BALTIMORE - Four months ago, Gabby Cardoso was in Mexico.
She and her husband didn't feel safe there and there were limited opportunities for this journalism graduate.
And then they saw this, an article talking about a city where they would be welcome.
"It was complicated at the beginning to leave your country and come to a place where you don't know anyone it has its risks but she did her research on the internet to see if it was a safe city and if she would be able to find a job and acclimate here." She says.
Cardoso one day wants to be a journalist; her husband wants to own a business.
Both are learning English, both are paying taxes, rent and go to church.
They want to be in a place where they're welcome just like anybody else.
About five years ago the Esperanza Centers’ medical, legal and educational services were crowded into one floor.
Now they have a whole building, that's just how great the demand is for their services.
As folks from all over Central and South America are coming here for a better life.
"It seems to spread by word of mouth than more of an outreach perspective Baltimore is a welcoming place obviously has been for quite some time I think those efforts to make it more welcome and let people know that there are opportunities here there are services here it's becoming more and more known and that's what driving the increase in the population." Esperanza Center Director Valerie Twanmoh says.
Spanish speaking people from Central and South America are the fastest growing group of people in Baltimore city right now.
They helped the city post its first census gains in population in decades.
For Gabby and her husband she says everyone has been very kind and the Esperanza center has helped guide them through the paperwork of their new country.
She says once she learns English the world will be very different.
“Being here it's much easier to learn because you hear it all the time every day I learn something new every day." She says.
The Esperanza Center is celebrating its 50th year this year.
The past five has seen tremendous growth in the need for its services.
Just last year they helped more than 18 hundred new immigrants get established in this area.
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