A new consul general representing Mexicans in California said he plans to work on improving education, including helping more Mexicans become "financially literate," helping people get birth certificates and ID numbers for taxes, and generating a "culture of prevention" for health care.
Carlos Sada -- the consul general of Mexico in Los Angeles who oversees five consulates from Southern California to the Valley -- said Fresno is important to him because of the high number of Mexicans in the area.
There are about 1 million Mexicans throughout eight counties that the consulate of Mexico in Fresno serves, consulate officials said. In Fresno, they said, more than half of the population claims Mexican heritage.
Sada, who was appointed to the post in July, made his first visit to the city Friday. He previously served at the consulates of Mexico in New York and Chicago and also served as minister of congressional affairs at Mexico's Embassy in Washington, D.C.
He said authorities and politicians in Fresno seem to have a genuine interest in preventing discrimination and are committed to working with the consulate on a variety of issues.
Helping improve the image of Mexicans in America is also a key goal for Sada.
"Perceptions are sometimes stronger than realities," he said.
A reality, Sada said, is the strong economic connection between his nation and the U.S. Every day, about $1.2 billion crosses the border between the countries, he said.
Meanwhile, tourism from the U.S. to Mexico also increased by 8% this month, and 17% of all America's international tourists go to Mexico, Sada said.
At the Fresno consulate, Mexicans can obtain services such as health care and legal advice on immigration reform, as well as passport and work registration assistance, said Gamaliel Muñoz, alternate consul for the Fresno consulate.
Between 300 to 400 Mexicans are served every day by the Fresno consulate, which includes a mobile unit that travels throughout the Valley, Muñoz said.
"(Carlos Sada's visit) was important," Muñoz said. "He will help this consulate get resources ... His presence is particularly important to us to strengthen our ties with community leaders and organizations."
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