Ibero-American Action League honored for its efforts for the Latino community

Jul 9, 2018

The Ibero-American Action League has been named the Northeast Affiliate of the Year by the group UnidosUS, the nation's largest Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization.

Chief communications officer at Ibero, Julio Saenz says it's an honor for Ibero to receive this award, especially as it celebrates its 50th anniversary.

"On top of that, we're getting it for doing what we love to do, which is helping the community.  And one of the main things I think got us recognized this year is all the work we've done helping people who have moved here because of Hurricane Maria," he said.

Saenz says Ibero was committed to helping Puerto Ricans, right after the hurricane hit the island.

He says a telethon with the Red Cross raised $100 thousand dollars in just a few hours.

Credit iaal.org

"When we realized the island wasn't going to be able to recover anytime soon and that people were in dire need and starting to make their way here, we already had a sort of a partnership with people.  And people were conscious of the problem and so we took the lead on it, and luckily the whole community rallied around us, and the needs of those people coming to Rochester,"  he said.

Saenz says they estimate they've helped between four and five thousand people that have moved here from Puerto Rico.

And they continue to help through Ibero's multi-agency resource center to help the new arrivals with their housing, employment and health care needs.

Ibero President and CEO Hilda Rosario Escher will accept a $5,000 cash award for the organization during a gala dinner tonight in Washington, D.C.