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Among all immigrant deaths in Canada due to covid-19, 19 percent were from Central and South America


June 17th, 2021

Toronto, ON

Upon the death of another migrant worker in Ontario, the Latin American Covid Task Force calls upon the Government of Canada to protect farmer workers and all immigrant workers from Latin-America across the Country.

Our Task Force supports Justice for Migrant Workers in their call for action after a father of two from Guatemala succumbed to Covid-19 while in the two weeks mandatory quarantine, in a hotel room in Sarnia, Ontario. The man in his 30's is the fifth migrant worker to die while in quarantine.

This devastating news follows a recent release from Statistic Canada of a new data set indicating that Latin American immigrants have the second highest mortality rate among immigrant communities affected by the Covid-19 pandemic in Canada. Among all immigrant deaths in the country, 19 percent were from Central and South America, a group that comprises only 1.3 percent of the national population.

The Latin American Covid Task Force receives this data with great sadness and expresses its condolences to the families and communities affected by these devastating circumstances. The data highlights the inequities experienced by the Latin American Communities.

Throughout the pandemic, this Task Force has continuously voiced that the Latin-American communities are experiencing a marked disadvantage on the social determinants of health, which place them in a more vulnerable position during the Covid-19 Pandemic. The social determinants of health affecting the community include lack of financial and economic opportunities, lack of social and civic participation, and persistent inequities in term of access to care and support.

Members of the Latin-American communities make significant contributions to essential services as frontline workers in industries such as food and packaging, transportation, construction, cleaning services, and retail, among others. Although this workforce contributes to the growth of the economy and the provision of care to sustain the country in the midst of multiple lockdowns, they have not necessarily shared the benefit of that growth or been recognized and compensated as essential workers.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, farm workers from across Latin America, including Mexico, Central, South American and the Caribbean, have been among the most fatally impacted. In the past year, over 2,230 farm workers contracted covid-19 and five have died while in quarantine, the latest was this Monday June 15th. **It is also well known that there is an overrepresentation of Latin Americans, among other immigrants, in the nursing and health care aide occupation.

The Pandemic has significantly worsened already precarious working conditions, which puts this population at higher risks of contracting Covid-19. Barriers to accessing services like not speaking English/French, the precarious immigration status, the lack of medical insurance and paid sick days, in addition to the dangerous housing conditions many are force to live in, like crowded settings, which makes these essential workers even more vulnerable.


The Latin American Task Force is following closely the impact of Covid-19 in our communities and asks the pertinent authorities to look at the circumstances surrounding these tragedies, and the treatment of Latin-American workers and the community at large. We must ensure health care organizations and workplaces are accountable for protecting the rights of all immigrants and the access health care without barriers is warranty.


The Latin American Task Force asks all level of Government, the Ministry of Health and Public Health Units to work alongside racialized communities, the health care system, community Task Forces and leaders to remove barriers to health care and emergency services for the non-insured. We must guarantee universal health care for everyone in Ontario, regardless of their immigration status or country of origin, and must ensure cultural and language specific services are available.

Latin American Covid Task Force



Fifth migrant worker dies in quarantine. Is ‘jurisdictional football’ over COVID regulations to blame?

























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April 22, 2021


Latin-American COVID Task Force Calls for
Paid Sick Days and Easy Access to Testing and Vaccination for the Community


The Latin-American Canadian communities in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), among other racialized communities, have been disproportionally impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic. To support these communities, a group of Spanish speaking health care professionals, including primary care providers, front line workers and health care administrators have been working together for over six months on the Latin-American COVID Task Force.

Recent data released by Toronto Public Health shows that Latin-Americans in Toronto are nearly seven times more likely to contract COVID-19 than their white counterparts. At the same time and although Latinos make up only 3% of the population of Toronto, data shows that Latin-Americans have the highest rate of hospitalization among all the populations. This new data evidence that Latin-Americans arrive late to care due to a number of factors, including the language barrier and the lack of knowledge and information about accessing and navigating the health care system. The lack of medical insurance also prevents individuals from seeking medical attention even when they are sick.

Access to testing sites and vaccination Centres should be made easy with a central booking portal in various languages to facilitate access for non-English speakers including the reassurance of cost-FREE services. Paid sick days are also necessary for essential workers who are making decision between health and risk or income. For many, losing their income will result in compromising their housing and food situation; individuals are left with having to make the hard decision of getting to work even when they are sick to ensure food on their table and a roof over their heads.

The Latin-American Canadian communities in the GTA have historically faced multiple systemic barriers to economic opportunities, civic participation, and structural inequities. These communities make up a large work force that has been the frontline of the pandemic in industries such as food and packaging, transportation, construction, cleaning services, retail, etc. Although this workforce contributed to the growth economy, they have not necessarily shared the benefit of that growth. During this pandemic, farm workers for example, most originating from Latin America; have been among the most fatally impacted. The Pandemic has exacerbated precarious working conditions. Barriers to accessing services like not speaking English/French and sometimes the lack of medical insurance makes these essential workers even more vulnerable.



The Task Force provides access to COVID-19 up-to-date information in Spanish. The group has been working with Spanish media outlets, from radio, papers and TV channels to promote public health measures. Among other activities, the task force partnered with South Asian Health Network and various organizations to host a massive virtual Town Hall in Spanish. It has supported Peel Public Health on the vaccination strategy for the Latino community in Peel and worked with the South Asian Task Force on a national vaccination campaign. The task force aims to reduce barriers to information access, and support individuals and families affected by COVID-19 by facilitating information sharing. We are not just fighting COVID-19; we are also working against misinformation and other systemic barriers to health and wellbeing.


For more information, please contact





Latino/Hispanic COVID Collaborators:

  • Agustina de Benedetti, Dr. Anahi Perlas, Carolina Berinstein , Dr. Irma Molina, Kala Velis, Jaime Robles, Jimena Merlo, Dr Jorge Filmus, Laura Guerrero, Lucía Gallegos, Dr. Malú Romero, Natalia Durango, Nayiberts Barzaga, Sandra Riaño, Ruben Rodriguez and Sil Hernando


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Comunicado de Prensa

Deciembre, 2020

Lanzamiento del Latino/Hispanic COVID Task Force


Las comunidades latinoamericanas de la región de Peel y del Área Metropolitana de Toronto (GTA), entre otras minorías étnicas de nuestra comunidad, han sido desproporcionadamente impactadas por la Pandemia COVID-19. Para apoyar a esta comunidad, un grupo de profesionales de la salud de habla hispana, incluyendo proveedores de salud de atención primaria, administradores de salud y líderes comunitarios se han unido para crear el Grupo de Trabajo Latino/Hispanic COVID Task Force.

El grupo proporcionará acceso en español a los recursos de promoción y protección de la salud relacionada con COVID-19, a través de información actualizada sobre la Pandemia, material educativo y conexión directa a los servicios disponibles. Con un enfoque culturalmente apropiado, el grupo de trabajo tiene como objetivo reducir las barreras de acceso a la información y apoyar a los individuos y familias afectados por COVID-19 facilitando así el intercambio de información. No sólo estamos luchando contra COVID-19, sino que también estamos trabajando contra la desinformación y otras barreras sistémicas para la salud y el bienestar.


Las comunidades canadienses latinoamericanas en el GTA han enfrentado históricamente múltiples barreras sistémicas a las oportunidades económicas, la participación cívica y han sufrido claras desigualdades estructurales. Estas comunidades constituyen una gran fuerza de trabajo que ha estado en la primera línea de la pandemia en industrias como la de alimentos y empaques, transporte, construcción, servicios de limpieza, comercio minorista, etc. Sin embargo, aunque esta fuerza de trabajo ha contribuido al crecimiento de la economía, no necesariamente ha compartido el beneficio de ese crecimiento.

Durante esta pandemia, los trabajadores agrícolas, por ejemplo, la mayoría de los cuales son originarios de América Latina, han sido los más afectados. La pandemia ha exagerado sus precarias condiciones de trabajo. Las barreras para acceder a los servicios, como el no hablar inglés/francés y, en ocasiones, la falta de seguro médico, hace que estos trabajadores esenciales sean aún más vulnerables durante estos tiempos.


Los datos publicados por el departamento de Salud Pública de Peel sobre COVID-19 y grupo étnico, muestran que mientras las minorías visibles representan el 63% de la población de la Región de Peel, estas a su vez constituyen el 85% de los casos de COVID-19. Los miembros de la comunidad asiática, negra y latina son los que encabezan las estadísticas en este informe. (El informe puede consultarse en línea -


El Grupo de Trabajo Latino/Hispanic COVID Task Force está formado por trabajadores de habla hispana como médicos, enfermeras practicantes, administradores, trabajadores sociales, entre otros. Este grupo está actualmente animando a los trabajadores de la salud a unificar esfuerzos y apoyar esta iniciativa. La participación es voluntaria y no compensada económicamente, y el grupo es apolítico.  


El espacio principal de este grupo es un sitio web que ya se ha puesto en marcha. contendrá mensajes que serán apoyados en todo el sector por las partes interesadas en la atención de la salud y hashtags específicos para movilizar los mensajes.

Miembros colaboradores de Latino/Hispanic COVID Task Force:


​·        Agustina de Benedetti, Dr. Anahi Perlas, Carolina Berinstein , Dr. Irma Molina, Kala Velis, Jaime Robles, Jimena Merlo, Dr Jorge Filmus, Laura Guerrero, Lucía Gallegos, Dr. Malú Romero, Natalia Durango, Nayiberts Barzaga, Sandra Riaño, Ruben Rodriguez y Sil Hernando 

Cases of COVID-19 in Peel: Dashboard and information about the status of COVID-19. Retrieved January 04, 2021, from Dashboard and information about the status of COVID-19





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