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Seminar helps workers work with Oaxacan immigrants

Posted: Friday, Jun 20th, 2014

Leoncio Vásquez Santos (left), Angel Garcia and Miguel Villegas talk to employees from Watsonville and nonprofit organizations Friday about the city's growing indigenous Mexican population, and how to navigate the cultural differences. (Photo by Todd Guild/Register-Pajaronian)

WATSONVILLE — The journey of an immigrant is wrought with uncertainty, where new languages and cultures too often can lead to misunderstandings.

With no English and a rudimentary knowledge of Spanish, the growing numbers of people coming from Oaxaca, Mexico face several substantial challenges.

They must try to assimilate into a Spanish speaking culture that all too often looks down on indigenous populations.

The children, in the meantime, must learn English, a task made more difficult when it is their third language.

With one of 16 languages and a different set of cultural mores, the immigrants must also learn to navigate a complex social services system whose workers are not equipped to help them.

Approximately 150 city employees and workers from non-profit organizations throughout the county heard a presentation Friday about those cultural differences, and how to work with those populations.

For the complete article see the 06-21-2014 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 06-21-2014 paper.

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