Proyecto Juan Diego's Programs
Preventative Home Healthcare Educational Program
Proyecto Juan Diego’s Promotoras de Salud (Community Health Workers) meet with local community members in their homes to discuss and provide health education on various diseases and share other current information to update the families. PJD health workers are prepared to cover almost 81 health topics—so these topics and each conversation is tailored to meet the unique needs of individual families and community members. In these visits, Community Health Workers also receive many referrals and learn about other needs from the local community members.
This program includes: nutrition classes, male support groups, cooking classes, aerobic classes twice a day, mother and child competitive aerobics, walking club, one and three mile runs, zumbathon, formal diabetic classes, community garden and laboratory testing. PJD has received its accreditation with the American Diabetic Educators Association and has one master trainer in the D.E.E.P. program.
The D. E. E. P. program (a program for self-management) is an evidence-based program. At present, PJD is working with eight other organizations within the Waiver 1115 program in Cameron County and thus is following over 125 clients with diabetes. PJD visits clients in their homes and invites them to a formal diabetic educational program for 7 week. PJD then follows up with clients in their homes for the next year, providing A1C's every 3 months until they are stabilized and improving. Nutrition and exercise are key to the program as is providing information to help clients understand their medications. With the help of a retired pharmacist/RN, we are also able to assist clients with their medicine concerns which is very helpful to them.
- PJD hosts medical students from UTB in Galveston and UT San Antonio (UTPHS).
Community Garden (Paula Barrera): Various low income families participate in this enriching income generating activity. They also learn healthy foods and how to incorporate them into their family meals during this stressful economic times.
Aerobics and Zumba classes at San Felipe de Jesus (Adriana Guerrero) -
offered Monday -Friday from 8am-9am
and evenings from 5:30pm-6:30pm Monday - Thursday.
Home health education (all promotoras de salud participate)
Laboratory Tests for Preventative Health
PJD offers after school tutorial programs for around 80 children with snacks, education and aerobics or some type of exercise; Summer bible program for all ages which is given by the adolescents of the community and supervised by a staff member; mother and child development program for 6 wks. offered several times/yr.; youth program; 2 wk. children’s summer creative project program on healthcare and other educational programs in conjunction with the participation with the local zoo summer program for young children.
After School Tutorial Classes (Maria Elena de la O) offers academic assistance and support, exercise and other creative activities such as drama, dancing, field trips, art and photography, etc. The tutorial program focuses on improving the reading and math skills of the children. There is also a parental component to this program.
Summer Vacation Bible School program (Carolina Herrera)
Citizenship Classes: (Paula Barrera & Juanita Alvarez):
Preparation for U.S. Naturalization exam. These classes fill quickly; they are very interactive and interesting.They cover civics and the Q & A of the examinations.Most individuals pass their exams and receive their documents.The participants learn their responsibilities to their local community and how to keep it more secure and sustainable.
These classes prepare individuals who have not finished their high school for any reason. It prepares them to take the 4 basic state exams in order to obtain their high school certificate. They cover science, math, reading and grammar and social studies. The teachers not only teach but also help motivate the students to complete their preparation and walk with them through the process of the exams.
Our 3-STEP Program includes three levels: English, GED in Spanish, and Citizenship classes in English and Spanish. Participating families choose their own starting-point and proceed through these levels to strengthen and expand their skills to obtain a better paying and stable job.
Texas Certified Parent Teacher Association (PTA) is designed for all the moms in our family program and others interested in knowing and understanding the school system better and how to help their children improve in their academic status. There is a leadership development program involved within this association and its members.
This is a 3 year follow-up and support program for twenty families, with special challenges, each year. The educational part of the program covers basic values, identification cards, healthcare histories and follow-up referrals, financial literacy, environment cleanliness, advocacy and education of government bills/policies which will impact lower income families. The ultimate focus is on their stabi
lity and sustainability in their present society and with participation in the local community family association. We have thus far graduated 55 families from our programs over the last 9 years. Many have secured jobs, passed their GED, received their citizenship, received their identification cards, improved their environment within and outside of their homes, paid down payments on their homes, etc.
Stress Management (Carolina Herrera): This class covers many techniques wherein one can help oneself to relax and to reflect on life, family and work. It also offers massage techniques which are easily learned and very helpful for all members of the family. A life lived with reflection is a life gained for the whole family.
Parenting Classes (Carolina Herrera): They give different healthy tactics of administering discipline for the children. It also helps parents assist their kids to reflect on their own lives. It provides ways to better understand the school system and assists the parents to gain stronger and clearer working relationships with school officials and teachers.
Adult (elderly) program (Lupita Sanchez): Adults come to our center once a month for education, relaxation, reflection, exercise, arts and crafts, sharing and a healthy meal.
Playing with a Purpose (Carolina Herrera): Mother and child development classes incorporates all age levels and teaches the mom different techniques of recognizing the needs of the children and assists them to develop strategies to overcome those problems. It does it in a way that is fun for the children but still builds relationships.
This group is very civic minded and assist with town hall meetings, civic engagement such as Get out the Vote, assist with Cyclobias and Closed Streets within Brownsville, participate or present vigils for Domestic Violence, assist in fair wage demonstrations, visit various groups to help the elderly, help the low income children with school supplies, reflection times for the goals and objectives and evaluation of them, and many other activities which assists them to grow interiorly and exteriorly within society. We are also developing a leadership program for the youth so they can take over some of their own activities.
St Vincent de Paul Society (Sr Mary Jean): This society assists the poor in Cameron Park through home visits , evaluation of their needs and then with other members of their society decide what type of assistance to provide. They make referrals to our agency and outside agencies for services needed. They walk with the families and assist them to get on their own feet.
Community Action Programs
Community Activities (Lupita Sanchez): This includes community activities
to assist the community in teaching them their civic responsibilities and encourage them to vote. Lupita holds town hall meetings which address community problems and tries to encourage the community to engage themselves to come up with solutions. She also is encouraging the community to have cleaner and safer environments by providing trash and brush pick-ups and by running competitions about the cleanest compound in the colonia. Recycling and dog control are also issues that are being embraced.
Civil Engagement/Get Out the Vote (Lupita Sanchez)
Immigration (Paula Barrera): Paula participates on a Valley-wide committee which covers various immigration issues and from that, she informs other PJD promotoras who in turn will educate the local community about legislation that will impact them.
There is also AAA and a support AAA for wives of people who have specific problems.
Other Community Action Activities provided by PJD
- Get out the Vote
- Community Family Association
- Trash and Brush pick-up
- Assistance in Street Paving
- Town Hall Meetings
- Civic Engagement of local constituency re: policies/ bills that may impact lower income families.
- Concerns of local problems which could be solved
Program Partners and Collaborators
- University of Texas Medical School of San Antonio
- University of Texas School of Public Health/ Houston
- Villa Maria Language Institute
- Cameron County Extension Office: Nutrition
- Daughters of Charity, Province of St. Louise
- Mission and Ministry Foundation
- Marguerite Casey Foundation
- United Way - Brownsville, TX
- The Valley Baptist Legacy Foundation
- John and Marie Stella Kennedy Memorial Foundation
- Texas Civic Engagement Table
- CACE (Corporate Action for Care of Elderly
- Local Community and PJD Volunteers