Local agencies working to inform Spanish speaking communities via social media

Posted at 6:17 PM, Apr 09, 2020

As information regarding guidelines and changes to COVID-19 procedures are updated on a daily basis across the Central Coast, local agencies are working overtime to ensure that the Spanish-speaking community is also staying up-to-date.

CAUSE, a non-profit organization focused on justice for working-class and immigrant communities, said the two main topics they've had inquires about the past two weeks are associated with evictions and workers' rights in the fields.

Abraham Melendez, a policy advocate for the organization, believes social media is playing the greatest role in helping his team clarify misinformation within the community.

“We're trying to share information through things like Whats App, which a lot of the Spanish community use. Our organizers are doing live videos and chats on Facebook as well,” Melendez said.

Some of the myths explained in the videos involve anything from being arrested for simply being outside to workers not having the right to demand that social distancing is enforced during their shift.

The San Luis Obispo County Health Agency says they've been switching up some of their methods to help get out the information.

The ReadySLO.Org page can be translated to Spanish or any other language with a quick click and YouTube videos, like the Public Health Department's weekly briefings, can also use subtitles.

“We’re in the process of setting up a YouTube channel that will easily allow people to display the language of the caption that they are viewing the briefings in,” said Michelle Shoresman, who is part of the public information team for the county.

Melendez adds that it is important to reassure community members that they are valuable regardless of their language or legal status and should be kept up-to-date.

“We’re starting to see what we’ve always believed, that all of our farm workers and grocery store workers are essential workers," Melendez said.

If you have input on how San Luis Obispo County can better reach the Spanish-speaking community, you can call the phone assistance center at (805) 543-2444.

To learn more about CAUSE, click here.