This week I participated in a Latino Simulation during a Community Health Action Team (CHAT) meeting. CHAT is a group of community leaders from several sectors who come together regularly and conduct “plunges” about specific issues that arise in our community. From the in-depth learning come some specific action plans.
The Latino Simulation arose from a plunge that focused on the local Latino experience. CHAT funded a project proposed by a local organization, ESTHER, to develop the Latino simulation. This simulation mirrors, in many ways, the poverty simulation created by CAP Services a few years ago, helping the community understand the barriers facing those in poverty. The Latino Simulation is designed to help us experience, on a very basic level, some of the day-to-day experiences of Latinos living in this area – including dealing with language barriers, government requirements, serious health needs, the justice system, and trying to figure out how to get to work in a community with limited transportation resources.
Given many previous experiences, I thought I understood quite a lot about the Latino experience in the Fox Valley, but this simulation helped me understand that I really don’t know how difficult life can be. Making it more interesting and closer to real life is that the different character profiles (we were each given one) mirrored the full spectrum of the types of Latinos living here- successful professionals, farm workers, children, those with health issues, some with no transportation, some with English skills, some with no English or education. In character, we then had to solve the various day-to-day issues with which we were presented. You get the idea.
The Latino Simulation will be available to the community on Saturday, October 25, 9:30-Noon at Prince of Peace Church in Appleton. If you are interested in participating in this free and very educational experience, email Marsha Dawson, [email protected]. I encourage you to consider it.