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Nurses Visit Homes to Help First-Time Moms Create Healthy Kids, Families


Sylvia Lopez of the Nurse-Family Partnership in San Antonio

Sylvia Lopez knows low-income mothers need lots of support in South Texas and San Antonio. Lopez knows the research that shows Latino kids start kindergarten behind their peers, experience many childhood traumas, and are at risk of not getting the proper care, services, and environment they need for healthy formative development. That's why Lopez is connecting in-need pregnant women to home visits from nurses to ensure healthier pregnancies, families, and children, through a South Texas application of a national program—the Nurse-Family Partnership. See how the program works and how it's helping South Texas moms, children, and families! The National Nurse-Family Partnership The Nurse-Family Partnership got its start in the 1970s. David Olds, who had just graduated from ...

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How One National Park is Attracting Latino Visitors



Cam Juarez knows the bad stats. Latinos are just 2% of visitors to Saguaro National Park, despite being 40% of the population in Pima County, Ariz. They miss a big chance to connect with nature and be physically active. Heck, Juarez himself lived nearby for 26 years before visiting Saguaro. Now Juarez's job—Saguaro's "community engagement coordinator"—is to raise Latino park attendance. And, by mixing cultural events with workforce diversity and bilingual community and school outreach, he's helped raised attendance and at the same time created a model for other parks to solve a national issue: How to get Latinos to come to national parks. How'd Juarez do it? Latinos, Physical Activity, and National Parks Cam Juarez was born with a heart defect—likely due to the ...

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Pediatricians Host Spanish-Language Health Podcast


Dr. Edith Sanchez hosting Las Recomiendas

Getting Latinos to go and see a primary care provider is hard enough. Even when they reach a doctor, many families get frustrated with little time to ask questions. In response, two Latina pediatricians started a Spanish-language health podcast for Latino parents! Drs. Edith Brancho Sanchez and Angela Castellanos of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia started the podcast, "Las Doctoras Recomiendan," in March 2018 to provide reliable, free health information, whyy.org reports. Why and how did they make it happen? The Issue of Latino Healthcare Access At least 27% of Latinos report having no usual health care provider, according to a Salud America! research review. Latino parents face barriers to medical care, like lack of insurance, legal status, language, high cost. This ...

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Latina Filmmaker’s Web Series Helps Bodegas Push Healthier Food



Evelyn Brito went to buy some vegetables for her 2-year-old daughter, but was stunned to find no fresh produce in her local bodega, a small grocery store in her Spanish-speaking neighborhood in Lynn, Mass. (38% Latino). Instead, unhealthy chips, cookies, and processed foods lined the bodega shelves. Brito wanted to change all that. Brito, an independent filmmaker and marketer, turned the cameras on the local food environment and engaged bodegas in finding a solution. That led to “Bodega Makeover,” a unique docu-reality web series. The Junk Food Problem in Lynn Brito grew up around bodegas in Boston. Her father worked in one when she was a child. “I would go to a bodega to get freshly peeled oranges for less than a dollar and the owner would ask me how my ...

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How a New Bridge Rebuilt Community Trust and Pedestrian Safety



Cam Juarez didn’t want people to be disappointed, again. Years ago, a city project failed to deliver a promised new pedestrian bridge over a dangerous waterway in the Rose Neighborhood (92% Latino) in Tucson, Ariz. It would have improved walking and bicycling safety and connected people to a park and a nearby elementary school. Rose neighbors were skeptical when Juarez, then the coordinator for Pima County’s neighborhood reinvestment program, asked them to pitch ideas for fundable improvement projects. But Juarez bridged leader-resident trust—and replaced a pedestrian bridge that resembled the rickety old one in Indiana Jones with an amazing new bridge. The Dangerous Waterway Most times, the Rodeo Wash is dry. But during thunderstorms and rainy seasons, the ...

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Soccer Field Wars: Latino Neighbors Win a Fight to Play



Omar Gonzalez and many of his neighbors love playing nightly pick-up soccer games on the fields at Harriet Tubman Elementary School in the Columbia Heights neighborhood in Washington, D.C. Gonzalez never expected to get kicked off the field. But that's what happened one night when a local sports league, which had mostly white players in uniforms, showed a permit they had paid to use the fields. They asked the neighbors to stop their game and leave. Gonzalez and his neighbors were confused. No one had ever used a permit to play there on weeknights. So they started a battle to allow open and fair usage of the fields. Sports and field use across the country After-school sports are great for building youth leaders and boosting health. However, Latino kids are less likely than ...

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Texas Town Uses Free School Dinner to Energize Student Minds, Bodies



Tired. Unhappy. Unenergetic. Students were showing these emotions over the school day and into afterschool activities in Robstown ISD, a 97% Latino school district in this small gulf coast town in South Texas. Superintendent Maria Vidaurri wanted to find out why. Turns out, they were hungry. "Students needing to stay [after school for tutoring, sports, events] were tired, frustrated, and energy levels low," Vidaurri said. "The last time they ate was at lunch, which is usually at 10:15 a.m. to 12 p.m." Vidaurri wanted to give these students the energy they needed for the school day and after school. She also wanted to give support to local Latino families who often struggle to put food on the table. She also wanted to encourage school attendance, as two of every three ...

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At-Risk Residents Get a Cooking Class You Can Take Home for Dinner



Noemi Villarreal sees Latinos in San Antonio struggle with disease, and wants to help. That’s why she has helped launch family support connectors, and also developed farmers markets in the Eastside, a heavily Latino section of the city. The farmers markets did not work. How could Villarreal and neighborhood leaders still bring cooking and nutrition education to families to help prevent disease? Thinking outside the box, they created a series of classes that include a chef demonstration—and take-home bags so families can replicate nutritious food recipes at home. Encouraging Healthy Eating for Latinos San Antonio’s Eastside Promise Neighborhood (EPN) is home to 18,000 residents (67.5% Latino) who face health issues due to inequities in income, education, access to health ...

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Latina Nutrition Leader Starts a School Food Pantry to Feed Hungry Kids in San Antonio


jenny arredondo

Jenny Arredondo knows some San Antonio students leave school and don't eat again until they return to school the next day. Many students live in poverty. Some don't know where their next meal is coming from. Arredondo wanted to help. Arredondo, senior executive director of child nutrition at San Antonio ISD, found a solution in Texas State Rep. Diego Bernal's new state law. Schools now can start "school food pantries" to accept and store donated food and surplus food from the cafeteria, and distribute that leftover food to hungry students. How could she start school food pantries at San Antonio ISD? Food Insecurity at San Antonio ISD U.S. Latino children and families often struggle with poverty and live in poverty stricken neighborhoods with abundant fast food but little ...

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