We opened an office on Franklin Street in Hempstead. This office was just a few doors down the street from where we
have our office at 91 North Franklin Street today.
The Hempstead office started with adult education programs. We held English as a Second Language classes and
courses to help individuals obtain their General Equivalency Diploma or GED. We later expanded our domestic
violence program to this site as it was currently operating out of our Long Beach office. After several years, we moved
to a larger office at 91 North Franklin where we expanded our adult education programs as well as our new HIV and
In response to the death of a close and very loved family friend and relative, Mr. Bernardino found out more about
HIV/AIDS and realized that it was a very serious problem in the Hispanic community. As a result he worked to get a
grant to implement services for that population in the areas of education and prevention with bilingual English/Spanish
speaking staff. The Program was funded by the New York State Department of Health. Círculo began offering case
management, education and prevention activities to adults as well as youth.
Programs we provided included youth and adult education, recreation and cultural programs for youth, domestic
violence, HIV and AIDS services. We also offered educational programs to at-risk youth.
1986 - 1989
uring these years Círculo continued to respond to community needs. The agency provided a lot of
support to families struggling with issues in the local school district in Long Beach. There were no Spanish
speaking counselors at that time and the dropout rate was very significant. Most Hispanics did not graduate during
We operated our youth programs as well as services for victims of violence, and individuals living with HIV and
AIDS. Círculo also explored ideas to expand and offer additional services as well to meet emerging needs in the area of
housing, and drug and alcohol addiction.
or its tenth anniversary, Círculo held a dinner to raise funds and recognize leaders in the community. We
honored Pearl Weill, a supporter of Círculo. Ms. Weill was a well-known and respected woman in the Long
In early February 1990, Círculo submitted an amendment to its articles of incorporation to operate a substance abuse
program. This was also in response to community needs. Part of our vision was to provide alcohol prevention
education to respond to the high rates of alcoholism in the Hispanic community. We were not able to follow
through with this vision at the time because of many other priorities. However substance abuse services, treatment
and prevention continue to be a great need for the Hispanic and non-Hispanic population.
Círculo also filed an amendment to its incorporation papers in December of 1990 to operate housing programs to
address unmet needs in the community including discrimination in housing, a lack of affordable housing for
individuals, especially those who were homeless seeking to rebuild their lives.
Círculo de la Hispanidad’s Board consisted of Tony Nadal, President; Marisa Lamarre, Treasurer; Olga Montenora,
Secretary; and Board Members Celia Arias, Héctor Maldonado, and Esperanza Pereztegui.
Throughout 1991 we continued implementing youth, domestic violence, adult education and HIV and AIDS
programs. We also were working to actively start permanent affordable housing programs. Much of our efforts and
work was stunted by the events of 1992.