At the upcoming “Orgullos Hispanos Fair” in Durham, there is something that the participating healthcare professionals will all have in common.
They are all Latino. The fair on June 30, which is free and open to the public, celebrates the Latino connections in Durham’s healthcare community as well as connects attendees with healthcare providers, services and educational programs.
“The goal is for most, if not all, of the representatives at the fair to be Latino,” said Alex Villeda, a Duke alumnus who organized the event. “As someone who hadn’t even met a Latino physician until a few months ago, trust me, that this is something that people of all ages can benefit from.”
The “Orgullos Hispanos Fair,” which translates to “Hispanic Pride Fair,” will be June 30, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., at the Emily K Center, located at 904 West Chapel Hill Street in Durham.
Community members and students are invited to meet Latino healthcare professionals as well as learn about healthcare services and educational programs in the area. Fair participants include numerous healthcare providers from Duke as well as representatives from the Emily K Center, a nonprofit that serves as a college access hub in Durham; LATCH, which provides services to uninsured and underinsured Durham County residents; the Latino Commission on AIDS, El Centro Hispano, the College Foundation of North Carolina, various Durham Technical Community College health education programs, and more.
The “Orgullos Hispanos Fair” also serves as the culmination of the Summer Academy for Latinxs United for Diversity (SALUD), in which a group of 22 City of Medicine Academy students are spending July 26 through July 29 visiting Duke labs and participating in hands-on demonstrations, trying out surgical tools, talking with Latino healthcare providers about mentorship and resilience, and seeing first-hand what a college campus looks like.
Villeda, who organized the fair and SALUD summer program, is an adviser with the Duke College Advising Corps, in which he has spent a year at the City of Medicine Academy helping students think about and prepare for college. Villeda is a first-generation high school graduate who grew up in rural North Carolina, and he received his undergraduate degree from Duke University and is attending medical school at Duke in the fall.
Villeda said about a third of his students at City of Medicine Academy are Latino, and he wanted to show these students that a career in health care is possible.
“The ‘Orgullos Hispanos Fair’ is like a career fair in that it showcases careers that are available in addition to being a nurse or a doctor,” Villeda said. “This is a great way to network and promote public health outreach, but it’s also an opportunity to come together and celebrate the successes and unlimited potential of the Latino community.”
Find more information on the event’s Facebook page.
SALUD and the “Orgullos Hispanos Fair” are sponsored by the Duke Area Health Education Center (AHEC), Duke Office of Undergraduate Education, Duke College Advising Corps, the Duke-Durham Neighborhood Partnership, Duke Service-Learning, and the Duke Spanish Language Program, as well as supported by partners Emily K Center, El Centro Hispano, and the Latino Medical Student Association.