Puerto Rico Establishes Ohio Office In Cleveland

CLEVELAND (AP) - Puerto Rico has opened an office in Cleveland as a link to the more than 66,000 Puerto Ricans living in Ohio.

The office offers Puerto Ricans help in obtaining official records, such as birth and death certificates, or to offer legal assistance on matters such as family inheritance.

It also will work to help Puerto Ricans economically and on political issues.

Census figures show there are about 30,000 Puerto Ricans living in Cuyahoga County and 13,000 nearby in Lorain County. Puerto Ricans reside in 14 of Ohio's 88 counties.

Marcos Rivera, 28, who came to Cleveland with his family in 1988 from Puerto Rico, will run the office. Rivera served eight years in the Marine Corps.

"My job is to get out there, meet the people and hear their needs," he said.

A ceremonial opening of the office is scheduled March 7 in the Rotunda of Cleveland City Hall. Mari Carmen Aponte, director of the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration, is expected to attend.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)