Your Native Language Is Not A Barrier

Born and raised in Pilsen has been a roller coaster of events. Throughout these 17 years of my life, I have seen my community go from being a sprinkle of Mexican culture to becoming a place I no longer recognize. When you hear Pilsen, you no longer hear about the delicious Mexican restaurants that brought joy to the streets, now you all you can think of is gentrification. With gentrification has come higher rents, higher food prices, slowly pushing people away. 

A brown Mexican girl never thought would be accepted into one of Chicago’s top high schools, look at me now, a current Senior at Lane Tech. Having to commute over an hour to and from school every day during the worst snow storms and rainy days opened my mind to so many things. Lane Tech High School is located on the north side of Chicago, surrounded by immense house and more prestige businesses. I did not know the amount of advantages white people had for being white. Never seemed to complain about medical insurance, medical bills but as I grew up, I lost track of how many times my parents were not able to see a doctor due to the lack of medical insurance,the lack of translators. Pilsen being a community with a bigger population of Hispanic immigrants has suffered through inequities, one of the biggest ones being the lack of medical insurance. Medical insurance has been a reason people aren’t able to see a doctor the moment they get sick. Not having medical insurance causes people to only be able to schedule a doctors appointment that can take months. From experience, there has been occasions where my mother, that has diabetes and isn’t feeling the best, have to wait up to four months before even seeing her physician. But that’s not the worst part, not knowing English can cause so much chaos at the hospital when there’s no reason it should. Hospitals have the resources to add more translators to their staff. There’s nothing wrong with not knowing English, not everyone had the opportunity to learn a second language and they are not at fault. Even this one little problem causes everyone to have a different experience when they visit the doctor. Staff members seem to catch an attitude when they need to make an effort to understand what the patient is trying to say. At the end of the day, whether it be over medical insurance, or lack of translators, a change needs to happen.

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