brother who told her Casa Latina assisted the Latino community with pretty much everything they needed.
Ms. Vicente decided to reach out to Casa for assistance in filling out different applications to secure an apartment and she says Casa Latina welcomed her and her children with open arms. Ms. Vicente states that the staff at Casa were friendly, efficient, and patient.
Casa Latina also made her aware of the medical assistance she and her family could receive and helped her navigate the system to ensure she and her children received what they needed. One of the services Ms. Vicente was very thankful and appreciative of was the medical interpretation service Casa offered. Ms. Vicente explains that without speaking English she was unable to get the proper medical care she needed but that once the staff at Casa Latina got her a medical interpreter, she felt she was once again in control of her own health care and could have a say in what happened to her.
Through the years and through very hard times, Ms. Vicente talks about how Casa Latina was there for her. One of the very difficult times Ms. Vicente recalls is when she lost her two children a few years ago and she remembers how Casa Latina was there for her supporting her and helping her get through the pain of losing her children.
These days Ms. Vicente likes to give back to Casa Latina by helping with the different events they put together for the community. When asked about what she would have done if Casa Latina wasn’t around to help her, Ms. Vicente says she would have had to go back to Puerto Rico without a chance to better her circumstances. Ms. Vicente is very thankful Casa has been there for her and added that she cannot imagine her life without Casa Latina.