In Jupiter, an “open-air labor market” began to develop on Center Street. Hundreds of day laborers (primarily Mayan immigrants from Guatemala and Southern Mexico) congregated daily on Center Street in an unorganized outdoor labor market where employers picked them up for work.
Neighbors complained to town officials about traffic safety, loitering, and a drop in real estate values. Laborers were subject to wage theft, unsafe work environments and abuse. The cultural tensions in Jupiter were escalating. A group of residents, immigrants, faith-based groups, and university and town officials coalesced to address the problem. In 2006, that grassroots, public/private coalition resulted in the creation of El Sol, Jupiter’s Neighborhood Resource Center.
El Sol was formed as a result of a community effort to transform the problem of an unsafe and contentious open-air day-labor market into a safe and productive resource center in which all people can achieve their highest potential.