Understanding, Translating, and Conveying the Work of Health Promotoras

Juan Arevalo, “Understanding, Translating, and Conveying the Work of Health Promotoras”
Mentor: Rachel Bloom-Pojar, English
Oral Presentation Block 2

The Cuentos de Confianza Project is a digital, bilingual (Spanish-English) storytelling project about the experiences of promotores de salud (health promoters) on the path toward reproductive justice (SisterSong). Promotores de Salud are Latinx individuals who work with their communities by serving as a bridge between patients and health care providers, being there offering advice, establishing trust, and listening in ways healthcare providers do not always have the time to do. The health promoters featured in this project work with reproductive and sexual health education, but they also serve as resources for a variety of health needs in their communities. This presentation will describe my research and work as a translator with the Cuentos project. I will discuss translation, its role in connecting different communities, and the importance of collaborating with community members through the process of translating their stories. This public humanities project features stories written by six Latina women in Wisconsin about their different experiences with immigration from Latin America, the pursuit of gender equity, and work with communities. To better understand this project, I read scholarship about reproductive justice, community-engaged research, and the rhetoric of translation. My work as a translator on the editorial team helped with designing the Cuentos website and connecting the health promoters’ stories with English-speaking audiences. Also, it helped me gain a greater understanding of some of the disparities that exist between men and women in local Latinx communities and the struggles present for women who seek reproductive justice. This project highlights how promotoras de salud are helping to reduce these struggles and advance reproductive justice for their communities. My presentation will feature parts of the Cuentos de Confianza website that I helped work on, and I will describe how community-engaged methods for translation can enable digital storytelling projects to reach more diverse audiences.