December 15, 2020
Like many parents Hannah Palma and her husband Juan Carlos, a native of Costa Rica, have struggled adjusting to educating their two elementary-aged girls Brisa and Maite during COVID-19. Distance learning has been difficult for the Grand Marais family and affording the necessary technology has been even more of a challenge.
Vivianette Rivera recently moved to Cook County from Puerto Rico and felt the stress of needing to buy computers for children who are adjusting to a new school.
The single mom moved to the area for a new job opportunity, but spending hundreds of dollars on school technology would have significantly set her back financially.
Parents across the state of Minnesota have struggled with adjusting to distance learning and that’s why LatinoLEAD decided to get involved. In October, LatinoLEAD’s network engagement and events (NEEP) committee launched a fundraiser as a way to celebrate Latinx Heritage Month. LatinoLEAD successfully raised thousands of dollars to purchase chromebooks for Latinx students primarily in Greater Minnesota.
Earlier this month, LatinoLEAD executive director Irma Márquez Trapero and NEEP committee member Camila Michelli traveled to Grand Marias to deliver chromebooks to these families and others.
“It was a great experience seeing the look on the families’ faces. They were very grateful. They were so welcoming. It was wonderful creating friendships and bonds with our Latinx community from Greater Minnesota. We have more similarities than differences and we must all unite to leverage our resources and collective impact,” Irma says.
A LatinoLEAD member, Laura Muus, who formerly worked for Cook County Chamber of Commerce, helped LatinoLEAD coordinate the chromebook giveaway. Laura says Latinos in Cook County feel forgotten and isolated because of the distance.
“Receiving assistance from LatinoLEAD shows that we are not alone. That even during difficult times like COVID-19, there are people that are willing to help, and that keep us in their thoughts even though we live at the tip corner of Lake Superior, almost in Canada,” Laura says.
“I was able to learn more about this exceptional organization this past weekend, and all I can think of is the selfless people who care about others and whose only interest is to nurture Latinos in our state to have a brighter future.”
Irma says a special thank you must go to the LatinoLEAD network, one of our corporate partners Best Buy, and the Minnesota Hispanic Bar Association for making this campaign a resounding success.