“Sí se puede” in the face of coronavirus
Downtown San Antonio was decorated with the famous United Farm Workers of America phrase as it sat in coronavirus quarantine.
When San Antonio, Texas announced its shelter-in-place order on March 23 to combat COVID-19, Andrea “Andi” Rodriguez wanted to do something to lift the spirits of the city in a time of major uncertainty.
That is, after all, a major part of her job.
The nonprofit’s mission is to make downtown “San Antonio’s True Center” through making it as welcoming and prosperous as possible.
Part of that mission involved hiring 110 ambassadors to welcome visitors to downtown and provide upkeep. They’re easy to spot in their bright yellow shirts and as of April 3, can still be found working downtown amid the COVID-19 shutdown.
Rodriguez is not an ambassador on the ground, and found herself growing desperate with a seeming inability to do anything. She went to her parents for advice.
They told her to do something for other people.
She found her answer in the timeless chant of the United Farm Workers of America: “Sí se puede.”
“I just wanted to fill the air with hope,” said Rodriguez.
The hope came in the form of hearts, 50 to be exact, that she has since been posted all around San Antonio’s downtown displaying the iconic phrase once chanted in the farm fields of California.
And just as fifty years ago, the message of “Sí se puede” is one of unity, but this time to fight a pandemic.
“I decided if I made a bunch of signs and put them up around the city, it would bring a few smiles and remind us that we're in this together and not to lose faith," said Rodriguez.
As of April 6, three days before San Antonio’s initial shelter-in-place order is set to expire, the city has 410 reported cases and 12 fatalities. Texas overall has more than 7,200 cases with almost 150 deaths.