Turning great ideas into healthier communities


Cultiva La Salud

As an initiative of the Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH), Cultiva La Salud works in Fresno, Kern and Stanislaus counties in six largely Latino neighborhoods and communities including Southeast Fresno, Orange Cove, Southeast Bakersfield, Arvin, Ceres and Turlock. 

The goal of Cultiva La Salud, which literally means “cultivate health” in Spanish, is to increase access to environments with healthy food or beverage options and increase access to physical activity opportunities. Through these approaches Cultiva La Salud will seek to increase the daily consumption of fruits, vegetables, healthy beverages and increase physical activity among the targeted Latino population. The project will be working in partnership with the Dolores Huerta Foundation and the Ceres Partnership for Healthy Children.



Program Director(s)

Genoveva Islas

Program Site

Cultiva La Salud


CA4Health/CA Convergence Community of Practice (CoP)

A comprehensive statewide network will be created through the integration of the California Convergence Coordinating Office (CO) with CA4Health and the formation of a community of practice (CoP). This CoP will be created to leverage the significant investments in California for systemic changes towards achieving health and equity. CA4Health will provide the infrastructure to reduce fragmentation by bringing together diverse stakeholders in California to share lessons learned, best practices, and innovative new paths forward as we build towards a system of prevention. The network includes a set of workgroups on key prevention and equity topics and will facilitate action with a more unified and coherent voice. The addition of Convergence will extend the network through the inclusion of community residents and non-traditional partners already organizing for action. The network will also leverage TCE investments in complimentary health equity models to provide mentorship and technical assistance to deepen collaboration and impact.

Cultiva La Salud: Cultivating Health Equity in California’s San Joaquin Valley

Cultiva La Salud aims to reduce health disparities and prevent chronic disease among Latinos in Turlock, Ceres, Southeast Fresno, Orange Cove, Southeast Bakersfield and Arvin through interventions addressing poor nutrition and physical inactivity. It will also engage residents in planning, implementation and evaluation processes, building their capacity to be advocates for change. The program will connect interventions with opportunities for economic development and civic engagement. 


Fresno County Partnership to Improve Community Health

Cultiva la Salud will support Fresno County Department of Public Health with their CDC Partnerships to Improve Community Health (PICH) project.  With the County, the program will work alongside a multi-sector community coalition of businesses, schools, nonprofit organizations, and other community organizations towards the end goal of reducing tobacco use and exposure, improve nutrition, increase physical activity, and improve access to chronic disease prevention, risk reduction, and management opportunities.  PICH funding is to use evidence- and practice-based strategies to create or strengthen healthy environments that make it easier for people to make healthy choices and take charge of their health.

San Joaquin Valley Sustainable Ag/Power Building Collaborative

Cultiva la Salud will be an active member of and provide support to the Sustainable Ag/Power Building Collaborative in the San Joaquin Valley by participating in strategy sessions and other activities.

Trainings for Merced County’s Partnership to Improve Community Health

PHI will provide training and workshops such as developing culturally and linguistically-competent public health approaches for leadership team, staff, partners, and residents to support Merced County’s Partnership to Improve Community Health grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Technical support and expertise will also be provided for community health worker led Chronic Disease Self-Management Program.

Vendors4Health: Improving access to fruits and vegetables in Fresno

California FreshWork Grant Fund will support bilingual Cultiva La Salud staff to assist mobile vendors in the process for permitting, licensing, and certification in food handling to sell fruits and vegetables. The assistance and guidance will help position these vendors to better develop and grow their small business. Funds will also support the purchase of tablets for vendors to allow acceptance of electronic payments as well as funds to support establishment of a community kitchen for food preparation.

Here's How We're Making a Difference

Baile Folklórico and Bicycles Keep the Central Valley Moving

Cultiva La Salud engages with community residents to help inform decision makers around improving access to healthy food and beverages and opportunities to be physically active. 
In 2016, Cultiva La Salud and Ceres Partnership for Healthy Children established a shared-use agreement which opened school space to residents in Ceres, a rural town in California’s Central Valley where nearly 70% of residents are obese or overweight. Today, 23,000 Latinos living nearby have increased their physical activity by participating in Bailoterapia, a form of aerobic dance akin to Zumba.


Building Cultural Resilience and Health in Fresno, California

PHI's Cultiva La Salud is helping to improve the food environment in Fresno CA, converting existing food vendors in the city's food deserts into healthy food vendors for the Latino community—including outfitting vendors with new bicycle carts. By removing unhealthy food while increasing access to healthy options, the project is promoting healthier diets and ultimately helping to reducing the onset of chronic disease. The mobile vendors now sell freshly-cut fruits, vegetables and other healthy options, share nutrition information and connect residents to supplemental nutrition programs. They serve as health champions in their community by providing access to healthy foods, but also act as role models for biking and as ambassadors linking business to public health and prevention. 

The initiative garnered Cultiva La Salud a win in the state’s Let’s Get Healthy California Innovation Challenge.

School Farm Stands Support Healthier Eating

Cultiva la Salud is supporting school farm stands to help create greater access to local fruits and vegetables for low-income residents in Southeast Fresno. Residents can purchase fresh produce using their CalFresh benefits.