McGeorge School of Law

Students, Faculty Aid Guatemalan Nationals

February 23, 2010

McGeorge hosted an on-campus Guatemalan Consul Mobile on February 20, 2010, and students involved in the Inter-American Program and Community Legal Services offered a variety of programs to the 120 participants.

"The nearest Guatemalan Consulate is in San Francisco, and most Guatemalan nationals have a very difficult time making the trip there to receive consular services such as the processing of passports or consular ID cards," said Professor Raquel Aldana, who organized the event.

"Consulate mobiles are often held in less than perfect conditions with most participants having to endure long lines, usually while waiting standing outside of a building. We not only provided a dignified space to the participants but offered them the professionalism, talent and commitment from our students who are striving to become bilingual and inter-culturally competent lawyers," she added.

Nick Anderson, '10, Laurel Berzanskis, '10, Joanna Duenas, '10, Nubia Lemus, '10, Lilka Martinez, '10, Deirdre Elizabeth Abele, '11, Diana Alvarado,'11, Katie Oldham,'11, Diana Perez, '11, Matt Fleming, '11, and Danielle Flores, '11, conducted a series of right-to-know sessions in Spanish to attendees, many who came with their families. The workshops covered topics related to immigrant rights, including family-based immigration, social security and health benefits, and choosing legal representation.

"The students were exceptional, and provided great legal content lectures and materials, in addition to assisting the group with logistics and registration," Aldana said.

Professors Blake Nordahl, Melissa Brown and Hector De Avila, along with clinics director Dorothy Landsberg, worked with the students to facilitate the event. Luis Mogollon directed the pre-event outreach and several local businesses helped in its promotion.