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Gabriela Martínez, Latino Communities Reporter / WITF

Gabriela Martínez
I cover Latino communities in central Pennsylvania with a special focus on Reading and other cities where Spanish-speaking communities are growing rapidly. My stories explore the impact of language barriers, labor issues, the growth of Latino political power through grassroots efforts and many other things.

I’m a native Spanish speaker myself. I grew up in the San Juan area of Puerto Rico. The English I know now, I learned mostly thanks to watching a lot of TV growing up, mostly Nickelodeon shows. I also learned Russian in college, which I perfected during my time teaching English in southern Siberia through the Fulbright Program.

In my free time I like to hike, hang out with my two cats, Yanka and Ruben Blades, and watch every awful horror movie I can find.

Latest by Gabriela Martínez

To ensure continued support of immigrants, Lancaster passes Trust Act

Lancaster City Council voted unanimously to pass the Trust Act, an ordinance that requires the city to maintain welcoming policies for immigrants. 

By Gabriela Martínez/WITF

Hundreds buried in unmarked graves in York County potter’s field to be honored in monument

The unveiling for York City Cemetery’s permanent monument will be held March 9 at the site along Schley Alley in North York. 

By Gabriela Martínez/WITF

Hazleton school district defends record with Latinos in wake of voting rights lawsuit

In the wake of a lawsuit alleging discrimination, the Hazleton Area School District says it has been doing the best it can to serve the area’s growing Latino student population.

By Gabriela Martínez/WITF

Lawsuit seeks to overturn at-large voting system in Hazleton majority-Latino district

According to the complaint, nearly 66% of Hazleton Area School District’s student population in the 2022- 2023 school year were Hispanic.

By Gabriela Martínez/WITF

Nonprofit brings loan program to Pennsylvania for immigrants who can’t afford legal assistance

Low-income immigrants are often the targets of loan sharks, or have to rely on free legal clinics that might be too overwhelmed with cases to take on new clients.

By Gabriela Martínez/WITF

Reading’s new police chief says he wants to focus on building trust and collaboration

Reading’s Police department will have a new chief starting February 1.

By Gabriela Martínez/WITF

Human trafficking offenses went down from 2021 to 2022 – but that’s not the whole picture

Charges filed against people suspected of human trafficking in Pennsylvania dropped by nearly 41% from 2021 to 2022. 

By Gabriela Martínez/WITF

Reading’s two new school board members want to tackle youth violence and language barriers

The largest school district in Berks County – and the 4th largest in the state – will have two newly elected school board members starting this year.

By Gabriela Martínez/WITF

Service providers in Pa. are standing by to help people experiencing domestic violence during the holidays

Factors such as money, drinking and family gatherings can make abuse that was already taking place get worse.

By Gabriela Martínez/WITF