Follow us:

The Today File

Your guide to the latest news from around the Northwest

August 5, 2014 at 10:55 AM

Mexican Consulate to help reissue lost documents for fire victims

Days after the fire, workers at King Blossom orchard sift through the rubble that was once their homes. Photo by Marcus Yam.

Days after the fire, workers at King Blossom orchard sift through the rubble that was once their homes. Photo by Marcus Yam.

Seattle’s Mexican Consulate will set up a mobile office in Brewster this fall to help reissue lost documentation to orchard workers whose homes burned in the Carlton Complex wildfires.

In the early hours of July 18, fire burned through King Blossom Natural Orchard, on the outskirts of Brewster, catching the sleeping laborers off guard. They escaped without injury, but the flames destroyed two buildings on the farm grounds that were home to 50 people. Many lost nearly everything they owned, including passports, birth certificates and identification cards.

Consul Eduardo Baca said he’s never dealt with so many people losing their documentation at the same time.

“We’re going to do a special outing just to take care of this group that has been in this terrible circumstance,” said Baca.

The consulate found out about the displaced orchard workers by reading about them in The Seattle Times and receiving letters from concerned community members, said Baca. After reaching out to the workers, the Consulate learned that 20 on the farm lost documentation.

Getting new copies of these official documents isn’t easy. In order to obtain birth certificates, for example, applicants must appeal to the civil registries in their birth states. There are foreign ministry offices in each state, so the consulate can simplify the process, said Baca.

Since many workers don’t have the time or means to travel to Seattle, the consulate decided to come to them. The consulate is working on getting the paperwork now, and it will set up a temporary office in the Brewster area to issue the documents. Baca said he expects this to happen in October, as many migrant workers at the farm will be leaving at the end of the apple harvest season.

He urged any other Mexican workers in the area who lost documents in the fire to call or email the consulate at: 206-448-3526 or conseattle@sre.gob.mx so it can help them, too.

Comments | Topics: Eduardo Baca, King Blossom Orchard, Mexican Consulate

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


Advertising
The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►