Casa Familiar does all it can to advocate for community health by serving on community advisory boards, training promotoras about the importance of active living and offering free exercise classes at their own fitness center. In particular, their support of the Familias Sanas y Activas program has helped to improve community health in the south region.
For the past 6 years, Casa Familiar has served on a community advisory board for the San Diego Prevention Research Center (SDPRC) with a specialized focus on Latino Health in relation to physical activity in the communities of San Ysidro, Chula Vista, and National City. Through their efforts with SDPRC and local organizations and schools, a Promotora Train the Trainer Bilingual Program was developed called Familias Sanas y Activas. The goal of the program was to promote physical activity while training promotoras to become civically engaged and to reach out to local business, schools, and public office officials around issues of health and physical activity. When the SDPRC was closed, Casa Familiar was the only agency or community partner to continue to sustain and support the promotoras and the Familias Sanas y Activas program. Since then, the promotoras have played a significant role in improving a local park and involving elementary schools in student and parent physical fitness.
Casa Familiar also operates a gymnasium with weights and exercise machines that provides the only fitness center of its kind in the community of San Ysidro and is open four days a week in the early evening. During the last fiscal year, approximately 350 hours of FREE fitness classes were given through the Familias Sanas y Activas program at three Casa Familiar community centers. A total of 9,677 participants took advantage of these classes, including 307 participants in a class for persons with special needs which began in February 2014. Community members trained as promotoras also attend about 30 different free fitness classes/walking clubs in San Ysidro alone.
To learn more about the Casa Familiar promotoras classes, visit: http://www.casafamiliar.org/