Cruz Roja Mexicana Bilingual Services
Thanks to the dedication of Todd Mosley, a former American Red Cross staffer from Mississippi who moved to Merida, the Merida Cruz Roja (Red Cross) now can offer services in English for local English-speaking residents and visitors. Todd had the idea of establishing this program when he realized that emergency services across Merida have little or no English-speaking capability. In an emergency, language abilities can make the difference between life or death, but at the very least, they can make things go a lot smoothly. By working with local staff, Todd and Cruz Roja have now established a bilingual services program. The program began operation on February 8th, 2014.
More Volunteers Will Mean More Days
Both bilingual Mexicans and local expatriates are stepping up to volunteer. Currently, eight (8) active volunteers have committed to work one 4-hour shift per week. To begin with, Mondays and Saturdays were chosen because cruise ships are in port in Progreso on those days. This results in an increase in English-only visitors to the area during those days. We currently cover business hours on Mondays and Thursdays from 8 am to midnight. As additional bilingual volunteers step forward, additional days will be added, and many more shifts need to be covered. The ultimate goal is to provide bilingual services twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, in Merida, Progreso and Valladolid.
Are you interested in being a volunteer? You can do that! Additional bilingual (Spanish/English) volunteers are needed in Merida, Progreso, and Valladolid. No experience is necessary, except to be bilingual in Spanish and English. All additional training will be provided.
Why Cruz Roja?
Cruz Roja, or the Red Cross, is the most recognized name in emergency services around the world, and therefore is the perfect place for bilingual services to be added. Cruz Roja Mexicana Bilingual Services currently supports radio communications for ambulances in Merida, and plans soon to provide the same service for Progreso and Valladolid. Bilingual Services also plans to expand to include mass care for hurricane shelters and mass care for crippled cruise ships.
Currently, the volunteers cover shifts of 4 hours at the main Cruz Roja ambulance dispatch headquarters in Merida’s centro, on Calle 64 between Calle 67 and 69. If there is an emergency that involves a person that speaks English only, whether it is over the phone or involving an EMT on the scene, a volunteer will now be there to translate so the person that only speaks English can communicate with the EMTs, many of whom only speak Spanish.
More Help Needed!
In addition to more volunteers, this new service needs other supplies or donations. Donations that are needed include printed tshirts or embroidered polo shirts, design services and printing services for bilingual training materials, and donations to go towards expenses for traveling to establish the program in Progreso and Valladolid.
If you are an individual or organization interested in participating or receiving additional information on Cruz Roja’s Bilingual Services, please contact Todd Mosley at ToddnMX [at] aol [dot] com. Todd can be reached by phone at 999-362-5949, or on FaceBook at Cruz Roja, Merida, Bilingual Services (a private group that you must ask to join).