Mexican consulate wheels into Jonesboro

(Source: KAIT-TV)
(Source: KAIT-TV)

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The Consulate of Mexico in Little Rock hit the road Tuesday for a trip to Jonesboro.

The Consulate on Wheels program travels to areas where members of the Hispanic population may not be able to travel easily to the state capitol.

Sarah Mdrano, who heads the Consulate on Wheels, said their purpose is to help people get what they need.

"The Hispanic Center is hosting us for a week," Mdrano said. "It's so we can provide the services we have in Little Rock at our consulate. Like passports, IDs, birth certificates for people who cannot go up to Little Rock. So, we've brought the service here for a week."

Mdrano said they travel to multiple states.

"We had this program start out in 2014," Mdrano said. "We do it around the state of Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Tennessee. So, we're traveling the whole year. We go one week in Oklahoma, one week in Memphis and one week here in Jonesboro. We usually have a good response."

Laura Vargas is in Jonesboro and stopped in at the Hispanic Center to get her passport.

She said she was thrilled when she learned the Consulate on Wheels was headed here.

"It was a really good idea," Vargas said. "Working all day and taking time to go to Little Rock is kind of difficult sometimes. Especially when I do a job, especially this kind of season it's really hard for me to take off a whole day. Especially coming in here and taking an hour or an hour and a half or even less. Driving over there would be really difficult. So, it's great for them to come here and help people in our community."

Mdrano said things were running smoothly at the Hispanic Center.

"We have a very good system of appointments," she said. "People can come, for example, at 10 and be quickly served."

"It's impressive how they do their work," Vargas said. "It's impressive with so many people coming in constantly. Some people who haven't had an appointment have come in and they still help them."

Mdrano said their service is a partnership between the consulate and those they strive to help.

"It's important for us to get the service close to people," Mdrano said. "And it's important for us to have people actually come. Because if we make 500 appointments and only 100 come, for us to come back to a place it's very important for them to come and use our service."

Vargas said setting up an appointment was simple.

"All you need to do is call," Vargas said. "Somebody will help you if you don't know English. And that is a really, really good idea. Some people think they're going to call Little Rock and will have to dial 20 numbers and then end up with an extension for someone. There is actually somebody there that can help you."

They'll be working at the Hispanic Center in Jonesboro until Thursday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and on Friday from 8 a.m. until 11 a.m.

Saturday and Sunday, they will be working on double nationality for children born in the United States.

Hours on Saturday and Sunday will be 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

After Jonesboro, they'll head to Oklahoma City and then to Memphis.

To make an appointment call 1-877-626-4835

They have 500 appointments set up so far.

Copyright 2018 KAIT. All rights reserved.