14 Feb 2018
- By Christy Sakaziro – [email protected] – Palau & Micronesia Humanities Project Director
IN the beginning of this year, after much careful consideration, Vicente “Ben” Salas II accepted a new role, that of a case worker at the Indigenous Affairs Office.
“Our resident executive — our boss Roman Tudela Jr. — is mandated by the CNMI Constitution to establish a foundation for the advancement of our indigenous people; support local entrepreneurial development; and serve as an advocate on positions taken by the indigenous people,” Salas said.
His job involves listening, observing, documenting, identifying, problem-solving, then networking and partnering with other entities in the community such as the Department of Labor and the Division of Youth Services, to name a couple, and implement solutions.
He helps guides IAO clients along a three-point path of advancement beginning with self-determination, self-sufficiency and the eventual end which is self-sustainability.
“I enjoy my job,” he said. “I do know, as with anything, that challenges will arise and they will put my resolve to the test, but that’s OK because I believe that our office serves a greater purpose that benefits our community in the long run, especially our children and their children’s children.”
He said his previous work experiences with Northern Marianas College and Marianas Variety helped him gain valuable and useful experiences.
“In many ways, I was documenting the experiences of others. However, this time around, with case work, the main purpose is to help our local people toward their own advancement and improve their quality of life.”
He said the IAO has “great projects lined up to benefit our community and they will be revealed gradually over the course of 2018 and 2019.”
Salas said as always, he appreciates the support of his beautiful and loving wife, Tanya.
“Our wonderful three children are still growing into their own understanding of the world around them and their individual selves, but I take the time to explain to them how what I do benefits our community and is for the advancement of our people. While they may not fully comprehend it all just yet, I know they get that it is ultimately for their future and appreciate it in their own way.”
Source: Marianas Variety : http://www.mvariety.com/cnmi/cnmi-news/local/102213-vicente-ben-salas-ii-cares-for-the-indigenous-community-and-families