Literally defined, “Promotoras” simply means “promoters.” They have also been called camp health aides, colonia health workers, lay health advisors, outreach workers, community health representatives, indigenous or village health workers, and non-traditional health workers.

Our volunteer health promoters are one of the most significant pillars of Center for Community Advocacy CCA in its efforts to provide education, orientation and health support to farmworkers and other low-income working families who want to establish committees that work to educate and improve health conditions in their neighborhoods in Salinas and Pajaro Valley.

After being trained by CCA trainers and health service providers, these Promotoras comunitarias deliver, to their peers, preventative health information/interventions in the areas of chronic diseases, behavioral health and youth violence prevention.
The majority of CCA-trained volunteer Promotoras are also mothers. They dream of providing a better future for their children. They dream of helping to create healthy, safe and strong neighborhoods.

As trained Promotoras, these farmworker women educate their neighbors on ways to improve their health and prevent disease and illness. For many farmworker families, Promotoras may be their only source of health information. This may mean the difference between preventive care and diagnosis of a preventable chronic disease.

According to American Public Health Association’s Community Health Worker Section, a community health worker “is a frontline public health worker who is a trusted member of and/or has an unusually close understanding of the community served. This trusting relationship enables the worker to serve as a liaison/link/intermediary between health/social services and the community to facilitate access to services and improve the quality and cultural competence of service delivery.

“A community health worker also builds individual and community capacity by increasing health knowledge and self-sufficiency through a range of activities such as outreach, community education, informal counseling, social support and advocacy,” it concluded.

Because of CCA’s Promotoras, each year:

  • Hundreds of farmworker families and other low-income families learn and teach about simple and healthier ways to eat and cook.
  • Hundreds of farmworker families and other low-income families learn and teach about ways to increase their physical fitness.
  • Hundreds of farmworker families and other low-income families learn and teach about how to prevent, detect and make referrals to proper health providers.

Why did you get involved with the CCA Promotora program?

“I decided to get involved with the promotores program because I was interested in the topics that were being shared.”
— Alicia Lustre

“As I received the training, I was able to understand that mental health comes in different forms. Stress, for example, is connected to mental health. The promotores program gave me the tools on how to manage my stress and how to recognize the signs.”
— Josephina Munoz

“The program helps us connect with different parts of our community that encounter the same obstacles.”
— Josephina Munoz

“The program is important because it continues to help spread the word on important topics such as diabetes and how we can make changes within ourselves, in our families and our community.”
— Sandra Aceves

“This program helps us get connected to resources that we can actually access and also helps us refer our families and neighbors to these resources.”
— Laura Galvan

What is the most important thing for the community to know about the program?

“The most important thing about this program is understanding that the training we received was given to us by professionals. We also had some doctors come out to the community to talk to us one-on-one and help us with trainings and changes we can apply to ourselves.”
— Kenya Amaya

What is the biggest issue out there in the community that you feel the program has addressed??

“Some of our community doesn’t really understand the concept of prevention. It is when they have been diagnosed with a disease that they are left with no choice but to make a change.”
— Laura Galvan

“Mental health is a difficult topic to talk about because in our culture, we don’t really take the time to talk about things so openly.”
— Josephina Munoz

“Having access to affordable healthy options are also difficult to access in our communities.”
— Josephina Munoz

What impact has joining the program had on your life?

“The program helped me grow as a person and develop my confidence in participation in other community actions.”
— Alicia Lustre

“I have applied what I was taught about nutrition from this program and have made more conscious decisions to eat healthy in my home.”
— Sandra Aceves

“My husband was so proud of me after I completed the program and received my diploma. After our celebration, we went home and he made a space on the living room wall to hang my diploma. My kids are continuously complimenting me on my accomplishment and all the positive changes I’ve been able to make.”
— Josephina Munoz

To support or to get more information on CCA’s Promotoras program, call CCA at (831) 753-2324 extension 12.