MERIDEN — Casa Boricua De Meriden, a nonprofit founded in 1978, is one of the oldest organizations in the Meriden area providing services to the Latino community.
Casa Boricua helps with things like job applications, medical insurance, benefit applications, mail translation, document translation and resume building. The organization also receives clothing donations for the needy.
Executive Director Anabel Beltrán Román has been with the organization for five and a half years.
“The agency was created to help the influx of Puerto Ricans,” Roman said. “They could come here to learn English or get their GED.”
Today, the organization offers services to those from a variety of places, including Mexico, Peru and the Dominican Republic.
Casa Boricua participates in the city’s annual Puerto Rican Festival and has held Parrandas, a Puerto Rican event during the holiday season. In recent years the organization has focused on the pandemic and helping those displaced when Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico in 2017.
Daresabel Rodriguez came to Meriden from Puerto Rico in November 2017 with her husband and two sons right after the hurricane. Casa Boricua helped the family in many ways, including clothing, shoes and food.
“I did not know what I was getting myself into when I came here, it was not easy but I instantly got help,” Rodriguez said. “(Casa Boricua) helped me with benefits, FEMA, and would always call me to make sure we were OK or if we needed clothes ... we will always be thankful for them because they helped us move forward when I did not know how to.
“Those who come here from Puerto Rico and cannot find direction, you can go to Casa Boricua where they will help you correctly just like they did with my family,” she added.
Those interested in services can call Casa Boricua at 203-235-1082. Casa Boricua is located at 204 Colony St. and is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.