Puerto Palomas Health Promoters focus on children with special needs

child development classes

Mothers receive training on how best to support the development of their children with special needs at child development classes in Puerto Palomas. Our health promoters augment this effort and participate in offering the classes.

The health promoter [promotora] group of seven women works closely with the staff of the town’s Health Center [Centro de Salud] to extend health education and health enhancing activities into the daily lives of the townspeople. Border Partners, which provides direct support and resources and finds training opportunities for these women, is pleased with their recent new focus on assisting families of children with developmental disabilities and special needs.

As part of this effort, the promotoras visit homes of families identified or considered likely to benefit from these supportive services. The promoters conduct a health survey, appearing at the doors of the families and asking to visit the parent(s) to conduct a short interview. They

Dra. Lina Carrasco

Doctor Lina Carrasco (top) of the local clinic in Puerto Palomas demonstrates to moms how best to promote child development.

inquire as to the needs of the household, asking, for instance:

  • Do any of the children have special needs?
  • Are the children moving, walking, speaking, responding appropriately for their age?
  • Would the household benefit from receiving a food supplement basket?

Questions are suggested by the Mexican government and responses recorded for the town clinic.

As a result of the survey, families have already experienced benefits. Infants and children with motor disabilities, for instance, are receiving direct assistance at classes that teach parents how to stimulate greater development. Gricelda Loya, local leader of the promotoras, reports that even one class session can produce rather dramatic improvements in infants. Early identification and early intervention can promote lasting improvement.

Gricelda trained in Casas Grandes, Mexico to learn the stimulation exercises that they are teaching the mothers.  She has subsequently taught some of the other health promoters who have added this project to their regular activities which include:

  • regular hours at their Palomas office during which they can provide health advice, check blood pressure and glucose levels and make referrals to the Centro de Salud;
  • monthly visits to the town meal site to check blood pressure and glucose;
  • twice yearly health fairs;
  • assisting clinic staff with registering families for services.

This weekend they will administer flu and tetanus vaccines at the Christmas event in town.

Photos by Gricelda Loya, leader of Puerto Palomas health promoters

BONUS: Photos of moms, children and healthy learning on our Flickr Album by Gricelda Loya

Promotoras sponsor successful October Health Fair

blood pressure check

Promotoras offered free blood pressure checks for all at the October Health Fair.

Our health promoters [promotoras] sponsored a free health fair at Pancho Villa Park in Pto. Palomas this month on Friday, October 4 and Saturday, October 5. With financial assistance from the Columbus, Luna County-Palomas Binational Health Council and donations from businesses in Pto. Palomas, they were able to provide a wide variety of health-related activities, open to all at no cost to participants.

Mayor checks gluose

Pto. Palomas Mayor Chacon visited the booth to have his glucose checked.

In addition to the blood pressure screening (as seen in the photo at the top of this post, the  promotoras offered blood glucose screening and a wide variety of written health information.  They also arranged for free haircuts to emphasize the importance of personal hygiene.

Local participants enjoyed nutritious, healthy, and delicious home-made burritos, composed from whole wheat tortilla, beans, veggies and cheese. There were games for the children, and zumba dancing for everyone!

Even the local dogs could benefit from free rabies shots at the fair. It was an activity that assisted their owners, too.

On Friday, a mobile health clinic staffed with a doctor, a nurse, a dentist and free medications arrived from Chihuahua City to serve the Health Fair attendees.

The promotoras were outstanding in every way, including their professional appearance in red shirts and name badges.

Click HERE to visit our Flickr set to see photos of many aspects of this wonderful event.


Palomas Binational Earth Day 2013: A Border Partners Showcase

by Peter Edmunds

eric shows off papercrete

Eric shows off the amazing papercrete block–extra light, extra insulating–at Earth Day in Palomas.

Last Monday was Earth Day around the world and, for the first time, it was celebrated in Palomas. It was organized in conjunction with several groups in Columbus, NM just across the border and so became a Binational Earth Day Celebration.

student created solar panels

Border Partners volunteer Don Farber and secondaria students who assembled photo voltaic electric panels and used them to power a light bulb proudly displayed their products and explained them to the public.

photo voltaic electric

For the past six weeks, Border Partners has been sponsoring a  workshop  about sustainable technology with the seniors from the Palomas high school.  About 15 students have built a solar water heater, two types of solar cookers, and a photo voltaic electric system.  The completion of the projects coincided with Earth Day.

The Mayor gave us the use of the plaza outside his office for our event. It became a showcase for all of  Border Partners projects.  The student projects were setup on the plaza, and they were there to explain how they worked to anyone who stopped.

Eric Laborin Quezada, who is working with Border Partners to start a business selling papercrete blocks made from recycled paper, was there to promote the advantages of papercrete blocks and insulation panels.

Juana Flores distributes tomato seedlings.

Juana Flores distributes tomato seedlings.

Juana Flores and Juana Lazoya, our gardening promoters,  gave away over 200 free tomato seedlings and seed packets containing ten different vegetable crops for home gardens.

The Promotoras (health educators) sponsored by Border Partners, welcomed a continual stream of people who wanted their blood pressure and  blood sugar checked.

Two artisan groups displayed craft items made from recycled materials.

This was the first time that all Border Partners’ projects were on display to the public in one place.  There’s already talk of a fall harvest festival. Lots of local citizens got a chance to see what Border Partners is doing in the community.