Mexican Indigenous Immigrants’ Dire Need for Medical Interpreters

Imagine you are rushed to the hospital as pain radiates through your chest. Doctors whirl around you, but you don’t know what’s happening because everyone is speaking a foreign language.

That’s what happened to farmworker Angelina Diaz-Ramirez, 50, after she had a heart attack in a Monterey County green bean field in 2012.

The foreman of her work crew took her to the main road and put her in an ambulance, alone. Diaz-Ramirez is an immigrant from Mexico, and while there were Spanish-speaking staff, she was still isolated by a language barrier.

That’s because Diaz-Ramirez, like a third of California farmworkers, speaks a language indigenous to southern Mexico. She doesn’t understand Spanish. Her language, Triqui, is as different from Spanish as Navajo is from English.

Read more: KQED News

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