Manning Up to Machismo

One of the most prevalent characteristics of our Latino culture is machismo, which in history used to be about chivalry, responsibility and strength of character and has now evolved into tough-minded, individualistic, tough-as-nails mindset and approach of many Latino men. And while machismo has many benefits – including the strong sense of responsibility to care for the needs of one’s family, the strong work ethic even in tough work conditions and the determination to provide for one’s loved ones regardless of the obstacles – it also causes a lot of tension and issues in the family and within our Latino men.p
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Latino Teens and Alcohol in Placer County

Recently our YEAGA and ALTA youth conducted a survey of Latino teenagers and parents in Placer County to try and better understand teens’ perspectives on alcohol use. What we found was troubling, and serves as a call for our community to look introspectively at how we facilitate underage drinking. … Continue Reading →

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Being a Role Model for Our Kids

Often we think our kids don’t listen to us or care what we think. But the truth is that they’re always watching and listening to us, and the examples we set go a long way toward the men and women they will become. … Continue Reading →

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Breaking the Cycle of Incarcerated Latino Youth

According to a 2010 report by the National Council of La Raza, Latinos make up 19% of youth between the ages of 10 to 17, yet we account for 25% of incarcerated youth. We have a problem. We can spend all day and countless blog posts debating the reasons behind our children’s’ overrepresentation in juvenile justice facilities, and I am sure terms like “discrimination,” “personal responsibility,” “oppression” and many others will be bandied about by all sides of the debate, but that won’t resolve the issue at hand. Whatever reasons have gotten us to this point, we’re here. And pointing fingers won’t get us where we need to be. So what can we, as a community, do to help our children avoid derailing their lives before they even get started? … Continue Reading →

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Celebrating Christmas Latino Style

In the United States, we often hear about the 12 Days of Christmas and the celebrations and gifts that surround that tradition. But the 12 Days of Christmas have nothing on the more than month-long holiday celebrations traditionally held by Latino communities in this country and abroad. So it comes as no surprise that around this time of year, I get a lot of questions from my non-Latino friends and associates, particularly those who work with the Latino community, about “what’s a posada?” or “what’s this thing they’re celebrating in January?” I know, there’s a lot of culture, tradition and history around Latino holidays, so I thought I would take a few moments to give a quick guide to celebrating Christmas Latino style. … Continue Reading →

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Promotores as Part of Integrated Patient Care

As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in a hospital setting, I am reminded every day of the important role promotores, or community health workers, play in the health and recovery of patients in our community. Promotores are invaluable partners, educators and collaborators; unfortunately many physicians, nurses, case managers, social workers, therapists and other health professionals are not aware of the expertise promotores bring, thus don’t know how to incorporate their services into the patients’ care. … Continue Reading →

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