“With services that focus on translating materials for Latino migrant populations related to health and education, Migrantword aims to help bridge the English-Spanish language divide by getting information to those who need it most.”

“The services of Migrantword, established in 1996 by Colombian-born Acevedo, are especially valuable in a place such as California. Hispanics and Latinos comprise approximately 35% of California’s population, and account for nearly one-quarter of all cumulative AIDS cases in the state.”

“Traditionally, poor Latino workers have an innate fear of US law,” says Pablo. “They speak of La Migra [immigration] as you would speak of the bogeyman. It is a fear they constantly live with. And this can stop them from getting the help they need.”

“Despite the challenges, a recent study showed that two times more Latinos than whites believe HIV/AIDS is the country's most urgent health concern today. Partnering with groups such as Migrantword gives AIDS Walk the ability to provide important health information to this vulnerable – and often unseen - demographic.”

“According to Pablo, this is exactly where the role of Migrantword lies. “I really want to make a contribution to the migrant community. The ones who have less - that have not been able to integrate because of the language. The ones who are invisible.”

“Migrant workers are often at particular risk,” says Pablo, because they are separated from their families for long periods of time, and can be afraid to seek out any government services for fear of deportation.”

From Migrantword: Pushing HIV Education Over the Language Barrier, by Mei-Ling McNamara. Published in the AIDS Walk 2008 Guide. San Francisco, CA