Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Want to help refugees and migrants in crisis? You don’t need to leave the country. Our Guatemalan community right here in Lake Worth needs help.

Churches, community and neighborhood groups, and a grass-roots effort could be the solution to solve this problem: finding more people to tutor Guatemalan refugees in either the English language, Spanish, or both. Imagine even the basics, like interacting with a City of Lake Worth PBSO deputy or seeking help in a medical emergency, is nearly impossible for so many in our City.

We recently learned from Miami Herald reporter Francisco Rodríguez that Guatemalan refugees and migrants here in the City of Lake Worth are being targetted by predatory lawyers, property owners charging outrageous rent for substandard, over-crowded conditions, and when it’s time for an appointment with immigration officials:

     By train, the roundtrip ride costs $22 [on Tri-Rail]. But out of fear, not knowing the area and not speaking English — sometimes neither Spanish — many Guatemalan migrants hire drivers in the community who charge as much as $350 to take them to immigration appointments in Miramar in Broward County or other meetings in Miami-Dade, wait for them and return home.
     The Guatemalan Maya Center, which helps migrants in the Lake Worth area, has documented many cases of gouging. The Guatemalan consulate, which recently opened an office in Lake Worth in Palm Beach County, also confirmed that drivers are charging between $150 and $300 for the trips.

Spread the word in Lake Worth and make sure this news gets out as well:
“Estamos en la aperatura de un consulado de Guatemala en Lake Worth! Gracias por este apoyo para nuestras familias que antes pagaban $300 para llegar al consulado en Miami.”

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/americas/article150160947.html#storylink=cpy
[Translation: “We are at the opening of a Guatemalan Consulate in Lake Worth! Thank you for this support for our families, that before had to pay $300 to get to the consulate in Miami.”]