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A bridge overlooking a busy city street with buildings and cars showcasing 'story 1' location

Looking Eastward along 14th Street

239 West 14th Street, off 8th Avenue

What

Founded in 1868, the Spanish Benevolent Society of New York, also known as La Nacional, was the heart of Little Spain which centered around 14th Street.

Benevolent societies and social clubs such as this one were critical in supporting the security and well-being of Spanish-speaking Americans and recent immigrants by providing charitable services such as funerary expenses, support to widows or orphans, healthcare, or assistance in times of need.

Impact

La Nacional was one node in a larger ecosystem for the Spanish-speaking community on 14th Street. Two buildings down, the Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe provided similar support by creating a religious space for Spanish-speaking parishioners whose language and cultural needs were not being met at other neighborhood churches.

Today, La Nacional and the Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe are still in operation and serve as anchor points for Spanish-speaking New Yorkers throughout the city.

Provocations

Questions to Consider

How can different communities, especially of people who are new to the United States, be models of how to pracitice democracy and create strong communities?

How do communities support each other?

Share Your Story

Help us gather more stories from this community and beyond. if you have a story or suggestion about this location, please leave a comment below.

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