Promotoras, who serve their fellow colonias residents, are exceptionally valuable because they know well the communities they’re serving, Laura Treviño, associate director for CHUD’s Colonias Program, told the Guardian’s Maggie Morato.
The newly graduated promotoras can now provide a neighbor-helping-neighbor service connecting their fellow colonias residents with myriad social services available through public and private sector organizations.
Colonias are impoverished, unincorporated and relatively undeveloped villages near the U.S. side of the U.S.-Mexico border, many with homes that lack basic necessities such as potable water, electricity and sewer systems.
Treviño told Morato how a promotora helped bring colonias residents and Texas A&M Health Science Center researchers together for an obesity study.
“Through the relationship and trust they have for the promotora, because they have been involved with her in other projects, parents were willing to go in talk to the professors,” Treviño told the Guardian. “Also, once the study was complete, information about the study was relayed to the community through the promotora, which shows the humanistic side of it and why it is important. It’s a parent talking to a parent.”