Fall 2021 EPES Update: Supporting Human Rights, Mental Health, Food Sovereignty, and More – All During a Pandemic

Download and read the Fall 2021 EPES Update here!

Dear friends of EPES,

I am always moved and impressed when I receive descriptions of EPES’ latest work and realize how much they are able to do with so few resources. In 2021 alone, EPES reached people from 18 countries, all while coping with the ongoing stresses of the COVID-19 pandemic, now in the latter half of its second year. In this Update, you’ll learn about how EPES is addressing mental health issues in the communities it serves. EPES has organized workshops on psychosocial support, addressing issues such as self care,  Grief, caregiver burden, collective responses to mental health challenges, and the importance to mental health of engagement in the natural world.

EPES’ important work on food sovereignty continues apace, with a training workshop and creation of a community garden in Concepción. In Santiago, a transcultural workshop with participants from the Mapuche community who live in the El Bosque municipality provided an opportunity to explore and exchange indigenous knowledge and methods of growing food.

Food sovereignty was also on the agenda (along with other topics) in an exciting online event in October, when women from Kenya, Uganda and Zimbabwe who had attended EPES’ International Training Course held a reunion to share experiences applying what they had learned about popular education, strategic planning, community participation, and creative evaluation methods. EPES’ methods clearly travel well, and are contributing to improved nutrition and greater economic autonomy for women in these communities.

The Update also describes the various activities through which EPES has continued to support the struggle for human rights and access to health care on the part of Chile’s immigrant communities. This work, as is EPES’ custom, combines practical responses to concrete needs, capacity building, and advocacy to change public policies and institutions.

This multilevel approach has characterized EPES throughout its history, and, I believe, has been a major contributor to its extraordinary longevity. Next year, EPES will celebrate 40 years of work, 40 years in which they have dealt with recession, repression, natural disaster and public health calamity, never once wavering in their commitment to stand with the poorest and most marginalized. Thank you for all you have done to support EPES’ efforts on behalf of health, dignity and justice. I hope we can count on your continued support as we enter the homestretch for EPES’ 40th anniversary.*

Download and read the Fall 2021 EPES Update here!

In solidarity and peace,
Christina Mills MD FRCPC

*Join us in Chile for the 40th anniversary celebration the week of November 19-26, 2022. More information in March.

From Seed to Your Plate – Order Your Game Today!

AHA is excited to share information about EPES’ new educational board game: From Seed to Your Plate!

From Seed to Your Plate is a Spanish language board game developed by EPES for health and educational professionals, community members, high school and college students, social and/or political organizations.

Group playing De la semilla al plato

The game invites players to engage in conversation and analyze the economic, political, social and cultural factors that influence what we eat and how it affects our health and environment.

From Seed to Your Plate facilitates and stimulates critical analysis and consciousness raising necessary to motivate collective actions to bring about changes to food environments. The game is designed to illustrate changes we have witnessed in the global food system in the past 40 years, and explore ideas of how to resist Big Food and Big Agriculture.

  • Good for 2-8 Players
  • Ages 14+
  • No previous knowledge about food or nutrition is required to play
  • De la semilla al plato has been field-tested with community members and health professionals (2019 edition available in Spanish only)

Check out our website to learn more and order a game today!

What has EPES been up to in 2013?

What a busy year 2013 has been! Take a look at the most recent EPES Update to learn more, but this past January, EPES graduated its 80th participant in the International Training Course on Popular Health. It seems like only yesterday that the EPES International Training School — developed in order to spread the methods and philosophy of EPES throughout and beyond Chile — was only a great idea. But 2013 marked the fourth year of this innovative activity. On top of that, EPES is hard at work planning its fifth International Training Course — which will take place in Kenya in early 2014. Who could have thought that when the first course was being developed that EPES would soon be crossing borders and physically spreading its methods on a whole new continent?!

Participants from the 2013 EPES International Training Course on Popular Health

Participants from the 2013 EPES International Training Course on Popular Health

Even with this global endeavor, EPES continues its ongoing work and is beginning new activities in Chile. One of the new initiatives should be of interest to AHA’s North American friends since it addresses a critical public health issue that we are well aware of in our communities — obesity. Did you know that as of this year, Chile has the 9th highest obesity rate among all countries in the world, according to the World Health Organization? To tackle this emerging obesity epidemic in the communities it partners with, EPES is implementing a nutrition and cooking workshop for women within the larger framework of gender and society. Given that obesity has continued to rise in other countries and communities despite efforts to counter it, we are very anxious to see if this approach proves more fruitful.

As you can see from the Update, EPES is constantly developing new ways to promote health and dignity in Chile and the world in an ever-changing environment. With the generous support of AHA supporters, this is possible!