Pasa La Voz provides news and Information to local Hispanics via text messages

Subscribe to Pasa La Voz: Send a text message saying “PASA” to (717) 420-1953 to get started.

yeimi gagliardi

“Scaling communication for hard-to-reach communities has been and continues to be a challenge. Think about it for a moment. Are you tired of text messages that are trying to sell goods and services that sometimes are unnecessary? How about a text-message service that actually delivers information that your family, friends, or neighbor needs? information about programs and services to improve your well-being, help you connect with others, or simply learn about events and activities for all? That is Pasa La Voz, a text-based bilingual information outlet supported by the community and for the community. Please help us share the word and sign up for this free service.”

pasa la voz amped square

Yeimi Gagliardi

Wellspan Health Services

Gettysburg Connection partners with Casa de Cultura, Collaborating for Youth, Manos Unidas, South Central Community Action Programs (SCCAP) and other local agencies to share information to Spanish-speaking populations in Adams County and the surrounding area through the Pasa La Voz program.

“Pasa La Voz” (Spanish for “Spread the Word”) is a free, participatory local news service providing empowering information to Adams County’s Latino community through text messages. Each week, our subscribers receive news, resources, and other information on issues such as health, housing, education, emergency preparedness, and immigration, and also have the opportunity to share their questions, concerns, and stories on the issues that concern them.

At least four thousand Adams County residents are of Hispanic origin and the Latino community is growing faster than other demographic groups in the county. At the same time, options for Spanish-language news have diminished. For many of the county’s Latino residents, limited news broadcasts from Univision and Telemundo are the extent of “local” news.

Many local news websites around the country have found an answer to filling this gap in text messaging.

Why Text Messages?

Information from news sources around the country suggests that when members of the Hispanic community are asked where they get news and information, websites rank low on the list. So, too, do email and Twitter. It is clear a news outlet designed for Latinos must look different from other news sources (one possibility is a Spanish-language Facebook news page, but there are concerns about misinformation and rumors that circulate on that platform).

Text messages provide a low-cost and effective way to quickly send news and information to community members. While not everyone has a home computer or email address, nearly everyone has a cell phone.

Actionable News and Two-Way Communication

Local residents often feel disempowered and look for information that can help them take action.

We believe that what residents want is “más información que la gente puede usar” (“more information people can use”). That is, if the issue of the day is about housing displacement, don’t just tell me how many people have been evicted from my community. Tell me what to do when I get an eviction notice, or how I can voice my opinion to local officials.

Our goal is to share resources that are relevant to Hispanic residents, not simply a repetition of English-language news. We focus on one issue each week, providing actionable information while also inviting our audience to share their questions, stories, or concerns on the topic at hand.

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