Healthy Families and Cultural Values: Salsa, Sabor y Salud

2 Jun

We’re gearing up for our 3rd consecutive year of the “Salsa, Sabor y Salud” Program (Salsa) this summer at the YWCA!salsa salud y sabor 015

Salsa is a program developed by the National Latino Children’s Institute (NCIL) and facilitated by two certified leaders on-site at the YWCA of Asheville.  Facilitators and volunteers help both parents and children think about physical activity and healthy eating every day.

The program centers around culturally-relevant activities and discussions that highlight ways that families can make small steps each week towards their wellness goals.  We do fun, educational activities like a scavenger hunt that teaches families about reading nutrition labels, and we dance and play physical games every week.

A mother and daughter duo who participated in Salsa last summer went on to join our Diabetes Wellness and Prevention Program at the YWCA, and continue to work out together in the gym and go to a weekly yoga class.  Another graduate of our Salsa program just went through a training at the YWCA to become a facilitator for the Stanford University program, ‘Tomando,’ a Chronic Conditions Management Program in Spanish.

The YWCA offers Salsa completely in Spanish, provides all families with a complete gym and pool membership during the 8 week sessions, and follows up with families with any relevant wellness opportunities.

“As a person living with diabetes I know how important it is to have the opportunity to focus on health and be surrounded by others who want to do the same,” says Katie Souris, Preventive Health Coordinator at the YW.  “Salsa, Sabor y Salud offers Latino families a chance to discuss similar struggles and triumphs with others, share ideas, and learn new ways to be healthy in the kitchen and by moving more every day.”

We are looking for participants who want to improve their health while preserving cultural values.  We will discuss how small changes can make traditional meals healthier and offer families the chance to develop a habit of being physically active as a way to have fun and build relationships. Contact Katie Souris at or 828-254-7206 x.212.

We’re also looking for volunteers to help with the program! If you’re energetic, compassionate, and excited about helping others please consider volunteering with us.  We need Spanish-speaking volunteers to help with the adult group. Fluency in Spanish is not necessary for those interested in volunteering with the children’s group, although experience working with children is required. Contact Angel Redmond at for more information and to sign up as a volunteer.

Salsa runs every Wednesday from 10 am to 12:30 pm, June 18 through August 6 at the YWCA of Asheville.

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