Our View: Bringing communities together with Vida Latina
According to a 2017 U.S. Census Bureau study, the Hispanic population of Eagle County makes up over 35% of the community. These are our coworkers, our neighbors and our friends.
As the local, trusted news organization here in Eagle County, the Vail Daily prints on the cover every day its mission of “bringing communities together.” It would be shortsighted to not consider over one-third of our valley’s community when it comes to delivering valuable information that helps inform Eagle County residents, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In March of 2019, Assistant Editor Ross Leonhart launched Vail Vida Latina with the collaboration of Battle Mountain High School teachers Paola Baglietto, Julieta Cavallo and Miguel Salinas along with their students. As evidence of our rich Spanish culture here in Eagle County, he was directed to the local high school from the local college to start finding a way to collaborate. The teachers started submitting community information in Spanish for parents, and the students started submitting touching first-hand stories of growing up in Eagle County.
Soon after launching, local nonprofits and organizations became contributors to Vida Latina, printed Fridays in the Vail Daily, as well as on the Vail’s Daily’s website and on Facebook. Mountain Recreation, Walking Mountains Science Center, Eagle County Sheriff’s Office, Bright Future Foundation and others in the community started submitting their content in Spanish. Less than a year into Vida Latina, the Vail Daily brought on local Edgar Arroyo as a translator, turning important English stories by Vail Daily reporters into Spanish.
And now, thanks to federal funding assistance, Eagle County local Julio Garcia Jimenez has joined the team as a Spanish-language reporter through early June. You’ve likely already seen some of his reporting in the local news section of the Vail Daily, translated from the original Spanish.
Jimenez, a graduate of Battle Mountain High School, went to Santa Clara University for college, graduating with degrees in communication and Spanish. He has a passion for community journalism, and this valley we love, and we’re excited to have him on the Vail Daily team. It’s just the latest step in an ongoing effort to more fully cover the communities we serve here in Eagle County.
During the coronavirus outbreak, content in Vida Latina has included resources for help; updates on county and state restrictions; translations of columns from Heath Harmon, the director of Eagle County Public Health and Environment; as well as tips for staying safe outdoors; and first-hand accounts from local high school students.
If you would like to contribute to Vail Vida Latina, or tell us how we’re doing, email Assistant Editor Ross Leonhart at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Vail Daily Editorial Board is Publisher Mark Wurzer, Editor Nate Peterson, Assistant Editor Ross Leonhart, Advertising Director Holli Snyder, Digital Engagement Editor Sean Naylor, Business Editor Scott Miller and Eagle Valley Enterprise Editor Pam Boyd.