SAN ANTONIO – What if you moved to a new country and couldn’t get the job you have right now because you don’t speak the language?
That’s the dilemma many immigrants face even when they move to a diverse place like San Antonio.
A ministry is breaking down the language barrier from a humble house on the west side where immigrants can step inside and simply be themselves.
"Everything is free and everybody's welcome,” Rosalinda Maldonado says.
She’s one of nearly 200 women learning lessons about life in America from nuns, and often times, each other.
"It's very important to have relationships, especially with women who share their own struggles,” Maldonado says.
The program is called One Step Beyond. It’s sponsored by the Presentation Ministry.
The ministry offers free daycare while women are free to take classes on speaking conversational English, the Bible, computers – even Zumba.
"I'm learning English,” Maria Flores says. “I'm learning the computer."
She says the lessons learned inside the house are building blocks toward a better life.
"If you have more education, you can have a better job,” Flores says.
And not just the students are immigrants.
“The first day here, I felt family,” Brother James Needham says.
He moved to San Antonio from Ireland, and as he works for the ministry, notices the citizenship classes especially foster special bonds.
"I think class is important but I think just sitting with them, this camaraderie they build up among themselves – I think it's more important,” Brother Needham says.
Call it a melting pot of people who came to better themselves as individuals, and with the help of a ministry, built a budding community.
The ministry welcomes donors, volunteers and students to call (210) 544-3219 to learn more about the program.