El Sol is a non-profit organization based in San Bernardino that is built on training dedicated and passionate Community Health Workers (CHW) to help educate and build their communities.
“What we do is recruit CHWs from within their respective communities, to then train them to help educate their community,” explained Alex Fajardo, Executive Director of El Sol.
This training center is vital to execute the work El Sol does. This is the beginning of change for each of their CHWs and their respective communities.
“When we recruit, we want those that are passionate about their community,” said Fajardo.
El Sol has a focus on building the community by educating them on various health topics that include diabetes, mental health, and covid-19, just to name a few.
“We want to empower the community,” shared Fajardo.
This community empowerment approach builds that unity and trust among each community. By training CHWs, then deploying them into their own community, El Sol creates an example for those receiving assistance.
“For us, we want the CHWs to help create a ripple effect of positive health,” explained Fajardo.
The ripple effect starts with the training. Each CHW and promotores must go to a training center where El Sol helps develop and enhance their skills.
“I love the amazing stories that come from our CHWs. Our CHWs help those within the community create their own solutions and make change,” expressed Fajardo.
With Covid-19 being such a huge part of healthcare over the last year-and-a-half El Sol has created numerous ways to educate their community members.
Part of El Sol’s efforts to educate community members of Covid-19 are comic strips and a play, which can be found on their website.
“With the play we wanted to do something different, it really was a team effort and we’ve gotten positive feedback so far,” said Fajardo.
The play features a hero named Captain Empath. He partners with CHWs to educate the community of Covid-19, and motivate them to get vaccinated to help protect each other.
El Sol believes by educating and being that inspiration for their community, residents can build a healthy and strong community.
“For any organization that wants to train their community volunteers they can reach out to us and receive the necessary training to help their community,” explained Fajardo.