Online Program

Using cinematic storytelling for a spanish-language pesticide awareness campaign

Monday, November 4, 2013 : 12:30 p.m. - 12:35 p.m.

Iana M. Simeonov, UCSF mLabs, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
The bilingual English/Spanish language campaign “The safety of your family is in your hands. Protect if from pesticides” provides community health workers/promotores easily accessible, user-friendly digital tools for educating farm workers, rural and urban dwellers on pesticide dangers and safety.

The video-centric campaign, launching in March 2013, was developed in direct response to promotores and farm worker needs and desires, which were discovered through a series of 10 focus groups across the state.

We explored knowledge levels around pesticide hazard, proper use and safety with farm workers, low-income Spanish-speaking urban dwellers and community health workers. We particularly examined communications habits and preferences to identify gaps, barriers and opportunities for outreach.

Findings showed high usage of smartphones and strong partiality for learning through video among low-income Hispanics. Farm workers, over half of whom had web-enabled phones, were heavily reliant on mobile devices and often used them as their sole gateway to the Internet. Promotores described routinely using cell phones in their work, criticized printed and text-heavy materials as inefficient and out-of-touch and complained about the lack of mobile-optimized teaching tools.

Based on these findings we developed a Spanish-language educational resource that relies primarily on video and is optimized for use on mobile devices; the first such resource of its kind. The campaign website and videos are at and an English version at

The 5 videos—Start of the Day (Hero I); End of the Day (Hero II); Bug Party; Bugs Out; and Signs & Symptoms can also be found online at

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Communication and informatics
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Occupational health and safety
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
Discuss cinematic storytelling as a teaching tool Describe the the basics of pesticide safety for farm workers Identify the the basics of home pesticide safety

Keyword(s): Pesticides, Community Outreach

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Over 10 years of experience in research, program and development for underserved populations, multi-year APHA, NIH and CDC conference presenter. Focus on Hispanic education marketing, creator of numerous bilingual health education tools including print, web, video, text-messaging campaigns, online games, apps and digital and mobile tools for public health programs and projects nationwide. Writer/director of current submission, seasoned still and video producer.
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.