250287 Tools for engaging indigenous farmworker communities in pesticide safety education

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 5:10 PM

Virginia Ruiz, JD , Farmworker Justice, Washington, DC
Nargess Shadbeh, JD , Farmworker Program, Oregon Law Center, Portland, OR
Julie Samples, JD , Indigenous Farmworker Project, Oregon Law Center, Hillsboro, OR
Valentin Sanchez , Indigenous Farmworker Project, Oregon Law Center, Woodburn, OR
Santiago Ventura, BA , Oregon Law Center, Woodburn, OR
Carmen Gonzalez , Pineros y Campesinos Unidos del Noroeste, Woodburn, OR
Over the last decade, increasing numbers of new migrants have been arriving in the United States from indigenous communities in Mexico and Guatemala. Mixteco-, Zapotec- and Triqui-speaking workers from the state of Oaxaca, Mexico are becoming a prominent component of the western migratory stream. Although their numbers are growing, most indigenous Oaxacans have not assimilated into mainstream Latino culture. These workers face numerous language and cultural barriers in obtaining safety information and accessing health services. Typically, workers whose native language is an indigenous language speak only rudimentary Spanish, and have distinct cultural traditions. There is no uniform written format for many indigenous languages and many indigenous workers are illiterate, compounding the difficulty of efforts to provide services to them. The EPA's Worker Protection Standard (WPS) provides for pesticide safety training programs for agricultural workers and agricultural pesticide handlers. In a 2006 NIOSH-funded survey in Oregon, the authors found that only 57 percent of the farmworkers who reported working in pesticide-treated areas said they had ever received pesticide safety training, and no training was conducted in an indigenous language. Little is known about the effectiveness of any training programs workers receive, particularly if the education is provided in a language the worker does not speak. Presenters will discuss their experience in developing culturally and linguistically appropriate pesticide safety training and outreach materials as part of a community-based participatory research study, including a picture-based booklet, tailored interventions by community health educators, and audio recordings of educational sociodramas (dramatic skits).

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Occupational health and safety

Learning Objectives:
* Describe the barriers to providing linguistically and culturally appropriate educational materials for Mexican indigenous farmworkers. * Identify resources for designing effective pesticide safety education and training materials for low-literacy and non-traditional language speakers.

Keywords: Cultural Competency, Pesticide Exposure

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have worked as a farmworker attorney for over 13 years, with significant experience working with indigenous farmworker populations and pesticide safety education.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.