Promotoras de salud in a father-focused nutrition and physical activity program for border communities: Approaches and lessons learned from collaboration


Promotoras de salud (promotoras) have been a valuable part of community research for Latino families, such as in the recruitment or delivery of health promotion programs. However, there has been limited discussion of how to integrate a promotora model into a father-focused program to support nutrition and physical activity within Latino families. This manuscript’s purpose is to describe how to engage and collaborate with promotoras in a father-focused, family-centered program for Latino families living in colonias near the U.S.–Mexico border. As part of a longstanding community–academic partnership, the authors outline approaches and lessons learned from collaboration with promotoras during the design (including formative work and training), implementation, and evaluation of a behavioral program—¡Haz Espacio para Papi! (HEPP, Make Room for Daddy!). Promotoras’ contributions supported the entire program, from design through evaluation. The team of all-female promotoras created a balance between the needs and preferences of the community and the goals and requirements of the research. While there is considerable time and human capital required for collaboration, the mutual benefits can make this work meaningful to all involved.

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health