Read More Salud Heroes Articles



Christina Duarte: Creating Virtual Health Classes to Fight the Pandemic in Laredo, Texas


Christina Duarte Creating Virtual Health Classes Fight Pandemic Laredo

Since childhood, Christina Duarte has wanted to help people. Helping people is why she became chief of health education and promotion for the Health Department of Laredo, Texas, a predominantly Latino city on the U.S.-Mexico border. When the coronavirus pandemic struck, Duarte immediately looked for ways to help her community, which struggled with disparities in COVID-19 case and death rates. So Duarte shifted the city’s in-person health classes to a virtual platform to help those at home during the height of the coronavirus quarantine. “Our participants continued to ask, ‘are you even going to have classes again? My mental health is at stake,’” she said. “Then the numbers increased. We started working on mental health preparedness here at the health department. ...

Read More

9 Amazing Latino Contributions to Urban Space, Presented by James Rojas


James Rojas via CNU.org latino urbanism

Since James Rojas was child, he has been fascinated with urban spaces like streets, sidewalks, plazas, storefronts, yards, and porches. He started noticing how spaces made it easier or harder for families, neighbors, and strangers to interact. For example, his urban space experience got worse when his Latino family was uprooted from their home and expected to conform to how white city planners designed neighborhood streets for cars rather than for social connection. “[Latinos] are a humble, prideful, and creative people that express our memories, needs, and aspirations for working with  our hands and not through language,” Rojas said. “However, there are no planning tools that measure this relationship between the body and space. Therefore, our mobility needs can be ...

Read More

Héctor Rodríguez: Bringing Latino Representation to the Comic Book World


hector rodriguez

To his students, he’s Mr. Rodríguez. To his fans, he’s the creator and author of the comic book and graphic novel series El Peso Hero. When he noticed a need for more Latino representation in comic books and literature, Héctor Rodríguez launched his long-time project as a web series in 2011. El Peso Hero is a Latino superhero who fights corruption, drug trafficking, immigration, and other real-life social and racial justice issues happening on the Texas/Mexico border. Now almost 10 years later, Rodríguez has printed several comic books, produced a radio novella and short film, and is working on developing El Peso Hero into a Hollywood production. Rodríguez first found inspiration for El Peso Hero during his childhood on the Texas/Mexico border. Inspiration on the ...

Read More

Jennifer Morris Brings Hispanic Heritage Month to her English Language Learners


Jennifer Morris teaching

You probably haven’t heard of Jennifer Morris. She’s an English Language Learner teacher at Mary McLeod Bethune Elementary School in Philadelphia. But to her students from Mexico, Puerto Rico, Honduras, and Colombia, she is a hero. When Morris noticed that some of her immigrant students weren’t as engaged, she felt a need to add more Latino culture to her classroom. That’s why she helped bring Hispanic Heritage Month to her school in 2019. Becoming an ELL Teacher Morris has always wanted to make a difference in her classroom. Her aspirations to become a teacher began early. “From as long as I can remember, I was always playing school at home. I would beg my mom to go out to buy my sister prizes so I could teach her how to do certain math lessons,” Morris ...

Read More

Denise Hernández: Finding Herself by Unlearning Implicit Bias and Embracing Her Chicana Heritage


Denise Hernández salud hero chicana implicit bias

Denise Hernández is a proud Chicana and a 5th generation San Antonian. She is the founder of Maestranza, an organization based in San Antonio that empowers community members through education, activism, and collaboration with other local social justice groups. She also coordinates events and constituent services for San Antonio City Councilman Roberto Treviño. MySA named her a “Rising Star in Their 20s.” She’s led speaker series, workshops, and even a TEDx talk. Denise Hernández is an educator, activist, and advocate for her community. And at only 29 years old, she’s just getting started. But the journey here was anything but easy. It took years of self-discovery, unlearning biases, and confronting the discrimination that her family has faced for ...

Read More

Ángela García: Helping Her Community Through Art and a Free Fridge


Ángela García Free Fridge

Ángela García wasn’t planning on becoming an artist. She entered college in the pre-med track, intending to go into a medical career. But then she started taking art history classes. And she kept taking them, despite still being in the pre-med track. “I was like, ‘You know what? I don’t like this. Maybe I don’t like the sciences as much as I thought I did. And I’m really interested in this art history curriculum.’ So, I switched over at the end of my sophomore year,” García said. Now she’s a senior art history major at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, with several large-scale art projects under her belt, having rekindled a passion for creative work from her childhood. “I used to do painting when I was younger but I kind of fell out of it for a ...

Read More

Jordana Barton: Helping Close the Digital Divide Amid COVID-19


Jordana Barton

The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is surging across the U.S., and the American death toll has eclipsed 130,000. Worse, this crisis is widening the gap experienced by households without internet access — a long-festering problem that has made unequal educational opportunities even more unbalanced, said Jordana Barton, a senior advisor in community development at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. "The COVID-19 pandemic has brought national attention to the digital divide—the gap experienced by households without internet access," Barton wrote. "Directives for social distancing and stay-at-home orders have made access to broadband an urgent necessity for families as they struggle to stay connected with schooling, jobs, health care, government assistance, and more." The Digital ...

Read More

Need Help? Erine Gray’s FindHelp.org Can Connect You to Local Social Services amid Coronavirus


Erine Gray, founder of auntbertha and findhelp.org social services websites, with his mother in Austin Texas

When he was 16, Erine Gray's mother caught the rare brain disease encephalitis, causing permanent damage and memory loss. Gray moved his mother to Austin, Texas, a few years later to help care for her. He was just out of college with an economics degree, doing contract work. She was 57 years old at the time with early-onset dementia, and no income. He struggled helping her with daily tasks and making sure she took her medications. Gray had to find a sitter for her when he left the house. Eventually she required 24-hour care. "Nobody has a road map for these types of situations, I learned that very early on," Gray said in an interview with Salud America! "We didn’t know what services were available to help." That's why, now 28 years after his mother's diagnosis, Gray is ...

Read More

Jason Rosenfeld: Using Healthcare Messaging to Inform His Community about Coronavirus


Jason Rosenfeld in Africa Ethiopia spreading health awareness communication knowledge

Communication is a critical aspect of the human experience, and, for Dr. Jason Rosenfeld, it is the key to making any societal shift. From working with small communities in Africa to helping rural towns in the Rio Grande Valley, he has devoted his career to crafting the right phrase or infographic that can effect change. This work in healthcare communications has led to numerous victories over countless threats. With the spread of the current novel coronavirus, COVID-19, Rosenfeld, his colleagues, and a team of medical students at UT Health San Antonio are addressing this new danger by creating health messaging to help people understand what this illness is, how it spreads, how to stay safe, and other critical pandemic information. Rosenfeld, DrPH, MPH—an Assistant Professor of ...

Read More