La Esperanza to honor Carmelite Sisters Aug. 19

Retiring nuns have given 20 years of service
August 7, 2017

La Esperanza will host a celebration Saturday, Aug. 19, to honor the Carmelite Sisters of Charity for their 20 years of service to the Latino community. The three Catholic nuns are retiring, but their legacy will continue through the recently launched Sisters' Fund. 

The event will be held from 2 to 5 p.m. in Room 540 of the Carter Partnership Center at Delaware Technical Community College in Georgetown. Attendees are asked to donate to the fund, which was created to ensure that the sisters' charitable work continues through La Esperanza's services.

La Esperanza, located on Race Street in Georgetown, was born out of the compassion of Sister Ascensión Banegas, Sister Rosa Álvarez, and Sister María Mairlot, who came to Georgetown in the 1990s to help immigrantswho were arriving in Delaware to work in the poultry plants.

The nuns, originally from Spain, witnessed the difficulties of immigrants in a new land and offered them hope and inspiration. They began helping new arrivals find affordable housing, connecting pregnant women with prenatal care services, and intervening on behalf of domestic abuse victims.

"Their work has lifted spirits and transformed lives. We want to honor the sisters' many accomplishments and ensure their important humanitarian work continues in the area," said Ileana Smith, event chair and a board member at La Esperanza.

With the help of many sponsors and individuals in the community, La Esperanza has helped tens of thousands of people in a myriad of ways. The nuns also helped establish the Primeros Pasos child care center, La Casita, La Red Health Center and El Centro Cultural. One of the sisters' primary goals has always been to help immigrants assimilate into the community so it and they may be strengthened and enriched.

"They've developed important partnerships, and we know many people want to come out and give their thanks for their dedication to strengthening the local community," said Charlie Burton, board president of La Esperanza.

Admission to the event is free. Donations, big and small, are encouraged to fund the organization's mission. Attendees are asked to RSVP at or call 302-854-9262. To learn more about La Esperanza, go to