Jackson has a new online events calendar aimed at helping engage the region’s Spanish speaking community.
About 30 percent of Teton County’s population is estimated to be Latino. But many of those residents are often unaware of local events, partly because the information about them isn’t advertised in their language.
That’s according to Lina Collado Garcia, the director of outreach at the Teton Literacy Center, a nonprofit aimed at helping kids with reading and writing. She said the organization launched the bilingual calendar in an attempt to help local families get more involved in events around town.
“We would love to see more Latino families, for example, assisting town council, attending events, like being part of community surveys,” Collado Garcia said, “being able to be more of a stronger voice.”
She said local organizations, like immigrant advocacy group Voices JH, translate event information into Spanish and share on social media, but the literacy center saw a need to continue to consolidate information into one place.
Victor Hernandez, the center’s K-12 family engagement coordinator, said he hopes the calendar will help Spanish-speaking families like his.
“Personally, growing up here, my family never got to hear about these events,” Hernandez said. “Just because I grew up here and learned the language, I was able to integrate myself in the community.”
But Hernandez said newer immigrants may feel a separation from the rest of the Teton County community.
“So, families are there,” he said. “They want to be part of the community.”
Since announcing the launch of the calendar on Nov. 1, Hernandez and Collado Garcia said places such as the Senior Center of Jackson Hole and the National Museum of Wildlife Art have submitted event information, and the literacy center is looking to partner with the Teton County School District to share events.
The new bilingual calendar can be found on the Teton Literacy Center’s website, which states organizations need to submit event information in Spanish, even if that means plugging it into Google Translate. Submissions will be reviewed by the literacy center’s Spanish-speaking staff.