Many people are seeing stories about the country of VENEZUELA. This is very sad. The President of Venezuela, Nicholas Maduro, his family and friends enjoy very wealthy lives. The vast majority of people in Venezuela are very poor, and suffering because of the President. There are many deaf people in Venezuela.  Some of them have escaped from the country and moved to PANAMA. So did some of the sign-language interpreters. However, most of the deaf in Venezuela are too poor; they cannot afford to leave.
I have worked with deaf people, especially young people, in Venezuela, Ecuador, Guatemala, and Mexico. Most deaf people in Mexico, Central and South Americas do NOT have what deaf people have in the United States. There are no laws like the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act).  There are few good schools for the deaf. (In Guatemala, if you are deaf, they throw you out of school at age 12! If you ask educators about deaf people attending college, they just laugh.)  There are no professional interpreter training programs in Mexico, Central or South America!. NONE!  Interpreters don’t get paid. They volunteer to do this work because of their Faith and their love for deaf people.  Many deaf people do not have jobs.   For example, in Ecuador, if you are deaf you cannot get a driver’s license.  So, if you can’t drive, how can you get to work?! Few deaf people have computers, cell phones, any kind of technology.
I work with an organization DCYIA (Deaf Catholic Youth Initiative for the Americas). We try to work with deaf young people in these countries south of the United States. Over the years, I have been so impressed by these deaf young people. They are poor, do not have a lot of school education, often cannot find anyone to hire them, BUT……their FAITH in JESUS, their LOVE of MARY & the SAINTS, their generous SERVICE and CARE of one another is BETTER than I have experienced here in the United States.  Pray for our deaf brothers and sisters in MEXICO, the CARIBBEAN, CENTRAL & SOUTH AMERICAS. Pray especially for a change in the government of VENEZUELA and justice for the people who are suffering so much.