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June 8, 2012 > Promotoras lend a helping hand

Promotoras lend a helping hand

Submitted By Nelson Kirk

On Saturday, April 28, 2012, Tiburcio Vasquez Health Center promotoras proudly took to the streets of the Decoto neighborhood of Union City to remove debris, pick up litter and plant trees. This project was sponsored by Tiburcio Vasquez Health Center, Kaiser Permanente Community Health Education Dept. and the City of Union City Public Works.

"Promotoras" are community members who receive specialized training to provide basic health education in the community. While most of their work entails educating target audiences about health issues affecting their community, they also provide guidance in accessing community resources associated with health care. Promotoras are usually residents and leaders in their community, working for community-based health promotion projects or as part of a research group. Thus, they serve as liaisons between their community, health professionals and human and social service organizations. Customarily, they play the roles of advocate, educator, mentor, outreach worker, role model and translator.

Claudia Del Rio and Lupe Nunez were contacts for the Promotoras. All the volunteers were helpful and cheerful and did a great job in the Decoto District. Alex Quintero and Frank Morales from Union City Public Works assisted the Promotoras The trees were planted around "Our Lady of the Rosary" to mark Arborday in Union City. Trees provide many benefits to the City of Union City:

Tree foliage filters dust and can help remove toxic pollutants from the atmosphere. The foliage captures and removes a wide range of smog-producing compounds such as ozone, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, airborne ammonia and some sulphur dioxide;

Mature trees improve the aesthetic environment, absorb noise, are traffic-calming, reduce stress and crime and create a peaceful place to relax or socialize;

Trees provide positive mental benefits and healing qualities;

Mature trees provide a sense of "home" to a neighborhood;

Almost every city in our country has recorded a drop in the number of trees along its streets due to development, pollution, disease and neglect;

Trees intercept rainwater, aiding soil absorption for gradual release into streams, preventing flooding, filtering toxins and impurities and extending water availability into dry months when it is most needed; and

Trees cleanse ground water as it filters through their root systems.

Photo Caption: Tiburcio Vasquez Health Center promotoras conducted a neighborhood clean-up and planted trees in Decoto, Union City, in late April 2012.

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