St. Louis: Found in Translation with Lourdes Treviño Bailon

“We chose that name [STLJuntos] because we felt like it was, STL had to come together in order for us to overcome this pandemic.”

Lourdes Treviño Bailon

Welcome to Navigating STL Schools, a podcast.  

Today’s guest is Lourdes Treviño Bailon, executive director with STLJuntos, which brings info, resources and food distribution to the Spanish-speaking community in St. Louis. Lourdes was raised in a border town in Texas, and grew up speaking Spanish as her primary language, so she has a unique perspective. In this episode, Lourdes sits down with Staci to discuss growing up with English as a second language, navigating the pandemic, and the current challenges faced by the Spanish-speaking community in St. Louis.

They discuss:

Jamie Driver
  • The importance of the support of a community which speaks the same language, especially if English is not the first language
  • How the pandemic really highlighted the lack of official information being disseminated in Spanish, especially in the Midwest
    • This whole community was not getting the message
    • If one group of people wasn’t receiving the info, everyone would be affected in the long run
    • STLJuntos was born to help translate important info into the Spanish language, beginning with the first stay-at-home order in 2020
    • Now a lot of government agencies are providing info in Spanish
  • Juntos means “together”
  • The mission of STLJuntos is to give everyone access to the same info
  • How STLJuntos pivoted from distributing info to distributing food relief
    • Partnered with sponsors and organizations to support the community
    • In response to people’s food insecurities
  • What can educators and organizations do to support Spanish-speaking families?
    • Make interpreters/translators accessible
    • Gain their trust, be welcoming
    • Understand their fear, encourage them to ask questions
    • Let them know you’re here to help with their needs
  • The pervasive myth that Spanish-speakers understand English
  • Are families able to provide what their students need for virtual learning?
  • Do parents know how to help their children navigate apps and platforms they are using for school?
  • There are not enough people offering help, resources, answers to these communities
  • Wifi and network access issues are definitely a concern for parents
  • Schools, by law, have to provide someone who speaks a parent/student’s language or can interpret for them
  • Lourdes Treviño Bailon is referring people to Navigate STL Schools as a resource for parents
  • What can Navigate STL Schools do for these parents, students and families?
    • Reach out, know how to market to that community
    • Make it know, that we are here, we are a safe place
    • Build trust in communities