ChesMRC works to keep community updated

Matthew Peters, director of Chesapeake Multicultural Resource Center in Easton, posts messages like this one, translating information from Talbot County officials into Spanish.

EASTON — Chesapeake Multicultural Resource Center staff members have been working to ensure they can provide updates about the COVID-19 outbreak to the Hispanic community in Talbot County.

Matthew Peters, director of ChesMRC, said they receive updates from local agencies and immediately begin translating the messages.

"We will be getting the updates from the Health Department and Emergency Services, translating them, and getting them into the community via social media," Peters said. The center serves over 4,000 members of the Spanish-speaking and bilingual community listed in its database. 

Peters said different communities transmit information in different ways.

"Every culture has their own unique mannerisms in the effectiveness of communication, ways of receiving communication, and ability to adapt and adjust to new situations, whether that be based on difference of race, ethnicity, age, gender, socio-economic positions, political opinions or any other unique cultural identifying marker," Peters said.

"Some cultures prefer messages direct from their community and national leaders, others from clergy and trusted members of the religious community, others from their political party, other via texts or tweets and others via live televised conferences, he said."

"At this point, it appears that everyone is gathering at the table and doing their best to distribute accurate information in a variety of ways which directly reflects the diversity in our community," Peters said. "Here at the (Chesapeake) Multicultural Resource Center, we will play our small role in getting accurate information from our local leaders and agencies, and promoting that message to our clients, the immigrant community."

ChesMRC plans to continue providing services to their clients throughout the COVID-19 outbreak.

"We’ll continue to assist our clients with any needs and provide them with direct services when we can or refer them to agencies that can best meet their needs," Peters said. "We continue to manage an “emergency” fund to assist our clients in times of urgency and extreme need."