CHUD continues outreach efforts
along Texas-Mexico border area


The Center for Housing and Urban Development at Texas A&M, part of the university’s College of Architecture, is continuing its involvement in a number of outreach programs targeting the Hispanic population along the Mexican border.

Laura Treviño, associate director of CHUD’s Colonias Program in Weslaco, spoke at a literacy conference in May hosted by the McAllen ISD Migrant Education Department and the AVANCE-RGV Civics Program. AVANCE-RGV serves low-income Rio Grande Valley colonia families with young children.

The event promoted education through literacy with an emphasis on the importance of children’s reading at home.

Omar Chavez, Mission Consolidated ISD Migrant and Parental Involvement Coordinator, was the event’s keynote speaker. Also on the dais were Cynthia Bebon from McAllen ISD and Veronica Rodriguez, chairwoman of the Department of Child Care and Development at South Texas College.

In another effort, CHUD’s Colonias Program in El Paso partnered with Arte Sana of Austin and the Texas Health and Human Services Commission’s Office of Border Affairs to host El Paso’s Girl Empowerment Festival May 19. Arte Sana is a nonprofit agency for underserved survivors of gender and racial violence that promotes healing and empowerment through the arts and community education.

The festival activities were designed to help prevent sexual violence, promote a drug- and smoke-free lifestyle and promote self-esteem among girls and young women from El Paso-area colonias.

“Young women today face tremendous pressure from many directions, including their peers, their boyfriends and the overall culture,” said Jaime Rodriguez of the Office of Border Affairs. “Our purpose was to help them recognize their full potential and learn about resources to help them reach that potential.”

Another program, Windows to Health, a joint project between CHUD and the Mexican government designed to provide health and social service information at Mexican consulates along the border, has become part of a pilot program of the U.S. government’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

NIOSH became involved with Windows to Health in its effort to address occupational illness and injury among Latino workers in the United States.

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