The Spanish-Speaking Community of Maryland (SSCM) was founded by Emilio Perche Rivas in 1967. An immigrant from Cuba, Rivas wanted to help immigrants be successful contributors to their communities. He embraced diversity, understood the language barriers, and preached the importance of being a good citizen. After leaving Cuba, he never again saw his mother, brother, sister and other family members due to the country’s political climate. Since 2010, Rivas’ daughter, Maria Herrera, has served as SSCM’s Executive Director, carrying on her father’s legacy and commitment to our region’s vulnerable residents. Herrera also came to the United States as an immigrant and spent two weeks in a refugee camp in Miami. She and her family then made their home in Silver Spring, where they lived in a one-bedroom apartment. Her mother was illiterate, and Herrera and her sister sold tamales on the street to make ends meet. SSCM’s mission is to provide direct services and work with public and private organizations throughout Frederick to ensure the most vulnerable residents are able to receive essential guidance. SSCM strives to empower low-income families and immigrants from diverse backgrounds by promoting self-sufficiency, greater social change, education and legal rights.
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