Collecting Pandemic Stories From Latinx Iowans

Design Image of a person in a mask

This story first appeared on Iowa Public Radio. An excerpt can be viewed below. To read or listen to the full story click here.

An oral history partnership has an Iowa State student collecting the stories of Latino/a Iowa and their experience of the pandemic.

Latino Iowans made up a disproportionate number of known COVID-19 cases, as Iowa Public Radio previously reported. A project at Iowa State University hopes to make sure those voices don't get left out when we talk about the impact of the pandemic.

In this episode of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe speaks with Lucía Suárez, an associate professor of Spanish and Latinx Studies at Iowa State University, and her intern Iris Martinez about their project to record the voices of Latina/o Iowa. The project is a collaboration with the Voces Oral History Center at The University of Texas at Austin.

"Their first response is 'You want me to tell you about my life?' and I'm like 'Yeah, of course.' " Martinez said. "They're excited that someone's including them in something and they have a chance to just talk and have someone to listen to them."


  • Lucía Suárez, associate professor of Spanish and Latinx Studies and director of Latino/a Studies Program at Iowa State University

  • Iris Martinez, a student at Iowa State University and intern for the Voces of a Pandemic project