Mam COVID-19 Contact Tracer/Investigator
Damaso Calmo is an indigenous Mam speaker who seeks to support his community by identifying their needs. Damaso migrated to Oakland, CA in his early teens and was able to learn English quickly in order to pursue a college degree. Damaso gained experience as an interpreter and translator by supporting his Mam peers during the most recent influx of recent arrivals from Central America to Oakland, CA as he saw the dire need to support them and help them adjust to their new community. He is currently working as a Contact Tracer for COVID 19 at La Clinica in Oakland, CA but a Street Level Health Project employee, and his ongoing efforts to preserve indigenous Mayan Mam languages and traditions led him to found Desarollo Maya, an indigenous community network to uplift indignous Mayan Mam voices in Oakland. He is passionate about advocating for his Maya Mam community and close gaps that currently exist.