By Michael Abeyta

DENVER (CBS4)– Months after the coronavirus pandemic hit Colorado, there are still essential workers missing personal protective equipment in order to do their jobs.

(credit: CBS)

Patricia Barela Rivera and her friends from Las Mujeres Valientes are busy these days. They are sewing masks for migrant workers in the San Luis Valley to protect them from COVID-19.

“We understand from the Alamosa community that these workers have no masks and no gloves,” she says.

You may think that doesn’t affect you, Patricia thinks it really does.

“When you’re sitting down for dinner or lunch or even breakfast and you have fruit or vegetables that you are eating, these are the people that are picking them for us,” Patricia said.

She says she has heard that workers in that part of Colorado don’t really know how dangerous the virus is because they haven’t seen it in person, “They really don’t understand how this virus will affect them.”

(credit: CBS)

One person who does know is Jennifer Piper she works for the American Friends Service Committee fighting for immigrant rights and has seen the toll COVID-19 takes on immigrants.

“There’s just a constant worry and anxiety there,” said Jennifer. “All of the challenges that each of us face as citizens are multiplied by two and three times by the immigrant community.”

Jennifer says it’s important for immigrant workers to have masks because they provide the essential services we all need to survive.

“We’re all interwoven. There’s no separate immigrant community from the larger community and so making sure that the State passes legislation that protects their rights and their health is important to all of us,” Jennifer said.

(credit: CBS)

Even though Las Mujeres Valientes are only able to make 160 masks, which isn’t nearly enough for every worker in Colorado, Patricia says at least the community will know Coloradans care, “We wanted to show them that we are here for them.”

Anyone who would like to Donate to COVID-Relief help can online: www.slvahec.org

Or send a check to:

San Luis Valley Area Health Education Center

P.O. Box 1657

Alamosa, CO 81101

ATTN: Lisa Lucero/COVID-Relief

Michael Abeyta

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