Having volunteered for Maravilla Foundation in the 70's and early 80's, I have witnessed firsthand its extraordinary growth, from a single-issue agency operating a gang prevention program out of a one room office, to an organization which has taken on the challenges of our communities with such effectiveness that they have earned the reputation of being one of the most successful community-based organizations in the state of California.

Senator Richard Polanco (ret.)
Former Senate Majority Leader

Maravilla Foundation - About Maravilla Foundation - History and Accomplishments
History and Accomplishments - Page 3
A Place of Our Own

In 1997, the Maravilla Foundation completed the purchase of a 26,000 square-feet property bordering East Los Angeles and the city of Commerce. Several operational programs are housed in this complex, including all administrative departments, and the Maravilla Teen Center. Recently renovated, the new offices at Maravilla offer substantial room for growth for any potential new or expansion of existing programs.

A Statewide Leader

Over time, it became clear to Maravilla’s leadership that there were many fine service providers that assist low income people, organizations with a knowledge and expertise in dealing with the problems of this often overlooked segment of society, but the concerns of organizations like Maravilla were not being heard on a statewide level. These agencies had a common cause, but did not yet have a common voice. Maravilla, therefore, joined with community based organizations, community action agencies, and private service providers across the state to form ACCES (Association of California Community and Energy Services) in 2001. Maravilla CEO Alex Sotomayor was elected its first President. Today, ACCES is made up of sixteen of the most respected service providers in California, encompassing eighteen counties. In addition, Maravilla is an active member of the Southern California Forum for Energy Efficiency, Environmental, and Human Service Providers, of which Alex Sotomayor is also a past president.

In its 42 years of service, Maravilla Foundation has proven itself a remarkable success story, not just for its longevity, or its productivity, but for its ability to harness a community’s strengths and use them to address its basic needs. Regardless of the challenges facing low income people in the future, Maravilla Foundation will continue to be true to the ideals of its beginning and the dignity of its communities, as it aggressively addresses whatever challenges it may face.