The mission of the CVCC Promotores Program (Promotores are also knows as Community Health Workers) is to assist community residents in achieving optimal levels of health, wellbeing and community safety through neighborhood and school outreach strategies that focus on prevention and education. Promotores are local Spanish-speaking residents who serve as liaisons between their community and integrated health and family support programs through the CVCC’s network of five school-based Family Resource Centers (FRC’s).
CVCC Promotores help us build Community Capacity by helping families access needed services. They provide a culturally and linguistically sensitive approach in linking families to services and programs. CVCC Promotores address the triple aim through their daily work. They have the ability to connect and engage families. The CVCC’s Promotora model has two components our Project Promotoras and our volunteer Promotoras Active for Community – PAC.
Project Promotoras are employed by CVCC to conduct outreach and education in the community. Promotoras also conduct classes in the community on important and targeted topics such our very popular Es Dificil Ser Mujer (mental health support group), and our breast cancer and poisoning prevention education presentations. Promotoras are also out in the community conducting education and outreach to assist families in enrolling in health insurance, CalFresh, and utility assistance as well as to invite families to be civically engaged and participate in various community forums. Some of our past projects include: Epilepsy Education, Emergency Preparedness, Nutrition and Physical Activity, and much more.
The Chula Vista Community Collaborative’s Promotoras Active for Community (PAC) program is a grassroots organization of diverse residents working together to stimulate volunteerism and strengthen community ties, respond to the concerns and unmet needs of the community, create more caring relationships among community members, and generally improve community wellbeing. PAC operated and was well known under the name of the Neighborhood Council Initiative (NCI) since 2000. However, PAC was renamed in 2010 to better reflect the group’s mission. PAC members are community volunteers who seek to make a difference in their community. PAC members are the ears, eyes, and voice of their community. They elevate community concerns and work to ensure resources are available to all families.
In working towards a strong and healthy community, PAC members develop projects and fundraise to implement their projects. Some of their projects include: Senior dance, where they provide lunch, prizes, and entertainment at senior housing sites, Annual Prom Dress Giveaway, Promotoras seek out donations and provide dresses for prom for girls with financial need. Promotoras also host yard sales to fundraise to provide clothing for homeless for our annual South Bay Homeless Connect Event.
In recognition of their tremendous value, CVCC hosts various capacity building opportunities for Promotoras including:
Annual Adelante Promotores Conference; next conference is in July 2016
Promotores Academy, founded in 2007 by CVCC Director Margarita Holguin, the Academy in now nationally recognized as an important component of Promotores training. The Academy is a 2-day training that covers the basic core competencies for Promotores.
Various other training are offered regularly through CVCC or its partners. In addition, CVCC hosts a quarterly Promotores meeting to bring together Promotores from various programs and provide a forum for information and resource sharing as well as networking.
The Promotora model is based on a Latin American model that reaches underserved populations through peer education. The model is used to reach hard to serve populations and connect them to needed services. Other titles: CHW, Outreach Workers, or Lay Workers, Community Workers. The Promotores model removes barriers and provides culturally and linguistically appropriate services and builds community capacity by empowering residents and families.
Promotores are liaisons, who are trusted members of their community. These Promotores often play the roles of advocate, educator, mentor, outreach worker, role model, translator and more. Promotores reflect their community and often come from the same neighborhood, speak the same language, and usually share some of the same or similar life experiences as the community members they serve.
The San Diego County Promotores Coalition began in 2015 and seek to develop the work of Promotores in through three goals:
- Build the capacity of Promotores through training and opportunities
- Support and assist the needs of agencies that employ Promotores
- Be a centralized resource depository and clearing house on and for Promotores.
Ms. Margarita Holguin, is the chair of the Coalition. For more information of the Coalition, visit www.sdcpromotores.org.