Let us introduce you to our neighbors in downtown San Juan Capistrano!
Forty percent of San Juan’s residents are Latino and speak Spanish at home, and in the Capistrano Villas neighborhood, that percentage is over 95 and is almost entirely of Mexican heritage. So you can imagine the environment is full of vibrant life and close family ties. The Latino culture values family and celebration very highly, so you’ll often hear Mariachi music and see people spending time together in the open spaces.
Although it is an intergenerational community where many young people are successful and thriving, the neighborhood is primarily low-income families. Many three bedroom apartments house more than one family, and people often work more than full-time at minimum wage to make ends meet. Even then, it’s often not enough, so 25% of families here are under the poverty line. Closely related to poverty is crime, so our neighbors here are also living with the challenges of a gang-influenced neighborhood.
Despite these obstacles, our neighbors are finding a way. In our work here, we have seen heroic sacrifice, incredible resiliency and awe-inspiring perseverance. For anyone who struggles to maintain hope in a dark world, we invite you to meet some of our neighbors. You’ll never be the same.