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Jerome family's struggle to find reliable COVID-19 information due to language barrier

Posted at 9:27 PM, Aug 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-25 11:44:09-04

TWIN FALLS — The quotes in this article were translated from Spanish to English by Stephanie Garibay.

For Rocio Pupo and her family, getting reliable COVID-19 information has been a battle. Most of their knowledge about the virus has come from online sources or their family back home in Colombia.

"That's how we found out about everything going on, getting news from back home, and applying it over here. We are in a country where everything is supposed to be accessible, but that's the contrary for the Hispanic community," Clodomiro Certuche, Pupo's husband, said.

False information has been spread widely throughout the internet. Getting their news through online sources can be risky, Rocio said, especially since they don't know if they are receiving accurate information.

"You start to question how much of it is true and how much of it is false. And so you have to check your sources to see if what they are saying is true or false if we should follow their protocol or not," Pupo said.

Radio has proved to be an essential source to reach the Hispanic and Latino communities. Still, Rocio and her husband tell us at times, their schedules don't align with the times they put out vital COVID-19 information, which prohibits them from utilizing radio as a source.

When it comes to receiving their information directly from the state of Idaho, they have only attained their information directly from the state once because of the language barrier.

"It was only once, and it was in English, and there were some words that were too difficult to understand that we had to translate," Certuche said.
And they say they have seen the lack of resources for the Hispanic and Latino community result in people being misinformed and families around them being affected by COVID-19.

"When you don't know too much about such an important topic and the global impact it has, people start to make mistakes, and those mistakes can result in diseases and spreading the virus," Pupo said.

If you or someone you know needs support during this time, you can visit the CDC's website, which has information in Spanish and other languages. You can also visit the Idaho Commission on Hispanic Affairs' website.