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In Eagle County, where Latinos make up 30% of the population, it's easy for new immigrants to remain outside the mainstream culture. "Don't stay isolated," the instructor urges. "Learn English. Make friends and go to people's homes." Kathleen Forinash, human-services director for the county, observes that the newcomers "want to understand the community, but they feel vulnerable with none of the protections we have." Many left their families back in Mexico, "and the loneliness adds to their stress."
"Don't forget," Heredia pleads as the men prepare to head off into the night, "you came to this country to succeed. It is easy not to have problems with the law." Felipe was planning to run out for a six-pack after class but was sufficiently sobered by what he heard to change his mind.