Hispanic Heritage Month brings us together to reflect on our past, celebrate our present, and build for our future.
This month, HEALTHY FUTURES OF TEXAS is excited to do the same as we celebrate some of our Texas community and healthcare partners. We also heard from some of the Hispanic young Texans in our Young Women’s Advisory Council (YWAC) and Youth Advisory Board (YAB), who opened up about how families and parents can have these important conversations at home.
Community & Healthcare Partner – Access Esperanza Clinics
The mission of Access Esperanza Clinics is to provide education, advocacy, and affordable, high-quality health care so women and men in our community can access the sexual and reproductive health services they need. Access Esperanza Clinics is the largest and oldest family planning agency along the South Texas border. They have provided high-quality, affordable health services in Hidalgo County for over 50 years and annually serve about 15,000 people. More than 90 percent of their patients meet income guidelines for free or low-cost services, and for many, the organization is their only healthcare provider.
“I’ve held a lifelong passionate belief that access to healthcare is a fundamental human right. Unfortunately, about half of reproductive-age Latinas in the Rio Grande Valley can’t access care because they are uninsured and have low incomes. Access Esperanza Clinics works to eliminate barriers to care in this community with affordable sexual and reproductive health services to help people control fertility, reach life goals, and improve the quality of life for themselves and their families.” – Patricio Gonzales, CEO, Access Esperanza Clinics
Access Esperanza Clinics has clinics in the following areas: McAllen, Mission, Edinburg, and Weslaco.
Their services include physical exams, women’s exams, men’s exams, teen services, birth control, STD testing & treatment, family education, and more. They even offer free services for those who qualify. Apply here.
Hearing from Young Adults
This Hispanic Heritage Month, we asked a few YWAC (Young Women’s Advisory Council) members to tell us about the sex education lessons they received at home and their passion for supporting an increase in sexual health education today.
Vanessa Rodriguez, 23 years old
Alum of Texas Women’s Foundation YWAC Program
Did your parents talk to you about sexual health? If yes, what was their advice?
What do you wish your parents would have said?
- I wish they would’ve been more open and less strict. All of that was so taboo it was NEVER talked about.
Can you share a few tips for today’s Hispanic parents to make it easier for them to talk to their kids about sexual health?
- This stuff is so natural, and you should not be embarrassed to talk to your kids about it. Even though parents tell their kids to wait till marriage, the likelihood is that they are not. I think instead of shutting down the subject, parents should be open to discussing these things with their kids like protection, contraceptives, and CONSENT.
Our Courageous Leader
We salute our courageous and transformational leader, Evelyn Delgado, for her dedication to our team, the organization, and its programs, and to young adults statewide.
Evelyn recently expanded her leadership role as CEO of the newly merged Healthy Futures of Texas, which now includes Ntarupt and Texas Campaign to Reduce Unintended Pregnancy in Teens. She recently received the Grantmakers In Health’s (GIH) 2022 Andy Hyman Award for Advocacy. Evelyn also serves as the chair of the Texas Women’s Healthcare Coalition and represents the interests of women of color through her work with the Improving Maternal Health’s Steering Committee and Advocacy Workgroup, the Texas Collaborative for Healthy Mothers and Babies’ Community Committee, and Race Equity Workgroup, and the Bexar Coalition Workgroup. She is also a public member of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists District XI Council.
“Healthy Futures of Texas’ mission is to promote positive health outcomes for all young Texans, and especially for Hispanic women who have been historically and disproportionately affected by adverse sexual and reproductive health outcomes due to inequitable access, lack of social support, and other factors. We’re passionate about working with our community partners to help close the gap and these disparities. The time is NOW to create new approaches that ensure access to sexual health education and resources for everyone in both English and Spanish. Today, and every day, we will continue to improve access, provide bilingual resources and work to direct those in need to community-level healthcare resources and services.” – Evelyn Delgado, CEO, HEALTHY FUTURES OF TEXAS