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How one organization is using a nursery rhyme to reach the Hispanic and Latino community

Posted at 5:04 PM, Jan 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-20 19:04:52-05

MAGIC VALLEY — The South Central Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is taking a unique approach in reaching the Hispanic and Latino community to encourage them to wear a mask. Their mask campaign is using a popular Spanish nursery rhyme about a frog who heals kids.

"There's a saying that goes back to the 1900s. Even my grandmother would say this little rhyme about sana, sana, colita de rana," Margie Gonzalez, Executive Director of the Idaho Commission on Hispanic Affairs, said.

Those who grew up in a Hispanic and Latino household have most likely heard that nursery rhyme. The South Central Hispanic Chamber of Commerce says they wanted to use something that resonated culturally with the Hispanic and Latino community to get their message across.

"If you go back towards the end of October and the beginning of November, the number of cases in the area is just really out of control, especially amongst Hispanics. A community that has been disproportionately affected more than their anglo Saxon counterparts," Benjamin Reed, a local radio host and a member of the South Central Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, said.

The campaign video starts with a baby crying and being soothed by the small frog while the mother sings the nursery rhyme. The South Central Hispanic Chamber of Commerce uses the verse to tell people if they wear a mask, they increase their chances to see another day.

The organization says they wanted to reach the Hispanic and Latino communities because they have been disproportionately affected throughout the pandemic. They say wearing a mask was the most powerful tool the communities had to protect themselves.

"As community leaders, as those who work with businesses, and work with those who are out and about as essential workers, we were very concerned, and because of that, we made a decision that we had to do something," Reed said.

The campaign started in November and originated in the Magic Valley, but with a grant from the Idaho Commission on Hispanic Affairs, they were able to spread that message state-wide. They say radio stations also played a big part in helping get the message across.

"We know that we have very isolated communities and their only means of communications in some cases is the radio. So we've tapped into every radio station there is in the state to try and get this message out," Gonzalez said.

The organizations say their next goal is to create a vaccine campaign to get more information about the vaccine to the Hispanic and Latino communities.