Alicia Ramirez grew up in south Texas. In the 90's Alicia and her husband bought a home in Poth, Texas with a USDA (U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Rural Development) loan program. It was their dream home. All too often, dreams are shattered. Her husband Jesus died of cancer in 2006. Ramirez herself was diagnosed with cancer soon after his passing. For over 50 years, Jesus took care of everything. Alicia never learned to speak English. While she was in the hospital receiving treatment, her mortgage fell behind and the Department of Agriculture foreclosed on her home. The courts can issue an eviction any day.
Having worked in the cotton fields as a child Ramirez did not learn to read and write until she was 15. She has never learned English. Her Spanish community did not support a need to learn English. Her husband handled all affairs requiring English. She did not understand the letters that were now being sent to her. Department of Agriculture representatives sent to her home did not speak Spanish. A communication barrier perpetuated her situation.
Who failed Alicia Ramirez? Is it the government's fault for not having an official language? Do non-english speaking communities contribute to such failures? At one time immigrants learned English to function in society. Now there are entire communities with support systems which function in languages other than English.
Does the responsibility belong to her family to ensure all matters were taken care of? They know she is ill. They know she does not read well and does not know English.
For Alicia, there is hope. An "angel" has come forward to look into her case. The USDA will not move with an eviction at this time while they are working some kind of settlement.