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Latino babies
I just read your article on this week's Independent ["The Mexican Paradox," Jan. 22]. I think it is very good, interesting and dealt with a major issue: health. I just want to share with you know that City of Raleigh is the only city in North Carolina with a program of Hispanic/Latino-American services. Feel free to contact us to know what we have found in Raleigh, which has over 25,000 residents (out of 300,000) of Hispanic/Latino origin. The program is coordinated by a Mexican, Froyd Herrera-Nolasco (831-6136).

Thank you again for writing about these fundamental topics.
Luis F. Olivieri-Robert, Coordinator Raleigh Neighborhood College, City of Raleigh Community Services

Latino babies 2
Thank you for highlighting the good news about infants born to Latina women in the Triangle. "The Mexican Paradox" [Jan. 22]. It was refreshing to read about the strengths that pervade the culture of our newest neighbors. Your article supports the theories long advocated by public health clinicians and private providers as necessary ingredients for healthy babies; family support, good nutrition and healthy life choices.

The article also supports the reality that we all need to learn from one another's cultures. An erroneous mentality exists implying that it is only the immigrant who needs to learn about the majority culture--that they have nothing from which we, as members of that majority culture, can learn and benefit from. The article reminds us that it is essential that we engage in dialogue that is based on mutual respect and sharing--a sharing that makes us all the richer (and often healthier) for being in relationships with one another.

Many people in the Triangle work to assure healthy outcomes for all our infants. Some of those agencies were mentioned in the article. In addition to those named I would like to inform your readers about SAFEchild, a not-for-profit agency in Wake County that supports and strengthens families from all backgrounds and ethnic communities. SAFEchild implements family support programs for both English and Spanish-speaking families by providing an essential blend of child-rearing information with esteem and social supports for parents with children ages from birth to 16 living in Wake County.

As SAFEchild's executive director I have the privilege of experiencing first hand how intensely child-centered Latino/Hispanic families are and how seriously they take the parenting role. The Spanish-speaking families who participate in SAFEchild's Crianza Con Cariño and Welcome Baby programs demonstrate over and over the high value they place on their children, a value we, as a society will benefit from.

For more information about participating in one of SAFEchild's eight family support programs, becoming a SAFEchild volunteer, or to make a tax deductible contribution visit SAFEchild at or call (919) 743-6140.
Marjorie Menestres, Executive Director, SAFEchild, Raleigh

An item about anti-war protests in Durham in the Jan. 22 issue misspelled the name of Father David McBriar, pastor of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Durham and a speaker at the march.

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