Esther Cepeda: Latino health-outreach program is a reminder that it’s all in the name
If culture can be used as a currency to understand and serve a community, it can also be a trap, if the culture is painted with too broad a brush. We think we “know” the so-called Hispanic community — generalizing to certain tropes about language, love of family, deference to authority figures, etc. — and we rarely stop to question whether our initial assessments still hold true.
For instance, a decade ago, the hot medical news was the emerging use of “promotoras” — Spanish-speaking Latina community volunteers who worked with medical organizations to coordinate health outreach activities in their neighborhoods — as a cutting-edge tactic to produce better outcomes in predominantly Mexican populations suffering from obesity, diabetes and other ailments…
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