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Cuban youth who crossed into the U.S. through 'Operation Pan Pedro' found a more welcoming country

For some Central American kids who speak only a native Mayan language, the U.S. classroom is tough

School districts across the country are now enrolling the tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors who crossed the border over the summer. Some 37,000 students have been released to sponsors since the beginning of the year.

But for some Central American kids, starting in U.S. classrooms is especially tough, because they don’t speak English or even Spanish. They grew up speaking a native Mayan language.

Fusion Live visited the Guatemalan Maya Center in Lake Worth, Florida, where their after school English program has been packed with new students, many of whom need academic and emotional support.

“That’s why we make them feel good about it. This is their house. Our house is their house,” said Mara Martinez, who has worked at the center for 17 years. “You know, in Spanish, ‘Mi casa es tu casa.'”

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