By Jesika Millano
For AL DIA TODAY
TITUSVILLE — Desde niña, María Paulina Ferro Lacouture ha experimentado la generosidad y las acciones en favor del bien ajeno.
Así lo recuerda cuando vivía en su ciudad Bogotá, Colombia, y junto a su madre, quien era presidenta de una asociación sin ánimo de lucro en ese país, ayudaba a muchísimas familias necesitadas.
Even after immigrating to the United States in 2001 in search of job opportunities as an architect, she never let go of that desire to help those less fortunate.
Seven years ago, she was named president of the Latin American Club of Titusville, an organization founded 34 years ago. Through its charitable activities, the club has shown the best of Hispanic culture by sponsoring and creating social events for the community with the purpose of raising funds in order to help low-income individuals and families.
Her work in the club began through the invitation of a friend, Isabel Maggio, who also is one of the organization’s founders.
“When I joined the Club, one of my favorite things about it was the fact that I could continue helping people in our community,” Ferro Lacouture.
“Today, with the help of all our members, counselors, and also the Brevard Hispanic Center, we are able to identify the individuals and families that are requiring aid,” she said.
Ferro Lacouture’s main motivations are to unify families and to encourage mutual support amongst the Hispanic community.
“Oftentimes, we arrive in this beautiful country alone while having to face a new world, culture, language, and totally different customs. This is why it is so important to build relationships since many of us have all of our blood family back in our country of origin,” Ferro Lacouture said.
“Unity makes us stronger.”
Through activities that the club organizes every year, they are able to raise funds for families in need and to award scholarships to young people beginning college.
Every year, the Latin American Club of Titusville sponsors such activities as a bowling night, karaoke nights at Tavos Table, a mariachi dinner on the last Tuesday of each month at El Leoncito, dinners in La Marimba, picnics in the park and potlucks.
The group also celebrates Hispanic Heritage month at Eastern Florida State College, hosts a Christmas party, celebrates Three Kings Day and sponsors the annual Gala at the Cita Country Club, among many other functions.
Around Thanksgiving and Christmas, club members distribute food and donate gift certificates to families in need so that they can have a nice festive dinner.
“Since joining the club, I have had the satisfaction of helping to manage this organization’s resources without having to worry about the difficult economic situation we are experiencing at the moment,” said Ferro Lacouture.