Grantee Spotlight: AMISTAD

The third wave of the pandemic is upon us, as recently reported by Colorado Public Radio. And Latinos are among those being hit the hardest in this latest surge.

Newly reported infections for Hispanic and Native American populations shot up starting in early October, according to state data. Now, the seven-day moving average of newly reported coronavirus infections is at 80 cases per 100K people for Hispanic residents and more than 60 cases per 100K for the American Indian and Alaska Native population. In both cases, the infection rate is more than quadruple what it was two months ago.
The surge in cases within these populations is the culmination of centuries of healthcare disparities in communities of color. Experts say inequality isn’t just rearing its head in hospitals, but in many aspects of pandemic life. 
Locally, AMISTAD – a grantee of Community Foundation Boulder County that promotes education, health, and quality of life for our Latino community – is stepping up.
“With funding from the Community Foundation, we were able to create a basic needs fund to support 187 families with basic needs bills,” says Jorge De Santiago, Executive Director of AMISTAD. “Through our promotoras team, we identified and connected the families with the fund.
“This is a very impactful way to meet the needs of Boulder County Latino residents.”
Reflecting on the past year, Jorge adds: “The biggest change we experienced in 2020 is that we had to adapt to the new normal.
“Our work is community-based – working directly with families in their neighborhoods, schools, clinics, and at community events. COVID-19 pushed us to reinvent ourselves, and to be creative in meeting the needs of our community.”
Specifically, AMISTAD moved its programming and outreach online. “The results have been beyond our expectations,” Jorge says. “But at the same time, inequities in Boulder County became even more apparent. More than ever, AMISTAD will continue to address those inequities, including developing recommendations to existing systems that aren’t working equally for every resident in Boulder County.”
AMISTAD is creating a grassroots racial equity community educational campaign to both call out the issues, as well as recommended systems changes. Concludes Jorge, “If we don’t make changes to systems of oppression and have real conversations about race and equity, we can’t improve the quality of life for our Latino community – now and for generations to come.”
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, your Community Foundation Boulder County has granted $1,504,584 in support of numerous local nonprofits, including AMISTAD. If you've not yet done so in 2020, please consider making a donation to the Community Foundation’s annual operating campaign, adding to our capacity to provide local leadership and to mobilize resources to improve the quality of life for everyone in Boulder County.