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Training Mixtec Promotores to Assess Health Concerns in their Community: A CBPR Pilot Study

  • Author(s): Maxwell, Annette E.
  • Young, Sandra
  • Vega, Roena Rabelo
  • Herrmann, Alison K.
  • See, Cha
  • Glenn, Beth A.
  • Mistry, Ritesh
  • Bastani, Roshan
  • et al.


An academic institution and a community organization partnered for one of the first studies assessing health needs of Mixtecs, indigenous immigrants from Southern Mexico, residing in Ventura County, California.


Ten bilingual Spanish- and Mixteco- speaking promotores received a one-day focus group training, participated in a focus group themselves and conducted 5 focus groups with 42 Mixtec community members.


The focus group training is described. Health concerns discussed in the focus groups include outdoor exercise among women viewed as flirtatious; reluctance to ask for governmental assistance due to fear that children will have to pay back later; soda consumption perceived as a symbol of socio-economic status; and unwillingness to obtain mammograms or pap smears because private body parts are to be touched by husbands only.


Training promotores to conduct focus groups can increase organizational capacity to identify pressing health needs in under-represented and hard-to-reach population groups.

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