Unheard: The Plight of Maya Struggling with Addiction in SF

This podcast was produced by Civic, the flagship audio program from the San Francisco Public Press, with support from our 2023 Data Fellowship.


The impact of the COVID 19 pandemic led to a rise in fatal overdoses among the tens of thousands of Indigenous Maya living in the Bay Area. That alarmed Latinx advocates and officials at the Mexican consulate in San Francisco. Indigenous Latin Americans are categorized as Latinx even though many speak limited Spanish. That means vital information, like drug awareness campaigns and the dangers of fentanyl, may not be reaching the Maya-speaking community. And service providers say culturally-sensitive treatment programs are crucial for healing but are nearly non-existent for the Indigenous population. We discuss the push for change in San Francisco with advocates and health professionals.