Concilio serves as longest-standing Hispanic serving organization in Pennsylvania

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Concilio serves as longest-standing Hispanic serving organization in Pennsylvania. Dann Cuellar reports during Action News at 6 a.m. on September 30, 2018.

Concilio located at 141 Easting Hunting Park was founded in 1962 and is the longest standing Hispanic-serving organization in the state of Pennsylvania.

"Started as an advocacy organization for meeting the needs of the community, and it's since then has grown to provide multiple social service programs," says Adonis Banegas, Executive Director of Concilio.

Those programs include after-school care and victim witness services.

"So we work with the local 24th, 25th and 26th precinct for people who basically were attacked or violated of their civil rights and assist them and navigate them through the process of what it's like to go to court, as well as identify any funding support," Banegas says.

Concilio's foster care assistance program has been running for the past 25 years.

"Philadelphia has on average 6,200 children who are in need of a bed every night. So our main objective is to continue to recruit and to identify loving homes that people can open their doors and become foster parents in the community," says Banegas.

Adonis Banegas was named the Executive Director two years ago, and has made it his mission to expand the organization's reach.

"My main priority is to continue to serve as that cultural convener. So that people nationwide can see the great work that Latinos in the community do," says Banegas.

And their staff is fully bilingual.

"We're able to accommodate those who only speak Spanish and we're able to host multiple workshops in English and in Spanish," Banegas says.

This year, Banegas took the initiative to launch a new summer camp program.

"We're servicing over 200 kids from K-12 in the summer months. So now we're able to service more youth in the community," says Banegas.

However, they're still sticking to tradition. For the past 37 years, Concilio has hosted its annual summer Hispanic Fiesta at Penn's Landing waterfront.

"Which is a two-day festival that brings together music, food, entertainment from all Latin American countries," Banegas says.

They also produce the annual Philadelphia Puerto Rican Parade.

"Which is entering its 56th year. We host that every September at the Benjamin Franklin Parkway," Banegas says.

A day where Puerto Rican music, culture, and pride shines brightly in the city. And for close to 30 years, 6abc has been the proud broadcast sponsor.

"And provide so much support to making sure that the message is getting across not only for those to attend, but of course people in the region to see and enjoy," says Banegas.

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