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How COVID-19 has impacted the Latino community

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SOUTH SIOUX CITY, Neb. (KTIV) - Several leaders virtually gathered Thursday to discuss the impact COVID-19 has had on the Latino community.

KTIV spoke to Unity in Action - an agency in South Sioux City, Nebraska that promotes workers’ rights, civic engagement, and justice for Latinos in Siouxland.

Executive Director Olga Guevara says Latinos make up a large percentage of essential workers in the food industry -- including meatpacking plants, restaurants, and grocery stores.

"Latinos experiencing the hardships of navigating a complicated system in a language that is not their own," said Guevara. "This has resulted in benefit delays some which have been longer than 30 days also feeling the pressure from their employers, nurses, landlords, and other bill collectors".

Plus, she says often times accessing therapy in the Spanish language is almost impossible, and more needs to be done to provide access to these services to minorities, especially during a pandemic.

"The COVID-19 pandemic has resurfaced that historical problem of social-economic disparities in America, and that disproportionately impacts Latinos quality of life compared to other Americans," said Guevara "We want to have more data, we want to advocate for more transparency, we want to know how this pandemic has impacted minorities and other people of color".

Guevara says moving forward she hopes the mental and general health needs and safety of all essential workers will be prioritized.

Xava Parra

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