01/26/11 — Gaspar Gonzalez recovering after fall from ladder

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Gaspar Gonzalez recovering after fall from ladder

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on January 26, 2011 1:46 PM

Gaspar Gonzalez, longtime advocate for Hispanics in Wayne County, remains hospitalized in Greenville following a fall at Christmas.

Gonzales has been receiving treatment at the rehabilitation center affiliated with Pitt Memorial Hospital for the past two or three weeks, said a friend, Willie Cartagena, executive director of the Hispanic Community Development Center in Dudley.

"He was removing Christmas decorations and he fell from the ladder," Cartagena said.

At the outset, Gonzalez reportedly went to the emergency room at Wayne Memorial Hospital but sources there said he had been treated and released.

According to Pitt Memorial Hospital on Tuesday, Gonzalez is in fair condition.

"He has problems moving his hands and legs," Cartagena said. "I talk with him or visit every day. He's doing fine. The problem is he's trying to use his hands again, trying to build up the use of his hands and legs."

Gonzalez moved to Wayne County in 1978. The retired Army special forces officer has served as chairman of the Wayne County Latino Council and been a Wayne County magistrate.

In 2004, he and Cartagena decided to open the Hispanic Center as a supportive venture for the growing Hispanic population.

They hosted health fairs and community events, while becoming a resource for such services as job assistance, housing issues and counseling. The two men also taught English classes to parents at Brogden Primary School.

In 2005, the former diversity coordinator for Eastpointe was named the county's first Hispanic chairman for the Democratic party. He served for one term.