Vida En El Valle Blogs: The Latin voice of the central valley.Vida en el Valle Blogs The Latin voice of the central valley

Juan Esparza Rebecca Plevin Daniel Cásarez Olivia Ruiz Irene Rodriguez Cynthia Moreno Community Health Fellowship

Pixley family prioritizes healthavatar

with 3 comments

For this week’s edition of Vida en el Valle, I wrote a story about the García family of Pixley. (The story was produced with the support of The California Endowment Health Journalism Fellowships, a program of USC’s Annenberg School for Communications & Journalism.)

When I first embarked on the story, I planned on writing about obesity among Latinos in the Valley. But instead of focusing on obesity – a topic that is often in the news nowadays – I ended up focusing on what one family, and one community, is doing to combat the regional obesity epidemic.

This is a story not about obesity, but about what one family has done to be healthy.

To report the story, I spent four consecutive days in Pixley – an unincorporated Tulare County community of about 2,500 – with Teresa García, her husband, Gilberto, and her four children.

I watched as Teresa prepared healthy mid-day meals for her family, and urged them to eat the fresh fruit she left on the table. I accompanied Teresa to her to her daughter’s folkloric dance performance, and visited her sons’ soccer practice. Sometimes, we sat at her kitchen table, or on a picnic bench in her yard, and talked about the importance of eating well, exercising, and getting a quality education.

This is what came clear to me over those four days: It’s not easy to be healthy in a place like Pixley. Though they live in the country’s second-most agriculturally productive county in the country, Pixley residents have limited access to fresh, local fruits and vegetables. There are also limited options for recreation.

But things are changing in Pixley, thanks to concerned parents like the Garcías. I was excited to see how community residents have joined together to create and support a community garden, local soccer teams, and a folkloric dance group. And it’s even more exciting to think that, when given the knowledge, tools, and support, people across the Valley could come together to improve the health of their children and communities.

Written by Rebecca Plevin

June 2nd, 2010 at 8:08 am

Posted in Rebecca Plevin

3 Responses to 'Pixley family prioritizes health'

Subscribe to comments with RSS or TrackBack to 'Pixley family prioritizes health'.

  1. Hi Rebecca,
    I just wanted to know if i could get a copy of the article that I was interviewed in last thursday, June 10, 2010 at Le Grand High School graduation. I was also thinking if the newspaper could do a tribute to Mr. Alvarez, one of the teachers from Le Grand who passed away last night due to cancer. He was one of Le Grand High Schools most honored teachers. He was also head of the Science department at Le Grand and he has an awesome back story about his life. He was a great man, teacher and most of all friend.

    thank you. Sincerely,

    Juan Jose Avelar
    LGHS Senior Class President 2009-2010

    phone: (209) 631-5058 or (209) 382-2249


    Juan Jose Avelar

    17 Jun 10 at 10:29 pm

  2. The California Endowment has funded an obesity related project in Pixley. If the article has any link to the Endowment’s project, this should have been disclosed in the article.


    Michael Mac Lean

    22 Jun 10 at 7:53 am

  3. Hello Rebecca,

    I am working on a special that I am running on my blog next week about Mexico and I was quoting some facts from the Publication The Bee did on Mexico’s Bicentennial. I wanted to forward my readers to the article if it was available. If it is can you send me a link?

    Also, is there an easier way to contact the bloggers on this site because it is kind of confusing.

    If you would like to view my blog feel free to stop by and post some comments at

    Semper Fidelis,

    Manuel Perez
    Perez Studios
    (559) 933-7355


    Manuel Perez

    18 Sep 10 at 7:07 am

Leave a Reply