Listen: Laudi Campo of the Hispanic Federation explains how the Hispanic community shapes Central Florida, which she celebrates this month – Central Florida News
Tomorrow marks the start of Hispanic Heritage Month.
WMFE spoke with Laudi Campo of the Hispanic Federation about how the local Hispanic community is shaping Central Florida and what it is celebrating this month.
Read the full interview below.
Laudi: So we are one of the largest in counties like Osceola, the population, as Latinos make up the majority of the population in that county. So we’re making changes in the state, and Florida also has the third highest number of undocumented residents, which is important because they generate $ 7.6 billion in the state when doing farm work.
So yes, we are doing wonders in the state, because we Latinos are educators, we are business owners, we are freedom fighters. We are professionals, we are scientists, we are artists, we are doctors, we do everything as is. And of course, we are proud to be here and to be a part of this nation that we now call home.
Danielle: You know, when we think about how this community shapes the Central Florida and Orlando area, how do you think this community really shapes the culture and the kind of feel of this region?
Laudi: Now, I came here 10 years ago, and, and to the people that was here before I was, they say it’s a huge change. You see, much more specifically, when you talk about Central Florida, how many business owners, how many locations, how many schools, you see the difference in the way, a lot of Latinos, a lot of Spaniards, a lot of culture, music, we are a very happy family community.
So you’ll find that sometimes you see more events, more festivals, things like that, because that’s how we can get together. And I have to make sure people understand that we are here because we want to provide and also be a part of this nation and this state. Because again, as I said before, this is our new home, this is our home, and we want to make it enjoyable for our children and our future generations.
Danielle: What do you think people need to do to help raise awareness in this community? When I think of the start of COVID, there weren’t enough resources in Spanish and things like that. What do you think is still lacking in terms of awareness?
Laudi: You just mentioned that the language barrier is one of the most important things. We are learning from it, because we are doing a vaccination campaign.
And sometimes it’s not that people, for example, people don’t want to, it’s not that they don’t want to be vaccinated. It’s because they don’t understand the process or what’s going on. So yes there has been, as a government we have seen a good change. But there is an even greater need for culturally competent information for our community. It’s a good start, but there is still a long way to go.
And also to think that not all, do not consider us as one, the same group. We’re not, you can’t talk to a Puerto Rican the same way you talk to a Venezuelan and that’s not bad, that’s what makes us different. Our cultures are, we speak the same languages with a few words you might say in Spanish to a Puerto Rican, perhaps in a different context to a Venezuelan. These are therefore aspects that you should take into account when contacting our community. We are not monolithic. We are very diverse.
Danielle: In terms of celebrating the community, you know, we have a Hispanic Heritage Month month. But what would you like to see in terms of celebrating this community in this area? Do you think we are doing enough to celebrate it? Or would you like to see more?
Laudi: We see a lot of things and festivities as we recognize some of the people who were before us.
I would like to see more than a celebration. I would love to see more than a month that could be open to more access rather than celebration, yes we are celebrating what we are, what we have been doing here. But how about creating more opportunities, creating more culturally relevant websites and information?
It would be a big party. We celebrate our culture, but it will also make us feel more welcome and a part of what government is and what goes on in our daily lives. So yeah, I have to say they are doing a good thing. But other than celebrating more than that, you should be like you can surprise me with a website or something that will open more doors for Latinos to continue to pass on their lives and families here in Central Florida.
Danielle: You know, when you think about the rest of 2021, what are some of the focus areas that the Hispanic Federation is really going to try to hit hard, things that you really worry about, you know, as far as the community is concerned for the rest of? the year?
Laudi: Of course, COVID is our first main plan for this next one, the rest of the year, as we know, Latinos have been one of the communities hardest hit by COVID. We will therefore continue to educate and vaccinate people, we organize events everywhere and we make vaccinations accessible to our communities.
Another thing that we want to make sure is to bring our community back to our new reality, which means more technology embedded in jobs, more English. So we try to train. So our affected community may have a better chance of returning to the workforce with more tools.
And also, of course, we want to have and see a change in the immigration aspects of what’s going on. We wanted to see our DACA students and a set of laws that will help our immigrants continue to help our states, but legally that’s what they want to do.
Danielle: I want to know what you would like to celebrate in particular this month from some of the big successes you’ve seen in this field over the last year, you know, what, who would you shout, you know, to celebrate?
Laudi: I will cry out to first responders and our farmers, these were saving lives all the time. They were outside and our farmers put food on our tables so that we could continue to work. So as a Latina, who had seen this, I think it’s the best thing we can celebrate.