Alaskan Dominicans want a Center for Assistance in Anchorage
by carlos matías
The ambassador of the Dominican Republic to the United States, Sonia Guzman, will visit Anchorage in June 2022, as part of a tour of the Dominican immigrant concentration points in the USA. Her objective is to know about the reality and needs of her compatriots. Two well-known Dominicans who have lived in Alaska tell SOL DE MEDIANOCHE what these needs are.
Andrés Gómez Batista, is a businessman who no longer resides in Alaska, but still lives in the United States and maintains ties and business in this state. In his opinion, “Dominicans want to feel that our governments take us into account. Something that has not happened so far, with the current government. We are the second largest Hispanic minority in Alaska, after Mexicans. There are between eight and ten thousand Dominicans in the state. These Dominicans send remittances to their families in the Dominican Republic that can be between five and seven million dollars”.
Ninetta Regalado has resided in Anchorage for the past twenty years. Since her early days in Alaska, Ninetta has been an active volunteer in helping the Latino community, “not just my compatriots, but all Hispanics,” she says. Both Andres and Ninetta want the government of Santo Domingo to promote a Center of Assistance or Attention to the Latino immigrant, because when a Hispanic arrives in Alaska “he has no information about what he can do and the help he can receive, nor about the procedures to settle in this state,” explains Ninetta. “A center that is also a training center, to help with labor integration, that teaches skills and trades and, of course, teaches English, since many arrive without knowing the language,” says Andres.
“Committed to the Dominican community.” Ambassador Sonia Guzman has told Sol de Medianoche that she is “committed to the Dominican community in the United States.” Her first visit was to Massachusetts and Rhode Island last July and now she plans to come to Alaska next year. “Anyway,” explains Sonia Guzman, “the Consulate of the Dominican Republic in Los Angeles works for the entire West Coast, has jurisdiction over Alaska, and has arranged a series of measures to offer services to Dominicans residing there. The Consul General, Alfonso Rodriguez, follows up on these services.”
In March 2021, the Consulate of the Dominican Republic in Los Angeles held a two-day “Mobile Consulate in Anchorage.” More than 130 people received services, including ID cards and passports, powers of attorney and route letters. “The plan is to do it twice a year.” Now, “with the recently inaugurated OPREE (Overseas Central Electoral Board) in Los Angeles, for the first time Dominicans in Alaska and the 13 Western states will be able to vote in the Dominican elections of 2024,” adds the ambassador. “And since June they can request passport and other services without traveling to Los Angeles, through the website http://consulatedrwest.gob.do/es/.”
Multi-employed Dominicans in Alaska live in Anchorage, Juneau, Wasilla, Palmer, Eagle River, Fairbanks and Valdez, among other areas. Almost all of them have more than one job. Their jobs range from fishing, fish processing and sales, masonry, construction, housekeeping and cleaning, to hotel and restoration services.
PROUDLY POWERED BY SOL DE MEDIANOCHE NEWS, LLC. Sol de Medianoche is a monthly publication of the Latino community in Anchorage, Alaska