Master's Project Title:

Grounds for Health Community Health Promoter Program: CESMACH Cooperative, Jaltenango, Chiapas, Mexico

MCH Student:

Amanda Eastwood

Date of Defense:

April 29, 2011


Grounds for Health (GFH) is a Vermont based non-profit organization aimed at achieving early detection and treatment of cervical cancer among women in coffee producing communities. Currently, GFH has active sites in Mexico, Nicaragua, and Tanzania. An important component to their program is the training of community health promoters whose role is to disseminate relevant health information within their communities. At GFH’s site in the Jaltenango Department of Chiapas, Mexico, promoters participate in annual trainings consisting of lectures, small group activities and discussions, role playing, and visual demonstrations of the workshop material to prepare them to talk with their peers about HPV, cervical cancer, screening, and treatment.

An assessment of promoters’ motives for participating, attitudes surrounding training sessions and materials, and barriers or conflicts encountered in participating as a promoter was performed to identify areas of strength and for growth to improve the overall program. Qualitative data was collected through personal interviews with thirteen promoters from the area. Findings suggest that promoters were satisfied with the training materials and sessions they received and participated in but are eager to continue learning through additional training sessions and materials. The most commonly reported motive for participating in trainings and as a promoter was the wellbeing of their peers or compañeras. Commonly reported barriers, dislikes, or challenges to successfully fulfilling their role included lack of financial support, social support, or support from their spouse, transportation to and from trainings, and taking the time away from home required to attend trainings.