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

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Únete a Pasa La Voz: Enviar un mensaje de texto diciendo “español” al (844) 403-2239 para comenzar. O únete a WhatsApp.

Gettysburg Connection partners with Casa de Cultura, Collaborating for Youth, Manos Unidas, South Central Community Action Programs (SCCAP) and othe,r 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 is supported in part by a grant from the American Press Institute.

“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 that issues that concern them.

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Comparte un volante en español

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.

For English Speakers: Join Pasa La Voz: Send a text message saying “English” to (844) 403-2239 to get started.

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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