Paulo Hutson Solórzano
From: Born in South Carolina, raised in Managua, Nicaragua
Chattanoogan since 2007
What do you do for work? What is your role in the community?
A Medida LLC’s Co-founder and Managing Director for Southeast US Region and Central America. I am known in the community for our work consulting with Cempa Community Care in developing their Latinx Outreach Initiative. During the COVID-19 pandemic, I helped Cempa coordinate FREE Community COVID-19 testing.
When we saw a crisis begin to strike our city, what were your first thoughts when deciding to step up for your community? There were little to no communication efforts geared toward the Latinx community causing the local Latinx population to be most affected by the pandemic. This was an injustice to our Latinx community that has greatly contributed to the reason we’re able to call Chattanooga “The best town” in the nation. There something needed to be done to empower and include our Latinx community in the fight against COVID-19.
Who are some of your own heroes that inspire you?
My missionary parents, Rubén Darío, Diane Raulston-Salcido, and every person that has ever advocated for equality and justice.
When you think back at everything that’s happened this year and what you’ve done, what message do you see telling yourself before all of this happened?
All of us were created equally and I am a bridge, a voice, to ensure that every person—regardless of color, origin, language, or socio-economic status—deserves an equal opportunity in this fight against the virus.
What has been the greatest challenge for you in 2020?
Seeing the inequality in our community and how said inequality caused several friends and love ones to lose their lives to COVID-19.
What has been the most rewarding part of 2020?
Although there is inequality in our community and nation, it was most rewarding to see community members and organizations put aside their differences and come together to bridge the gap and advocate for our community's needs— especially those greatly burdened by the pandemic and natural disasters that hit our city.