By Neil Vento

Local Promotora Rosa Hernandez has teamed up with the Patterson Parks and Recreation Department to help create some art at the Skatepark.

The RAIZ Promotores Program that Rosa is representing is a mental health prevention and well-being program based in Stanislaus County. Local Promotores are mostly Latinas in the community who help by providing services that come from the heart, “Servicio De Corazon.”

According to the RAIZ Promotores Program Pamphlet, “The purpose of the program is to prevent and reduce mental health stigma and discrimination for Latinos by strengthening natural communites of support, increasing the sense of belonging, improving well-being, and developing leadership.”

One of the ways that Rosa has helped to stay true to the purpose of the program is by working with students on creating a positive atmosphere and message at the Skatepark. Together with the help of volunteer students, Rosa has painted murals that were brainstormed at the Patterson Teen Center.

“We had a community volunteer who came out; she’s one of the community Promotoras, and she was interested in getting young people to go out and beautify the Skatepark. She designed some paintings for them, one for each wall, and she came and spoke to our teen center youth and got their ideas and incorporated them,” said Recreation Supervisor Jason Hayward.

Hayward said that beautifying the Skatepark was something that the Parks and Recreation department has been eyeing for some time, and it was a perfect opportunity for them when Rosa reached out for her cause, and community.

Ms. Hernandez is a self taught artist whohas been living in Patterson for Seventeen years. She is a very active member of the RAIZ Promotores, and loves her community.

“I don’t have any professional classes or anything like that,” said Ms. Hernandez when asked about her background in art. “I just love painting. I have been an artist for 8 years painting murals in my house, painting for family and doing paintings for friends. One day I thought I would like to share this with the community and volunteer myself.”

Students from Las Palmas and Northmead Elementary could be seen putting their hand prints on the walls surrounding the skatepark, and inside the giant “Peace” sign that was painted by Ms. Hernandez. Simultaneous to the elementary students working with paint on their hands, high school students could be found writing motivational messages, like:

“Stop wishing and start doing.”

“If you believe in yourself, you can do anything.”

“Love yourself.”

For more information on how you can get involved with the RAIZ Promotores Mental Health Prevention Program, contact Albertina Reynoso at (209) 892-6688. Or visit the Patterson Family Resource Center For Human Services at 118 N. 2nd St, Ste.D

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