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Brazilian investors buy Miami real estate. Haitian earthquake survivors attend South Florida schools. It's clear what happens in Latin America and the Caribbean has a profound effect on South Florida.WLRN’s coverage of the region is headed by Americas editor Tim Padgett, a 23-year veteran of TIME and Newsweek magazines.He joins a team of reporters and editors at the Miami Herald, El Nuevo Herald and NPR to cover a region whose cultural wealth, environmental complexity, vast agricultural output and massive oil reserves offer no shortage of important and fascinating stories to tell.

'Quédate En Tu Casa': Latin America Uses Hip Music Videos To Tell People 'Stay At Home'

An evil coronavirus in Panamanian singer Japanese's music video "Quedate en tu Casa," or "Stay at Home"

COVID-19 has hit Latin America less hard than the rest of the world. But cases and deaths there are mounting – and governments are finding a good way to get the word out about protecting yourself is … music videos.

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This month, the Panamanian recording artist known as Japanese thought his compatriots weren’t taking COVID-19 seriously. So he created an animated music video: “Quédate en Tu Casa,” or “Stay at Home.” It’s humorous – but serious when it shows careless folks infecting people like Abuelita, or Grandma.


It’s also effective – so much so that Panama’s education ministry over the weekend adopted the video to teach students coronavirus awareness. Now other videos are appearing online urging people in the Spanish-speaking world to isolate themselves.

Cuban singer Ariel de Cuba, who lives in Spain, put out one called, again, “Stay at Home.” He and his young son turn coughing into your shirtsleeve into a hip-hop dance. At home, of course.

Over the weekend Grupo Bahía from Cali, Colombia, released a softer PSA, sung in the currulao style, called “¿Corona Qué?” or “Corona What?” It’s a virtual musical history of the COVID-19 virus – and, of course, a warning to stay inside.

And Venezuelan exile entertainer Leo Colina in Doral produced “La Gaita de la Cuarentena,” or “Quarantine Gaita.” (Gaita is a Venezuelan music from Colina's native Maracaibo.) It too promotes staying inside – and even makes you laugh at being stuck inside with your suegra – your mother-in-law.

Tim Padgett is the Americas editor for Miami NPR affiliate WLRN, covering Latin America, the Caribbean and their key relationship with South Florida.