Photo by Mike Von on Unsplash
Photo by Mike Von on Unsplash​​​

A global pandemic, a deep economic recession and a national reckoning on police violence against people of color – 2020 has been a life-changing year for many of us, including Colorado’s multifaceted Hispanic and Latino/x communities.

Across the country, Latinx people continue to be hit hard by COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, as well as skyrocketing job losses and unemployment. In the midst of these public health and economic crises, Hispanic Americans joined their voices with Black Americans in a call for an end to police brutality yielded against people of color.

Here in Colorado, through the Pulse: The Colorado Health Foundation Poll, we asked 2,275 Coloradans to tell us about their year: what’s keeping them up at night, what they’ve experienced and what the state needs to do to support health.

As the consequences of 2020 have not fallen on Coloradans equally, we looked closely at what Hispanic/Latinx Coloradans told us about how this year has impacted them. Here’s what we learned:

  1. A significant number of Latinx Coloradans are experiencing financial insecurity.
    • 28% of Latinx Coloradans are worried they won’t be able to afford enough food to feed their families, compared to 17% of White Coloradans.
    • One-third of Latinx Coloradans are concerned they will be without health insurance next year.
       
  2. Latinos across Colorado want the state to take action to confront the complex aspects of the coronavirus pandemic.
    • A majority of Latinx Coloradans support providing free COVID-19 testing, providing free COVID-19 vaccines, providing free medical treatment for COVID-19, and requiring that everyone wear a mask.
    • 61% of Latinx Coloradans believe the state should delay re-opening, even if it hurts the economy – even though only 35% of Latinos have been able to work from home during the pandemic.
       
  3. Latinx Coloradans are more likely to have had negative experiences with law enforcement.
    • One in five Latinx Coloradans have had a negative experience with the police in the past year.
    • About a quarter (24%) of Latinos in Colorado have felt afraid of the police in the last year.
    • A majority of all Coloradans (51%) think that Latinx Coloradans are more likely to be treated unfairly by police; 56% of Latinos think that.

The events of 2020 will show up in nuanced ways in 2021 and beyond – and it’ll be more complicated than a Black and White issue. As state and local leaders prepare to meet the challenges of the next year, it’s vital that we continue to take the pulse of Colorado’s growing Latinx communities to better understand how to create a healthier, more equitable future.

Learn more about Pulse: The Colorado Health Foundation Poll and use our interactive dashboard to dig deeper into the data. Latinx Coloradans aren’t alone in facing broad challenges this year; check out our other blog posts highlighting the experiences Coloradans living on lower incomes and Black Coloradans.