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

Mar 25, 2020

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.

WLRN depends on donors to remain South Florida’s leading nonprofit, most trusted source of news and information. Support our mission by giving monthly as a sustaining member of Friends of WLRN or make a one-time donation of your choice. Thank you. Click here to give.

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.