Across the country, Latino communities bear the brunt of COVID-19. In Texas, Harris County Judge, Lina Hidalgo, says coronavirus data is, “A wakeup call,” and in Utah, Governor Gary Herbert says the toll on Latinos is, “alarming.”
This week’s “5 Essential Updates” for our gente show how our community supports each other throughout this crisis. We include: El Paso mourning while social distancing, undocumented detainees protesting inadequate conditions, and Latino organizations supporting our small businesses.
1. El Paso mourns while socially distant — August 3rd marked the one-year anniversary of the El Paso massacre, a mass shooting fueled by Anti-Latino sentiment that left 23 dead, 23 injured, and countless in mourning. As COVID-19 ravages Texas, the El Paso community have created ways to remember and mourn while staying socially distant. A drive through luminaria vigil and online memorial exhibition are two ways the community honored the anniversary.
2. Tinderbox for infection — The nation’s worst coronaviurs outbreak that has occurred in an ICE detention center happened in Farmville Detention Center, where more than 70% of the undocumented immigrants detained tested positive for the virus. In some cases, detainees have protested against their conditions and have been met with force.
3. The housing crisis was already here, then the pandemic hit — A new study shows that the housing gap for white families and families of color is widening. Latino communities are already seeing higher unemployment rates and, if nothing is done to address this problem, greater housing disparities will follow.
4. Getting creative with our comida — There’s a history of eating comfort food during pandemics and the coronavirus is no different. The past few months have brought about new food trends — from baking bread to making whipped coffee. Latinos have also expanded our practices in the kitchen. Most recently, many have opted for healthier and non-Trump-supporting Adobo and sazón alternatives.
5. Support for Latino small businesses to stay afloat — According to Sean Salas, of Camino Financial, Latino small-businesses are less-likely to recover from this crisis because they are not receiving relief funds. Some organizations have stepped up to address this, including the Legal Aid Center for Southern Nevada, which is providing capital for Latino small businesses to get through the crisis.
As the coronavirus pandemic continues, we hope more organizations, projects and local governments take note and support where the aid has fallen short.