Turlock’s Summerfaire Park was colored pink Friday morning as over 60 women from Turlock Promotoras came together to promote breast cancer awareness through physical exercise, guest speakers, and energizing Zumba routines.
“We want the Latino community specifically to go to the doctor, check up on themselves and not fall into the routine of not taking care of their body,” said Promotoras Core Program Coordinator Martha Gutierrez. “So the message today was to create awareness. Check yourself. Go see your doctor. Know your body.”
Throughout Stanislaus County, Promotoras provide community-based health education and prevention, specifically amongst the Latino population. It is funded by Proposition 63, or the Mental Health Services Act, which was passed in 2004 to provide increased funding, personnel and other resources to support county mental health programs.
“We are all about promoting well-being in the community—mentally, spiritually and physically,” said Gutierrez. “We encourage and gather the Latino ladies to create a space where they can mingle and come out of their basic routines they are in—house chores, children—routines that can later on create mental health issues such as depression, anxiety and isolation.”
On Friday, the group walked a lap around the perimeter of Summerfaire Park together, participated in a raffle, engaged in fun Zumba routines and listened to Ceres resident and cancer survivor Liz Pulido.
“Don’t be afraid to examine yourself. Know your body so that you know when something is not normal,” Pulido told the women of Turlock Promotoras Friday. “If you find anything like a bump, you should follow up.”
Pulido’s sister was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 27 and was a survivor for 18 years and seven months before she passed in April 2014. On the one-year anniversary of her sister’s passing in 2015, Pulido herself was in the hospital facing the same diagnosis.
Knowing her own family’s history, Pulido ultimately made the decision to remove both of her breasts a month later—a decision she said saved her life.
“Early detection can save your life,” said Pulido. “It saved mine.”
Gutierrez said the group meets Tuesdays to learn about different skills, including communication and leadership, and Thursdays to do arts and crafts. The group also meets daily for one-hour Zumba sessions.
Gutierrez said that new members are always welcome, and joining is as easy as showing up to one of their next events, all of which take place at the Salvation Army.
Following Friday’s gathering, the Turlock Promotoras will host a Zumbathon from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Oct. 29 at the Salvation Army gym. Gutierrez said that the group is hoping to donate the funds raised from the event to the Turlock Firefighters.
For more information on the Turlock Promotoras, call 202-4749.