Maui News

MEO’s Enlace Hispano hires a new full-time bilingual specialist

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Maui Economic Opportunity’s Enlace Hispano continues to provide support for Maui County’s Hispanic community with a new full-time bilingual specialist, Raquel Fernandez.

MEO has a special relationship with the Hispanic community on Maui that began with the first farmworkers who moved to the island to work in the pineapple and sugar cane fields in the early 1990s.

Enlace Hispano, which means “Hispanic Link,” was established in 1999 to assist with translations, fill out documents, acculturation and other services to help the island’s newest immigrants integrate into the community.

Natalia Barbosa of Maui Economic Opportunity’s Enlace Hispano assists a client waiting to meet with Mexican Consulate officials on Saturday at MEO in Wailuku.

Raquel and Carly Ortiz, a familiar face with Enlace clients, are staffing the program that has faced some turnover in the past two years. Ortiz is currently assisting remotely while on the Mainland attending college and works in-person during extended school breaks.


Raquel and Carly provide translations; needs assessments; referrals for services, including rental and employment assistance and Head Start preschool; and help to fill out important documents. 

When the Mexican Consulate comes to Maui, Enlace assists with promotion, preparing attendees and helping out where needed.  The Consulate has made two visits to Maui this year.

Raquel’s and Carly’s services are provided without cost with funding from the County of Maui.


“We want to assure our friends in the Hispanic community that MEO is here to meet their needs,” said MEO CEO Debbie Cabebe. “There has been some staffing turnover but with Raquel and Carly in place we are ready to help.”

To reach Enlace and Raquel and Carly, call 808-243-4357 or email [email protected].

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