Our locally elected community health workers (promotoras de salud) are at the center of Sacred Valley Health’s work. Each promotora is elected by her community’s general assembly. She attends monthly or bi-monthly trainings with Sacred Valley Health that are conducted in partnership with government clinics in our catchment area. Each promotora takes on a leadership role in her village and becomes the community’s frontline health care provider. In addition to educating others about how to stay healthy, she offers care for minor illnesses and injuries, provides basic prenatal counseling, and accompanies patients to the nearest government clinic when they need more sophisticated care.
Promotoras give frequent presentations on health-related topics to community groups. They teach hand washing and tooth brushing at local schools, ensuring that the teachers and students have the supplies they need. They teach local weavers and farmers how to address back pain through stretches and strengthening exercises. They provide updates on their own training to their communities’ general assemblies. In short, they become their communities’ main resource for health-related information and the primary link to the government health system.