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Camino Health Center conducting survey on North Carolina’s Latino community

Camino Community Center is conducting a research study to better understand the needs of North Carolina's Latino community.
Courtesy of Camino Community Center
Camino Community Center is conducting a research study to better understand the needs of North Carolina's Latino community.

Camino Health Center started collecting survey responses for its Latino Community Strengths and Needs Assessment in September of 2021.

The bilingual multicultural organization primarily serves Charlotte’s Latino community.

“We're a data-driven organization,” said Lennin Caro, a research assistant with the Camino Research Institute, the group in charge of the study.

So far, the organization has received more than 300 responses out of their goal of 5,000 by May of this year.

Camino Research Institute is working with health clinics, pastors and community members across the state to reach respondents.

As far as the objective of the assessment, Caro says it's two-fold.

“Internally, it's to help tailor our services to what the Latino population is actually saying they need,” Caro said. “We want to be smart with our energy and our time and our money to invest in things that the Latino population wants to be addressed.”

Caro says Camino Research Institute will also share the data with the public and other organizations that work with the Latino community.

The research group compiled and analyzed data it collected from the 226 surveys it received between September and November of 2021.

According to the preliminary analysis, the main issues for the Latino community include economic hardships, health care and immigration needs.

Most respondents see being bilingual as one of the great strengths of the Latino community. At the same time, half of the respondents say they’ve faced discrimination, and the top reason they cite for this is language.

“So you get this tension,” Caro said. “That language, even if you have the ability to speak English and Spanish, if you speak with an accent, that could also be something that is perceived as partially detrimental because it causes them to be discriminated against by other people in the community. So it's a theme that we want to pursue in the later phases of this study.”

While the survey is anonymous, it does collect data on the immigration status and general location of the respondent. Caro says this will allow researchers to single out data points and compare them across the different groups in the Latino community.

Camino Research Institute is collecting responses for the survey until May. Caro says the group also wants to conduct focus groups to get more insight. The survey is available in both Spanish and English on Camino Health Center’s website.

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Maria Ramirez Uribe is a Report for America corps member covering issues involving race, equity and immigration for WFAE and La Noticia, an independent Spanish-language news organization based in Charlotte.