Austin Latino Coalition holds vigil to remember lives lost to COVID-19

Coronavirus

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The “Tu Dolor Es Nuestro Dolor” mural, which translates to “Your Hurt is our Hurt,” is now displayed prominently on the corner of 5th Street and Congress Avenue in downtown Austin.

The wall reads:

en Austin

mas de 200 de nuestros

abuelos, abuelas, padres, madres,

esposas, esposos, hijos, hijas,

hermanas, hermanos,

tias, tios, primas, primos,

amigos queridos, han sido

victimas del

covid-19

The words translate to: “In Austin, more than 200 of our grandfathers, grandmothers, fathers, mothers, wives, husbands, sons, daughters, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, cousins, dear friends, have been victims of COVID-19.”

It’s striking words next to a woman with traditional Día de los Muertos makeup and yellow and orange flowers were painted in remembrance of all of the Austin Latinos and Latinas who have lost their lives due to COVID-19.

The Austin Latino Coalition, who was commissioned by Jill Ramirez and Coronado Studio to have the mural painted, encouraged the community to gather near the mural Sunday to hold a vigil in remembrance of those lives lost in the capital city.

“We feel it’s important that they know that we’re here and we feel that it’s important other Austinites know that our community in particular continues to be disproportionately affected by COVID,” said Paul Saldaña, coordinator for the coalition.

Hispanic people represent 50% of the total amount of COVID-19 cases the Austin-Travis County area has seen since the start of the pandemic, according to Austin Public Health’s online dashboard. Those numbers are what have inspired increased efforts for coronavirus education, PPE distributions and ways to honor those who have been impacted by the virus.

“There’s so many still in our Latino community that lack access to the basic fundamentals of masks and hand sanitizer,” said Saldaña, adding that members of the Latino coalition have tried to fill that need for resources.

Those who attended Sunday night’s event were asked to bring candles and they set up an altar in front of the mural. They were also asked to wear masks and to follow social distancing guidelines.

“We’re getting together to memorialize those we’ve lost but also to send a reminder that there’s so much more work to be done here,” Saldaña said.

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