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About one million Latinos live in Georgia. To ensure the community’s needs are being met, the Latin American Association is partnering with Kennesaw State University to develop a survey.
LAA president Jeffrey Tapia says the idea is to find out where people need help.
“We’re looking specifically at areas including barriers to services or advancement, barriers to their own goals, what their needs might be in the areas of learning English and employment,” she says.
One of those barriers could be transportation. Rose Clay is a store manager at Plaza Fiesta on Buford Highway. For five years, she commuted from Tucker by bus.
“The transportation is bad,” Clay says. “You can wait for a long time, and I live far away.”
Now, she drives every day.
Transportation is also problematic for Elisabeth Malada, who lives in Norcross.
“This is a state where the transit is not very good,” Malada says. “The Latino community needs better transportation to serve the areas where we live.”
She still takes the bus, but often waits half an hour for it to arrive.
The LAA won’t be able to fix everything. But President Tapia says the organization will do what it can.
“We will look to improve our programs, and hopefully we will have some good recommendations, not only about our programs, but also possibly, policy,” she says.
Tapia says that means sharing data with state and local officials. She hopes to have the survey results by July.