On Saturday August 13 the Berryessa Flea Market will include a health fair aimed at entertainment and information for families.
For the past few years Jesse De La Cruz of the American Diabetes Association has collaborated with the Flea Market to expand the health knowledge of families in the Latino community.
“The Feria de Salud came about as a realization that we wanted to reach out to more and more Latino families and educate them of the dangers of diabetes because of the rising trend in type 2 diabetes in the community. We wanted to make sure we had a vehicle to reach out to families and educate and at the same time to have some fun, and Feria de Salud is a combination of education and fun, like a streets fair,” says De La Cruz.
The fair has a wide range of screenings available, all free of cost, to community members curious about their health. Beyond this there will be family entertainment such as Mariachis, clowns, face paintings and healthy foods.
“We have an awful lot of fun things for the whole family But never losing sight of our original goal which is to educate families on diabetes type 2 and what it is and how to prevent it.”
De La Cruz began his mission in helping communities receive proper health education when he looked into his own family history of diabetes.
“I did some research and found out it does not run in my own family, so it baffled me at why so many Latinos were getting type 2 and had a long family history of getting this. So I looked into it more and more and made some contacts through the American Diabetes Association. There was a great interest in reaching out to the Latino community so that became my job.”
Overall the Feria de Salud has been in the Bay Area for 13 years, with the Flea Market hosting the last 4. “We like the venue very very much simply because it packs a large gathering of Latino families. It seems to be a good fit for each other,” says De La Cruz.
The fair is run by the ADA although their assessments and informational aspects come from different clinics in the area. This year screenings will be done primarily by Foothill Community Health Center.
De La Cruz adds, “we’re gonna do glucose, we’re gonna screen for blood pressure, vision screenings, dental screenings, back pains and even do ultrasound screenings. We just want to be able to offer as many health services as possible to Latino families that come to our fair.”
“Our outreach is that we want to attract as many people as possible so we can give out as much service to everyone.”
Finally, De La Cruz feels there is one important reason to stop by and check out the fair on August 13, “I think overall the best reason to stop by and visit us is to learn more about diabetes. If they go to Feria de Salud hopefully they’re going not only for the entertainment, because that will be fun, but to talk to these organizations that are all geared towards one thing, and that is ‘how can we help to make the Latino families healthy in our community’.”