Report shows how COVID-19 pandemic impacted Latinos across Colorado |

Report shows how COVID-19 pandemic impacted Latinos across Colorado

While sitting in Rainbow Park in Silverthorne on June 4, 2020, working mother Neyra Lopez describes her struggle to live and work in Summit County during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Liz Copan/Summit Daily News archives

To better understand how the state’s Latino population was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights recruited BSP Research to conduct a survey in August. The survey collected responses from 1,000 Latino adults from across the state, and the complete findings will be released next month.

According to a news release, some of the initial findings were that 60% of Latino families had their work hours or pay cut, or had someone in their household lose their job; 56% had difficulty paying their bills or utilities; 50% had difficulty paying their rent or mortgage; and 33% have not had enough food to eat.

The release stated that Latinos on the Western Slope were more likely to have difficulties meeting basic needs, including about 40% who did not have enough food to eat and 64% who had difficulties paying their rent or mortgage.

To make up for cut or reduced paychecks, the news release reported that 34% said they’d used up all or most of their savings to pay for their expenses and that 19% reported they had to skip a monthly car, rent or mortgage payment. About 20% reported they’d postponed or cut back on health-related expenses. The survey also found that 14% of respondents said they’d moved or changed their housing as a result.

The release says 42% of Colorado’s Latino population had $1,000 or less in savings for financial emergencies and that 20% had $100 or less in savings. In general, the survey reported that 37% of Latinos in Colorado are “very confident” that they can pay for basic living expenses, such as food, housing and utilities.

In order to make ends meet, the survey found that 19% of Latino residents on the Western Slope “have turned to pay-day or easy loan companies that charge high interest rates.”

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