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West Valley City Journal

Latino organization seeks to combat misinformation about COVID-19

Nov 22, 2021 02:39PM ● By Darrell Kirby

Aaron Tristan of the local affiliate of Latino advocacy organization UnidosUS speaks with a man at a booth in West Valley City to provide information about COVID-19 and its vaccines to the Hispanic community. (Darrell Kirby/City Journals)

By Darrell Kirby | [email protected]

One thing’s for sure during the COVID-19 pandemic—the public has been bombarded by information from numerous sources about the virus and vaccines to the point where many people don’t know what’s fact or false. 

West Valley City’s Latino community has been on the receiving end of a lot of questionable data. 

A Latino civil rights and advocacy organization is reaching out to the local Hispanic population to try to provide more accurate information about COVID-19 and how to control its spread. 

UnidosUS, formerly known as the National Council of La Raza, brought its national campaign, “Esperanza Hope for All” to different locations around West Valley City in October to talk with people and hand out literature in hopes of combating confusing COVID-19 information, especially among people who encounter language, cultural, and other barriers to getting accurate data.  

“We’re basically making it as convenient and comfortable as possible where no question will go unanswered,” UnidosUS spokeswoman Karina Diehl told the West Valley City Journal. “We’re also helping them find where they can get tested and where they can get vaccines.” 

Diehl said recent statistics indicate that of the 77% of adults in the U.S. who have received one of the COVID vaccines, 23% have gone into the arms of Hispanic people, a number she thinks should be higher. “Beyond fear, it’s misinformation and lack of information that’s really the issue within our community.”

At a booth in front of Azteca Indoor Bazaar on 3500 South, Aaron Tristan of the local UnidosUS affiliate echoed the belief that conflicting information is clouding many Latinos’ understanding of the virus. “They hear things from their coworkers and they take that to be true. We’re trying to give them the right information,” Tristan said.  

“We’re here trying to educate our Hispanic community where they can go to get the COVID shots. We’re explaining the different vaccinations that are available to them,” said Ana Farias, who assisted at the booth. 

Diehl said that UnidosUS hopes to expand the Esparanza Hope for All mobile tour in the future to address other issues impacting Latinos.