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Esperanza del Barrio is a membership-led community organization that helps empower low-income Mexican immigrants in New York City by promoting economic and social justice through grassroots organizing and leadership development. Our members work collectively on the lack of economic alternatives and discriminatory treatment by authorities and local institutions. Esperanza's goal is to develop community leaders who can agitate for institutional change and are ready, capable, and willing to defend their rights.
Esperanza was founded in 2003 by six Mexican women street vendors in response to police harassment due to the lack of access to street vending licenses and permits. In July 2004, Esperanza opened its office as one of the first organizations in East Harlem to be founded by Mexican immigrant women. The organization currently has 613 members and 3 affiliate groups in Queens, Brooklyn and the Bronx; and offers programs in community organizing, leadership development, youth programs, children's tutoring, legal referrals, video training, and health advocacy. Our membership's participation in our local and citywide meetings, events, and trainings has significantly enhanced their leadership and organizing skills. Esperanza' s collaboration with other grassroots street vendor groups in the citywide coalition impacts approximately 10,000 street vendors, most of whom are low-income immigrants and women of color.
- Netza Moreno
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