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Montserrat Diaz with her first place prize. Photo courtesy of Servicios de la Raza.
Montserrat Diaz with her first place prize. Photo courtesy of Servicios de la Raza.

Denver teen wins local art contest, follows up with campaign to vaccinate Latino youth

Through an art contest, a Denver teen is pushing for higher vaccination rates in Latino youth.

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Inspired by Rosie the Riveter — who originated from World War II campaigns — Denver, Colorado teen Monserrat Diaz is leading a vaccination campaign.

Kicking off the campaign, Diaz has created posters in support of Denver’s vaccination efforts. The posters are being displayed in 18 different bus stops across the state’s metro area.

The art contest set out to select an artist who would then design a poster inspiring Latino youth to get a COVID-19 vaccine. Over twenty Denver students applied.

“Viva la vacuna because most of the time we say ‘Viva Mexico,’ and since I’m Mexican, I mixed my culture with the saying,” Diaz told CBS Denver.

When speaking with family members, Diaz saw that many members did not believe in getting a vaccine against the coronavirus, and wanted to make a change.

Diaz’s poster shows a vaccinated figure posing similarly to the famed character and allegorical icon Rosie the Riveter. Beneath the figure is the ‘Viva la vacuna’ message.

World War II campaigns featuring Rosie the Riveter were originally intended to encourage defense industry service on the homeland among women. 

These services included factory and shipyard work in defense industries, producing munitions and other war supplies. 

Women who took up these occupations during wartime often found themselves in new occupations left vacant by those at war.

Some have compared widespread efforts to produce hand sanitizer during the pandemic — at times of drastic shortages — to the mobilization of wartime efforts that saw major shifts in industry focus.

Diaz’s intent of the Rosie-inspired artwork is simply to encourage others to get their shot, emphasizing how the vaccination is more effective than only wearing a mask or taking lesser precautions.

“The vaccination is safe, and if you get it vaccinated then you’re helping a lot more than just wearing a mask,” said Diaz.

The posters will remain posted at their current locations in Denver until July 20.

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