Looking at Health Through the Eyes of Our Youth

Judith Santibanez is one of the youth exhibiting this Saturday.

Growing up in neighborhoods where green spaces are almost nonexistent and food choices amount to bodegas and takeout menus makes eating and living healthy much harder.  Making the conscious decision to live a more balanced lifestyle is certainly commendable, but it only works when the necessary elements are available and accessible.  For too many Latino communities, those elements are not in place and families are forced to choose from unhealthy options that only worsen the burgeoning obesity and diabetes rates among Hispanics, especially our youth.

It’s going to take Latinos working together to ensure that our kids live long, healthy lives.  That’s why we’ve teamed up with Sodexo, ConAgra Foods, and two of our Affiliates, Alivio Medical Center and Gads Hill Center, to present Reflejos de mi comunidad:  comida y estilo de vida (Reflections of My Community:  Food and Lifestyle), a project designed to assess the barriers that prevent low-income, inner-city Latino youth from healthy eating and active living.  The project also aims to engage parents in creating a healthy lifestyle for their whole family.  And we’re starting this weekend!

On Saturday, we’re hosting a community event at the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago.  We’ll be showcasing a youth photo exhibit that Chicago teens have produced to illustrate the challenges they face in accessing healthy foods.  You’ll have an opportunity to meet some of the students themselves and you’ll get to know more about what we do to improve the health of our Latino youth.

Check out the photos below of some of the other youth who will be exhibiting. Come see the rest on Saturday!


Jessica Hernandez


Mohammed Mohammed


Junior Flores, Eddie Ramirez and “Marie”