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Walk in Our Shoes: Latino Simulation Coming this Fall

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They live among us, but we do not really know them. They have come, as our ancestors did, to make a better life for themselves and, above all, for their children. But their efforts are complicated by a restrictive and politicized immigration system.

ESTHER’s Latino Simulation will give participants a chance to deepen their understanding of the problems that the Fox Valley’s 20,000 Latinos face: finding jobs and transportation, obtaining health care, keeping their documentation up-to-date or living without it, and trying to understand a strange language and culture.

During the 2 1⁄2 to 3-hour event, each participant will assume the role of a Latino character. The individual will face specific challenges that must be solved during the simulation, which will cover four days in the life of the character. On the first “day,” a character might need to get a job. To do so, he or she will visit a simulated employer, where a trained volunteer will interact with the character. The interaction will show the challenges that the character faces. For example, the employer might ask the character to fill out a job application. The form would be in English, which the character does not know well.

ESTHER is developing the project, which was initiated by the Community Health Action Team (CHAT). As currently planned, up to 52 characters can participate in each simulation.

The simulation experience will be open to anyone, but it is especially recommended for community leaders; administrators, staff and volunteers of schools, nonprofits, and social service agencies; and employees and human resource professionals.

Watch ESTHER’s Facebook page and this website for a schedule of these simulations later this year.

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