In 2002, OBOS’s Latina Health Initiative, under the direction of Zobeida Bonilla, developed a peer health-educator (promotoras de salud) training guide based on “Nuestros Cuerpos, Nuestras Vidas,” the Spanish translation and cultural adaptation of “Our Bodies, Ourselves.”
The project aims to provide Latinas and immigrant women with a family focused, woman-centered, and culture-specific teaching guide for community health education, thereby extending the mission of OBOS through health information and education.
“Guía de Capacitación para Promotoras de Salud Training Guide” (PDF) covers such topics as sexuality and reproductive rights, sexually transmitted infections, violence against women, mental health, and childbearing.
These topics were generated after a series of open-ended interviews and focus groups conducted with Latinas from the Boston community as well as with leaders of organizations located in various states affiliated with the National Council of La Raza and the Immigrant Women Program of the National Organization for Women, Legal Defense and Education Fund.
The training guide includes a total of 11 modules divided into six training workshops. Units 1 and 2 of each module introduce the topic, the objectives, and the role of the promotora de salud.
These units establish the ground rules of participatory education methodology: each participant and the facilitator begin the training workshop as equal learners, and learning is introduced as an exchange of experiences, knowledge, and information.
We hope that this learning process will allow women participating in the training to see their own experiences as a valuable source of knowledge and to view the training as another learning experience conducive to enrichment, growth and the development of skills.
In March 2003, “Guía de Capacitación para Promotoras de Salud” was added to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Chronic Disease Prevention Databases (CDP), which provide access to information on chronic disease prevention and health promotion to health professionals.