Latino-led, Latino-serving non-profit Amistades, Inc. proposes to significantly heighten the prevention capacity of communities in southern Arizona by building the Mayahuel Prevention Consortium as a culturally responsive approach that can reach and engage the region’s fastest growing market segment – the Latino population.
Latinos will exceed 50% of residents in Tucson/Pima County by 2025 (US Census 2019). Newly acculturated and monolingual Spanish-speaking residents account for approximately 25% of this population, requiring culturally and linguistically-focused messages and programming aimed at alcohol and drug prevention. As a border region, communities struggle with bicultural norm clashes as families straddle life in both the U.S. and Mexico, which have vastly differing views around underage drinking and recreational drug use. These are compounded by the prevalence of intergenerational trauma - societal, familial and historical – within the Latino population.
The Mayahuel Prevention Consortium will follow each step of the Strategic Prevention Framework to plan and implement a mix of evidence-based prevention programs, policies, and practices focusing specifically in Tucson’s high-risk 85705 and 85706 zip codes. Through the SPF process, the Mayahuel Prevention Consortium will create the following products: a community needs assessment, strategic plan, logic model, workforce development plan, sustainability plan and evaluation plan.
Amistades has already identified three proposed prevention best practices that will be fully vetted during the Needs Assessment process. These include: 1) Too Good For Drugs, the Mendez Foundation 2) the Padres Comprometidos curriculum for adults over 26 years old, UnidosUS; and 3) the agency’s community driven and innovative, El Renacimiento curriculum, which has shown promising results in reducing intergenerational Latino trauma – proven to be an impactful causal factor in substance use.
Implementation of Consortium activities will encompass SAMHSA-CSAP’s Six Prevention Strategies to serve approximately 100,000 residents over five years. These will include 1) information dissemination; 2) education; 3) alternatives; 4) environmental; 5) community-based process; and 6) problem identification and referral.
The project strategies and activities will be grounded in culturally responsive and community defined practices. Amistades will utilize specific Latino core values, Razalogia Community Outreach Framework and indigenous teachings from Jerry Tello of the National Compadres Network. The agency has extensive experience utilizing these culturally appropriate frameworks in their previous substance abuse and HIV reduction programs targeting hard to reach Latinos. Through the Mayahuel Consortium, Latino youth, young adults, adults over 26 will reduce risk factors while enhancing protective factors grounded in Hawkins and Catalano’s risk and protective prevention factors model.
Proposed partners include two border school districts (Tucson Unified School District and Sunnyside Unified School District), Tucson Police Department, Pima County Sheriff’s Department, Pima County Juvenile Court Center, Pima County Health Department, Tucson City Ward 5, Tucson City Ward 3, YWCA of Southern Arizona, and Catholic Community Services.
Prevention and early intervention efforts must find ways to reach and teach this population to stop/delay the onset and reduce the progression of substance abuse and its related problems, including intergenerational trauma.