Students Educate Day Laborers


Christobal Mateo, who has come to the Malibu Labor Exchange looking for work, would like to be a construction worker with a full time permanent position. However, his search is hindered by his inability to speak English.

That?s where Pepperdine students come in as they teach English to day labors to help them find employment. At the Malibu Labor Exchange, workers wait in line hoping to find work for the day.

Ali Bourguet-Vincent, coordinator of Language Connection leads the group of volunteers as part of the Pepperdine Volunteer Center. She and four or five students teach English for an hour every day to the Spanish-speaking laborers.

?Most come from Mexico or other Spanish speaking countries,? Bourguet-Vincent said. ?The majority came over by themselves and are trying to have their children come over as well.?

Center Director Oscar Mondragon has been involved with the Labor Exchange since it opened in August 1993.

?We don?t actively look for jobs, but local homeowners come here looking for workers,? Mondragon said. ?These jobs vary from home maintenance, masonry, gardening and cleanup. The average wage is $10 an hour.?

The Labor Exchange attracts about 70 to 100 workers a day. Homeless men and women make up 20 to 25 percent of the workers. However, most of them live in Venice, Oxnard or Santa Monica. About 70 percent are men and 30 percent are women. All laborers must bring photo identification. They are not asked if they are American citizens.

?As long as they?re good workers, that?s all the employers care about,? Mondragon said.

One Response to “Students Educate Day Laborers”

  1. Border Raven Says:

    At the Malibu Labor Exchange
    Organization: Malibu Labor Exchange
    Contact: Pamela Shotsky 310.457.2151
    Activity: Various, depends on current needs.
    Date/Time: Ongoing
    Location: Malibu Labor Exchange, Civic Center Way, Malibu

    Labor Exchange of Malibu
    23595 Civic Center Way
    Malibu CA 90265
    Fax: (310)457-8684
    Mona Loo
    Of of PCH (Hwy 101)  Webb Way = Stuart Ranch Rd @ Civic Center Way

    Center Director Oscar Mondragon

    Pepperdine students come in as they teach English to day labors to help them find employment.

    Pepperdine University
    24255 Pacific Coast Highway
    Malibu, CA 90263
    The University Church of Christ
    Dr. John Jones, a ministry leader for the Church

    University Church of Christ
    24255 Pacific Coast Highway
    Malibu, California 90263 (map)
    phone 310.506.4504

    SAC Los Angeles
    501 West Ocean Boulevard, Suite 7200
    Long Beach, CA 90802-4213
    Main (562) 624-3800
    Fax (562) 590-9604

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