Simpson and Valdez join forces with Los Promotores del Valle de San Luis  

 Senator-elect Cleve Simpson and Representative Donald Valdez joined together with the Los Promotores del Valle de San Luis and Schulz Realty to spread some holiday cheer among the residents affected by COVID-19 in Center, CO. Mr. Simpson and Mr. Valdez masked up and visited porches with over 100 stockings full of gifts, assembled and donated by Schulz Realty.   The households each gave their story about how COVID-19 affected their lives in different ways. Some had lost family members, some had their whole family fall ill, some were put out of work and some were hit with both cancer and the virus.  Cleave stated “I was both humbled and inspired by the opportunity to participate with community members helping other community members in the Valley struggling with the reality of COVID 19.  We don’t always speak the same language, but the pain of losing loved ones is evident beyond spoken words.  It was inspiring to see our community rise up to help each other in these times of need, and to see a glimmer of hope and happiness in those family’s eyes.    The Promatora Movement in the San Luis Valley was started during the May 2019 COVID-19 outbreak in the Center area by Isaac Grody-Patinkin, Prevention Services Coordinator—Health Equity Lead at the Silver Thread Public Health District, Lisa Lucero, Director of Implementation at the San Luis Valley Area Health Education and Luis Murillo, Center School’s Skoglund Middle School Principal.  “It’s important to help out the community in need, especially during this pandemic. I’m making sure the community is being heard.” said Donald Valdez.   During the spring it became apparent that there were unique challenges being faced by the community in Center, like language barriers and health care needs. It was during this time that Murillo created a plan to reach non-English speaking members of the community and Guatemalans living in Center. Resources have,  COVID-19 has continued to Los Promotores del Valle de San Luis are currently a part of a statewide promotora network called Project Protect that received funding from Project Protect Food Systems(PPFS).The Project Protect states, “As millions of workers stay at home in response to COVID-19, food systems workers have continued to operate in the fields and packing plants, with rising numbers of infections, death, and impact on our rural and agricultural communities.  PPFS is a coalition representing immigrants, farmers, scholars, activists, unions, and workers across Colorado working to identify, elevate and address the needs of the people who contribute their labor to all parts of the food system.” 


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