Andrea Pérez Balderrama


Andrea Pérez Balderrama covers the Latino community for KAWC Colorado River Public Media. A recent graduate of the University of Michigan, Pérez Balderrama has spent the past four years exploring her passion for journalism and storytelling through a series of internships, classes and leadership positions. She was part of the breaking news team at the Detroit Free Press where she has written stories about a wide range of topics, including lawsuits, education and politics. In college, Andrea served as managing editor for the weekly magazine published by the University of Michigan’s independent student newspaper. At the magazine, The Statement, she managed a team of designers, writers, photographers and illustrators. She was also an operations intern for Michigan Radio, the local NPR station in Ann Arbor, Mich. She grew up in Ciudad Juárez, south of El Paso, TX on the U.S.–Mexico border.

Ways to Connect

City of San Luis

In late August, I drove to San Luis to meet up with Alexis Gomez. I was interested in learning about Census outreach in communities near the border, and he worked for City Hall driving one of San Luis’ main advertising methods: the Census truck. 


Andrea Pérez Balderrama

  It was late June and I was sitting in my car with my dad. All of my possessions were crammed in the back seat of my sedan as we drove through rural Utah, and I was trying to use cell data to connect to a work call. The signal was spotty, but I was able to say at least a few words during the meeting.  


City of San Luis

Cities in Yuma County are falling behind in their 2020 Census response rates and risking a significant loss in funds for healthcare, schools, services and roads.


But in San Luis, a white pickup truck with a is driving through the city with a loudspeaker, encouraging residents to fill out the questionnaire. 


Alexis Gomez usually works at San Luis City Hall as a Code Enforcement Officer, but for the last six months he’s worked extra hours in the evenings to drive the Census truck.  



COVID-19 has changed the way Arizona school meal programs operate and the Yuma Union High School District is no exception. 

For the 2020-2021 school year, the district moved from on-site school lunch and breakfast programs to safer, drive-thru and pick-up alternatives. 

The school nutrition staff preps meals for 150 students who drive to campus and pick up their bagged food from blue tents out front of Cibola High School.

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way Arizona school meal programs operate, and Yuma Union High School District is no exception.