By: Kayla Solomon
MACON, Ga. — With COVID-19 information coming out daily and a statewide shelter-in-place order implemented, people are asking how all of this is being conveyed to the Spanish-speaking community.
Malik Drazny messaged 13WMAZ concerned about the facts of COVID-19 reaching our Spanish-speaking neighbors.
“I didn’t know of any other organizations or groups that I could actually ask about this, and one of my friends was the one who told me, ‘Just hit up the news, they’ll give you an answer,'” Drazny said.
To find the answer, we reached out to leaders of the Hispanic community here in Central Georgia.
One of them is Moises Velez, editor of ¿Que Pasa?, a monthly newspaper that has 20,000 readers. In the latest edition, there’s a COVID-19 flyer from the Medical Center, Navicent Health.
Spanish Navicent flyer
“I’m glad that at least Navicent Health put a flyer in Spanish. That demonstrates that they care about the community, but I wish more communities embraced the Hispanics and start to put more information in Spanish,” he said.
Velez says when it comes to school districts, like Bibb and Houston Counties, information comes in both English and Spanish. Other than that, most Spanish-speakers rely on him and other leaders, like the Rodriguez family, who own the restaurant El Tapatio and El Mercadito, a grocery store in Peach County.
Javier Rodriguez and his family have lived in Fort Valley for years. He says one of the ways he’s seeing the word get out to the Spanish-speaking community is social media.
“They were finding out through social media that it was becoming a world epidemic. I mean it was affecting everything, like even banks closing in Mexico so even doing wire transfers, people were noticing the effects,” Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez says law enforcement in Peach County have also gone door to door to make sure people understand the need to stay home.
Peach County has a higher Hispanic population than most Central Georgia counties, so county commissioners say they are taking steps to find a better way to communicate with them.