HARRISONBURG, Va.--- Over 400 neighbors attended the Latino health fair, an event that provides free check ups and information about health care.
The number of attendees doubled the amount of 2012. Last year, the fair targeted the Latino community, but this year, it aimed to reach the entire community in Harrisonburg and surrounding areas.
Organizer Tony Fajardo said the event helps break language barriers.
"We have a lot of people here that do not speak the language, which is English and we are providing interpreters, in every booth that we have so it's easier for them to communicate," said Fajardo.
Neighbor Irma Garcia learned about her health as she visited every booth. At one of them, she received information about vaccines for people her age.
"Many of us don't know what illnesses we can have and there is a lot of information here that opens our eyes to prevent any illness," said Garcia.
She said information is within her reach because the event is close to her home.
"I feel that for a lot of people is difficult to know because sometimes we are afraid to walk or we don't have cars to go to places," said Garcia.
If children have previously received their routine vaccines, they may need up to four vaccines to go back to school.
Garcia keeps her children up to date on their vaccines. She said if it wasn't for this event, returning to school may be more costly.
"Many people in other countries may not do it because it costs a lot of money and here is for free. It's something surprising," said Garcia.
Fajardo said without the fair, many neighbors may be less informed.
"Maybe what would happen is that people would not have access to these resources and many of the kids would show up to school, the morning the school starts and be like sorry you can't come in, you don't have the right vaccinations," said Fajardo.
This is the second year of the Latino health fair. James Madison University lay health promoters and an RMH substance abuse prevention program for Latino youth called Futuro Latino put together the event.
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