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How A Woman-Led Group Is Trying To Help LA's Indigenous Meso-Americans In The Pandemic

Janet Martinez, left, and Odilia Romero of CIELO (Photo illustration by Chava Sanchez, LAist/Photo by June Canedo, CIELO)
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Native communities all around the country are being hit disportionately hard by the pandemic.

It's been particularly hard for indigenous people who are part of the Latin American diaspora. They do not have a centralized tribal system to help with the most basic communication, to begin with. Meso-American indigenous communities are often erased or overlooked by being lumped in with Latino populations, which further complicates getting government assistance or traditional forms of aid.

Most are immigrants from places like Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras, but many do not speak Spanish as a first language. And many lack legal status, meaning they're struggling without government aid.

One local group has been raising relief funds, but the need is greater.

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