Last Updated: Tuesday, November 07, 2017, 5:52 PM EST
An influx of Puerto Ricans are moving to Central Florida after Hurricane Maria devastated the island.
- Puerto Ricans moving to Central Florida after Maria
- Florida Technical College offering new culinary program
- The classes will be taught in Spanish
In response, a college in Kissimmee is offering a new class: a culinary arts program, all in Spanish.
Michael Roman Cancel left his life behind and came here from Puerto Rico soon after Hurricane Maria hit. He moved to Kissimmee with his mother and quickly enrolled in Florida Technical College, to try and make a future for himself.
“We have to keep going,” Roman Cancel said. “This is our future. This is like God telling us this is our time to fly.”
The program starts on Nov. 27 and lasts 13 months.
Gabriel Garces the Executive Director for FTC said Spanish is the official language of many commercial kitchens in the area.
“You can stop by in any kitchen in central Florida and you will hear Spanish being spoken,” Garces said. “It’s a common place for there to be a number of people of Hispanic origin working in the hospitality field.”
FTC officials say the goal to create more programs of its kind.
“Culinary is in high demand presently. There’s a vast need of positions right now,” Garces explained. “They’re not being filled and it’s great timing or this program and those coming to central Florida looking for employment.”
Roman Cancel say with the help of FTC, he hopes to realize his dream of one day owning and operating his own restaurant.
“To the people of Puerto Rico in Orlando, always believe in yourself, never doubt yourself.”
FTC is offering 25 Hurricane Maria scholarship to those who were affected in Puerto Rico.