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Needed In California: Interpreters For Mexican Indigenous Immigrants

When Angelina Diaz-Ramirez, an immigrant farmworker from Mexico, suffered a heart attack, no one at the hospital could explain what was happening to her. She speaks Triqui, an indigenous language in southern Mexico. (Jeremy Raff/KQED)
When Angelina Diaz-Ramirez, an immigrant farmworker from Mexico, suffered a heart attack, no one at the hospital could explain what was happening to her. She speaks Triqui, an indigenous language in southern Mexico. (Jeremy Raff/KQED)

Today, almost one-third of the thousands of farmworkers who pick California’s fruits and vegetables speak an indigenous Mexican language like Triqui or Mixteco, and barely understand Spanish.

When emergencies happen and fieldworkers need medical care, they often can’t communicate with their doctors. So, an increasingly important job in rural California is medical interpreting.

Jeremy Raff from Here & Now contributor KQED in Northern California reports.

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