In 2019 four local women were frustrated in seeing the injustices and hardships faced by the Hispanic and Latinx community on Aquidneck Island. They decided to create Conexión Latina Newport, a non-profit with the mission of helping this community.
Over the years, many Hispanic and Latinx families have moved to the area. This is in part due to the ever expanding need for reliable labor in the many sectors of the hospitality industry.
Due to language barriers, the founders of Conexión Latina Newport noticed that some people were taking advantage of some members of the Latinx and Hispanic community. For example, some landlords were taking advantage of their tenants through price hiking and unusual living arrangements. They decided that something needed to be done.
Conexión Latina Newport does much more than just help with translation work and tenant advocacy. Throughout the pandemic, vaccination clinics were held at the organization’s site on Broadway. They also accept food and clothing donations, providing much needed assistance for individuals who might not qualify for government help.
Yolanda Macías and Rebekah Gomez are the primary faces that you will see if you walk in on any given day. You might also run into Marisa Portillo, the organization’s early childhood family navigator or Joyce Hunter, community health worker.
Yolanda has worked with the funeral directors of Memorial Funeral Home on several funeral services. She helped ensure the traditions and rituals of these families can be honored in their new home of Newport County.
Conexión Latina Newport welcomes clothing and food donations. Visit their website here or drop by the headquarters at 170 Broadway in Newport.