CALEXICO â€“ The signing of the memorandum of understanding between the Mexican Consulate in Calexico, the Mexican National Institute of Adult Education (INEA) and the Imperial Regional Detention Facility took place Friday morning at the Womanâ€™s Improvement Club in Calexico.
The Plaza Comunitaria program will be implemented at the Imperial Regional Detention Facility for all Spanish speaking inmates interested in finishing their elementary and middle school education. The program allows inmates to begin studies in the prison and continue them abroad in case of deportation.
â€œWe are trying to make California the most prosperous economy in the world. Currently, we are the seventhÂ largest economy,” said Sen. Ben Hueso. “Hard working immigrants are part of Californiaâ€™s economic development strategy to accomplish this goal.â€
â€œI am very proud of being a son of an immigrant who came to the United States in 1949 with little education, and due to programs such as these, obtained his Bachelorâ€™s degree,â€ added Hueso.
Plaza Comunitaria was established in 2001 by Vicente Fox who was the Mexican president at that time. It serves as a transitional program into English and adult basic education classes for Spanish immigrants and all those who speak Spanish to continue their education.
Plaza Comunitaria is open not only to Mexicans, but for any Spanish speaking person, regardless of nationality or country of origin.
Currently there are over 400 Plaza Comunitaria programs operating in the United States. In California, there are 80 located in community centers, schools, churches and community colleges. Imperial County will now have two operational Plaza Comunitaria — one in the Calipatria State Prison and the other at the Imperial Regional Detention Facility.
The Mexican Consulate encourages immigrants who are interested in this program to contact their offices for further information.