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Mexican Business Highlight

Mexican Business Highlight

by Mary Clymer on November 17, 2020

RentonLIVE! goes Latin for an Evening

This week on RentonLIVE! A very special all Spanish version of the show. The entire Live broadcast will be done in Spanish! Hosts council women Ruth Perez and bi-lengual teacher McKenzie Lord have a terrific lineup of guests. 

The Renton Chamber wanted to shine a spotlight on the Hispanic owned business through this online platform. With roughly 12% of the Renton population coming from a Hispanic background we thought it was time to honor the culture. 

This is an opportunity for our hosts and guests to introduce themselves and share their stories about their own Hispanic families and how they strive to keep traditions alive both at home and in their business. 

One of the featured guests will be Sergeant John Awai. He has served on the Renton Police Department for over 20 years. During this time he has put a great deal of effort towards our Latino community.

Sergeant Awai has a passion for building relationships between the Hispanic community and the Police. 


He has been involved in social outreach programs understanding that one of the biggest barriers to reaching this population is language. 

There is a wall of misinformation in regards to language, immigration statues, trust and cultural heritage that separates the two groups. 

Sgt. Awai works to build these relationships between the two communities and tear down an unjust wall.

Establishing trust and confidence by removing fear and misinformation on both ends. 

Some of the outreach you may be familiar with is his work with Centro Rendu. Forming a police academy as a way to invest and involve the community. This is done by working with St. Vincent De Paul for the HIspcanic community. He focuses on topics like how to utilize the 911 services. 

A regular speaker on 1360 AM with host Sandra Maqueda. A daily morning show that is focused on the Latino community and servicing their needs. 

St. Anthony’s in downtown Renton uses Sgt. Awai to speak with members of the congregation about law enforcement. He answers questions and guides them towards resources for assistance. 

It is not uncommon for John to be called in to assist when a spanish speaking interpreter is needed. 

His goal continues to be to bridge a gap. Through an understanding of language he is able to work with business owners and leaders of local civic organizations. Answering questions and giving them a comfortable environment to ask questions.

If you are interested in working with Sargent John Awai for outreach opportunities email him at jawai@rentonwa.gov

Host Ruth Perez is also a force of positive work in bridging a cultural and language gap with citizens and the city. She is Renton’s first Hispanic council member and has become a voice for the community. 

Other guests to appear on tomorrow night's 6pm show will be the owner of Hacienda Santa Fe, and non-profit El Centro de la Raza (The Center for People of all races). 

El Centro is grounded in the Latino community who work to empower and defend basic human rights for marginalized populations in an effort to bring justice, dignity, and equality to all.


Our community has always embraced our hispanic brothers and sisters and in 2001 the city introduced our second sister city, Cuautla México

The Renton Sister Cities Association (RSCA) is a nonprofit organization that works in partnership with the City of Renton to enhance citizen understanding and appreciation for other cultures while promoting international goodwill and cooperation through people to people relationships world-wide. 

Although Torero’s will not be seen on tomorrow night's show, many of our other loved mexican hot spots will have the opportunity to chat and make a connection with all in our community.

You do not want to miss this unique experience. Be sure to tune in tomorrow night, Wednesday Nov. 18 at 6pm on the RentonLIVE! Youtube page. 

Have questions ready and get involved. 

And remember to say Habla Espanol!

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