Palomas health promoters 2020. Back row, L to R: Juana Flores, Gloria Aquilar, Gricelda Loya. Front row, L to R: Victoria Ibarra and Cruz Espino
We’d like to introduce you to Border Partners’ Health Promoters (Promotoras). Thanks to your support, they’re active every day in Palomas helping keep people healthy. They do important work and deserve to have us all sing their praises!
“Hello! My name is Gricelda Loya. I’m 34 years old, the same number of years that I’ve lived in Palomas! Yes, I was born here. I have four children. And they drive me to do my work each day. My three boys are 19, 16 and 8. My daughter is 11 years old. I also take care of my sister’s children. These six children are my motivation to teach residents of my community to maintain a healthy lifestyle and take care of their health. Thanks to Border Partners and your donations, this is possible.”
Gricelda (center) pictured with her children
“I was part of the original group of promotoras trained by Border Partners in 2012 and have continued working until now. We receive more training each year. For example, after we were trained about how to teach teenagers about healthy sexuality, another promotora and I started classes on sexuality for teenagers in Palomas.”
“My other job for Border Partners is Director of the Education Center where we have computers for people to use and classes to instruct them on their use.”
“I’m very grateful to be part of this great family called Border Partners. I like to learn and share what I learn, and I also love to help vulnerable people.”
juana Flores bestows an award to a child for his healthy activity.
“Hello! My name is Juana Flores. I was born in the Valley of Zaragoza, Chihuahua, MX. I’m 45 years old. My husband and I have three children: two sons and a daughter. I’ve lived in Palomas for ten years and worked with Border Partners since February 2011, when I started helping with the garden program. When I began, the United States had just deported me to Mexico. I was very sad to be separated from my children who stayed in the U.S. with my mother. Working has helped me a lot.”
“I’ve been a promotora since 2012 and have learned many skills. I like my work because, in my community, families do not have a healthy diet and don’t get enough exercise. I think that, due to our health promotion work, people have learned a lot about nutrition and health. As a health promoter, I focus on learning about different health issues so I can teach others.”
“My favorite thing I do as a promotora is to teach Zumba classes!”
“My other area of work for Border Partners is supervising the garden program which coordinates very well with what we teach people about nutrition and the importance of eating healthy food.”
“Thank you for supporting our work in Palomas and for your confidence in me.”
Victoria (Vicky) Ibarra
Delivering fresh garden vegetables to elderly residents is one of Vicky’s tasks.
“Hello, my name is Victoria (Vicky) Ibarra. I am originally from Oaxaca de Juárez. I’ve lived in Palomas for about nine years. My one daughter, Jennifer, is 15 years old and is a student at the College Preparatory High School. My husband, David, is a volunteer firefighter here in Palomas. We both like to serve the community.
Vicky grabs a selfie as she teaches a nutrition class to Palomas students.
Five years ago, I joined the Border Partners’ Health Promoters. I like this work that we do for the community, serving our older adults, children, and families who want our health knowledge. Before I came to Palomas, I worked as a volunteer Health Promoter in my rural community in southern Mexico. To all those people who support us, I want to thank you for everything you do for us. My family, also sends a cordial greeting.
Gloria snaps a selfie of the zumba class she’s leading.
“Hola! My name is Gloria Alicia Aguilar. I am from Chihuahua, Chihuahua, MX and have lived in Palomas for 23 years. I have four children – two daughters who are 20 and 19. My two sons are both 12! I am interested in educating my neighbors about health because my second daughter has had many illnesses since she the time she was born. Because I did not want to take her to the hospital so many times, I learned ways to take care of her at home (injections, using a nebulizer etc.) “
Gloria (center) pictured with her family
“I love my job as a Health Promoter for Border Partners! It is difficult to choose one thing I like best but I would say knowing that I can help so many people to have a better quality of life is very pleasing to me.”
“For all the people that support Border Partners, I have so much gratitude for the great work you do for my community. It’s incredible to see the number of people who benefit thanks to you!”
“Hola! Hello! My name is Cruz Delia Simental Espino. I was born in the NIcolas Bravo municpality of Madera, Chihuahua, MX but I grew up in Cuidad Cuauhtémoc. I have lived for 30 years in Palomas and have two children, a son who is 29 and a daughter who is 20 years old. My work has always been helping people in my community. I feel very proud to belong to Border Partners because, like me, we all care about the welfare of people without discrimination. I am grateful for you believing in me and giving me the opportunity to perform my work in the interest of the people of Palomas. (The person who gives from the heart, multiplies with love.)”
Editor’s note: Cruz works with the Promotoras for about half of each year and works the other months in Deming at an agricultural processing plant. We first met her when she organized a group of neighbors to stop cars from driving through a city park near her house by digging a trench and standing old tires up in it to create a barrier. At the time, Border Partners was putting in play equipment including a climbing wall at that park.