Spanish-Language Videos Offer Chesterfield Latino Community COVID-19 Information
*VPM intern Alan Rodriguez Espinoza reported this story
Chesterfield County is now sharing Spanish-language videos on YouTube to provide Latino residents with coronavirus-related health and safety resources.
Two recent videos offer advice for parents on helping children handle stress and other strong emotions. The videos are produced in collaboration with the county Department of Mental Health Services and the Chesterfield County School System.
Chesterfield County's Community Engagement Coordinator Juan Santacoloma says these videos offer Spanish-speaking parents information they otherwise would not have access to, because most coronavirus resources are in English.
He says this language barrier is a unique obstacle that immigrant communities are facing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“They don't know where to find a system or resources,” he said. “They don't know how to follow instructions, so I think it's really important that the government and agencies help these people in their own languages -- not just Spanish, but others.”
He adds that in some cases, a fear of being detained by immigration authorities can impede undocumented families from seeking crucial medical assistance.
“COVID-19 does not discriminate [against] anybody,” Santacoloma said. “Anybody can be infected, so when people receive the information in their own language, it’s better for them because it’s an easy way to understand the guides, the regulation, their advice.”
Chesterfield has just over 32,000 Latino residents. At almost 10 percent, Chesterfield has the biggest Latino population in the Richmond Metropolitan Area.