WXXI AM News

Ibero-American Action League

Max Schulte / WXXI News

Libraries that closed in response to the coronavirus pandemic are offering curbside pickup and online options for community members. Some Spanish-speaking residents, however, are struggling to access library materials. 

Myrna Gonzalez said even before the pandemic, Spanish-language resources and books were limited at the Lincoln Branch Library on Joseph Avenue in the city of Rochester. Now options are even more restricted, she said. 

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Years ago, Miguel Melendez said he had a conversation with the late Father Lawrence Tracy, once a fixture in the northeast Rochester community. He said Tracy asked him to run for office.

“And he put his hand up to pause me,” said Melendez. “He said, ‘God calls.’ And from that moment forward I’ve been thinking how can I service this community in different ways.” 

Melendez has a long history in community activism, and is an executive for Ibero American Action League

 

Ibero-American Action League and others in Rochester’s Latino community say cuts to bilingual education in the Rochester City School District budget targets an already marginalized population. 

Part of the budget proposal for the 2020-21 school year includes closing the Bilingual Language and Literacy Academy, which serves students displaced from Puerto Rico. 

Lillian Colón, IBERO

 

On Sept. 20, 2017, Hurricane Maria touched down in Puerto Rico. Thousands of families relocated to Rochester in the months that followed. 

Karla Reyes Ríos is from San Juan, Puerto Rico. She’s 23 years old and a mother of three. She describes Hurricane Maria as dangerous and chaotic.

“Wow, the water -- you could swim in the water,” she says. “The windows crashed down and the door couldn’t close because literally the water was coming through.”

Ryan Williamson / CITY Newspaper

Angelica Perez-Delgado's path to CEO and president of the Ibero-American Action League was challenging. And it certainly wasn't something she could imagine was possible for her when she was a young Latina growing up in the North Clinton neighborhood. 

A new study shows that the Rochester faces challenges when it comes to Hispanic employment and entrepreneurship.

The study comes from the financial website, wallethub.com.  It shows that Rochester had among the lowest  numbers for cities in the U.S. when it came to Hispanic employment, and was also near the bottom of the list of cities that are business-friendly for Hispanic entrepreneurs.

We sit down with the outgoing and incoming presidents of the Ibero-American Action League. Angelica Perez-Delgado has been named the organization’s new president and CEO. This comes after longtime president Hilda Rosario Escher announced she would be leaving Ibero to pursue other opportunities.

This hour, they join us to discuss Ibero’s present work and how they hope to see it evolve in the future. We also discuss a range of issues affecting the Latino community.

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The Ibero-American Action League’s new leader has a long connection with the agency.

Angelica Perez-Delgado is the new president and CEO of Ibero. She is succeeding Hilda Rosario Escher, who said earlier this year that she would be stepping down.

Perez-Delgado said that during her youth and early adulthood, Ibero provided her with a lot of support.