Amid pandemic uncertainties, Latino immigrants put trust in their 'promotoras'
From providing accurate COVID-19 information to advocating for testing and vaccination with cultural sensitivity, these community healthcare workers were key to serving marginalized Hispanic populations.
For nearly three weeks, Fidelina Velazquez, who has diabetes and high blood pressure, debated whether to get a COVID-19 vaccine. The 59-year-old had been hospitalized for COVID-19 before vaccines were available and didn’t want to get sick again. But she had heard rumors that the vaccines could kill people or were meant to wipe out chronic disease patients like her. To help her decide, Velazquez turned to a trusted source she had relied upon since the pandemic started: her local promotoras or Spanish-speaking community health workers.
With boots on the ground and typically no medical degree, but a strong desire to improve their community’s health, promotoras have been providing culturally appropriate health education, while serving as patient advocates for Latino populations