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Officials: Mayan Community Standoffish Despite Outreach Efforts

TSM

Protecting Mayan workers from frequent night-time robberies and assaults is frustrating city officials, who aren’t seeing as much engagement from people within that Central American community as they had hoped. Human Relations Commission Executive Director Marcelina Pina-Christian said the commission appointed Irma Perez, a Mayan, to the body in hopes of better connecting with that group, but there’s a problem …

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Police Chief David Provencher said his department has victim advocates, Spanish-speaking officers and is willing to collect evidence on possible hate crimes against Mayans, but that its difficult to get timely information after robberies or assaults occur. The City Council’s Public Safety Committee voted Monday night to send a letter to SRTA to follow up on whether that company can begin night-time bus service to the fish-houses where Mayans work. The city is also improving lighting around Cove Road and Front Street where many of those facilities are.

Pina-Christian said she plans to continue reaching out to Mayan community leaders …

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The Maya K’iche organization’s president Manuel Ruiz and Workers Community Center Director Adrian Ventura were invited to the committee meeting, but did not attend, something Pina-Christian also pointed out.

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