Last year, Linda accomplished something truly remarkable. In January 2021, the state of Colorado began to roll out vaccination clinics, and make vaccines broadly available. However, she saw firsthand how the pandemic disproportionately affected the health and livelihoods of Latinos in her communities. Although there was a COVID-19 vaccine readily available, Linda noticed there were several barriers preventing Latinos from getting vaccinated – language, technology, transportation and mistrust of the vaccine. She decided she had to do something about it.
She contacted the Governor of Colorado directly and asked, “why are you not reaching the people who need this vaccine the most? The immigrant, Spanish-speaking communities.” The governor said, “You’re right, that’s what we want to do, but have failed. Thank you for holding me accountable.”
Starting in March 2021, with the support of the Governor and Father Angel Perez-Lopez of St. Cajetan Parish, Linda helped set up weekly vaccination clinics through the summer. She single-handedly recruited volunteers, developed partnerships in healthcare to be able to run successful vaccination clinics that served thousands of people. During just the first clinic, nearly 2,000 people received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. After taking a small break, she’s now continued to hold these vaccination clinics. As of February 2022, Linda has helped more than 39,000 Latinos get vaccinated. A truly extraordinary number.
“I first wanted to get involved because I had seen how our families suffered for relatives who were lost during the pandemic,” shared Linda. “I helped them as they went through the heartache. I felt that helping our community get vaccinated was the solution to combat the contagion.”
Through her years as a volunteer, Linda has truly earned the trust of her community. That built trust is how she’s able to be successful in everything she does. Not only does she have trust, but she made the time commitment to make this happen, because Linda is always thinking of others, before she thinks of herself.
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