The positive outcomes derived from the implementation of culturally sensitive educational programs in addressing disparities in environmental literacy and health among disadvantaged communities have not been rigorously examined. This report summarizes the results of a community-wide survey completed to test this hypothesis in the Cameron Park Colonia, one of the poorest communities along the Texas-Mexico border. The assessment followed a two-year training program in environmental health provided by community lay health workers using a train-the-trainer approach. Statistical analysis of data obtained from 498 households showed that educational intervention significantly improved residents' knowledge of environmental health and disease, particularly in general health knowledge and behavioral modifications to achieve healthier lifestyles. These findings show that culturally appropriate educational intervention enhanced environmental health literacy among Cameron Park Colonia residents. We advocate for the implementation of culturally sensitive training programs in environmental health in other communities to continue to improve environmental health literacy among Hispanics in the United States and to facilitate creation of self-sustainable models of environmental justice.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis