October 31st, 2015, about 70 guests congregated at The Mexican Consulate in Chicago and partook in a first of its kind event: a workshop on gender, sexual diversity and immigration. The Puerto Rican Cultural Center’s very own Maya Lozano and Maritxa Vidal, along with Karari Olvera Orosco, were present. There were morning workshops facilitated by very knowledgeable Mexican officials regarding Transgender and Gender non-Conforming issues. Maya and Maritxa were also given the opportunity to present and spoke about the varied services that the Puerto Rican Cultural Center offers to Puerto Rican and Latino Communities in Chicago. They explained how services are free and offered to anyone regardless of immigration status.
Lunch was served at noon while attendees networked and discussed possibilities of collaborating with the different organizations there. Afterwards, the public gave the TransLatin@ Coalition: Chicago Chapter and Luis Román from Grupo ALMA a very warm welcome as they hosted a panel. For about two hours, they discussed many concerns of LGBTQ Hispanic Community and took questions from the audience. After the Q&A session was over, The Mexican Consulate pledged to be more involved with the LGBTQ community. With the assistance of the PRCC and the Translatin@ Coalition, they promised to help transgender Mexican citizens, regardless of their immigration status, through the steps of updating their identification cards as well as other papers.
By Maritxa Vidal, Puerto Rican Cultural Center staff