¡Podemos!: We Can!® en Español!

Girl running while flying kite

October 23, 2008

With statistics showing that the Hispanic community has seen an increase in the number of overweight children, the need for We Can! programs and materials in Spanish has never been greater.

Washington, DC-based Unity Health Care, a clinic that serves uninsured and underserved populations, has answered that call. Over the summer, the clinic began hosting free We Can! sessions for Spanish speakers, targeting both parents and kids. Programs have been drawing an average of 30 participants, with children ranging in age from 5 to 15 years old.

Even better, we’re told that the classes are having a ripple effect within the community. As it turns out, two families who keep returning for more information are becoming sources of information, encouragement, and support for community members.

Eva, her husband, their ten-year-old boy, and their seven-year-old girl attended the class for two weeks. Eva has a family history of diabetes. Her concerns about it have spurred her on to make changes in her family’s lifestyle, such as adding outdoor activities.

Another family that’s taken an active interest in the class has their son to thank for keeping them on the path to good nutrition. Ever since Flor’s nine-year-old son learned to check the nutrition facts on food labels in class, he tells her "Mom, I don't think that food is a good choice..." whenever they’re grocery shopping.

These are but two of what Unity Health Care hopes will be many success stories. The classes are being held once a week, over a period of four weeks. Instructors make the classes highly interactive, and use We Can! materials as references. They report that the Portion Distortion handout is one of the most frequently used and effective pieces, because the image of how much portions have grown really drives home the point that portion size is important.

Unity Health Care’s We Can!-related activities don’t end there. The group also attended the Acting U.S. Surgeon General’s Round Table on September 29, and participated in a meeting of DC-area We Can! sites on August 4.

Contact us at nhlbiinfo@nhlbi.nih.gov if you would like to connect with the team at Unity Health Care to learn more about their activities.

Last Updated: February 13, 2013