Fighting Cancer in North Texas Hispanic Community

The Rojo Way promotes healthy lifestyle- Part 2


This is the part two of two [Part one:  Rosa Es Rojo: Taking Care Of Latinas [Video] of the first in a series of articles designed to highlight Latinas and the support networks that are helping the Hispanic Community in Dallas, Texas. 

We often think of not-for-profit organizations as outside the realm of business because what they produce cannot always be measured in stock valuations or return on revenue.  What we hope to highlight in these articles is the strategy, execution and impact that is being made by social entrepreneurs. 

Here are the facts:

  • Cancer is the leading cause of death among Hispanics in the US and 1 in 3 Latinas will get cancer. (American Cancer Society, 2018)
  • Nearly half (40%) of Texas population is Hispanic. In less than 3 years they will be the largest population in the state and they are one of the largest living in poverty (US Census Bureau)
  • In Texas, every dollar invested in cancer prevention leads to $26 in treatment cost savings. In 2018, our economy lost $212B because of the effects of cancer. (Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas, 2018)
  • 90 to 95% of all cancer cases have roots in an unhealthy lifestyle. Cancer is a preventable disease.  (National Center of Biotechnology Information)

Aidee Granados and Laura Mendivil know these facts well.  That’s why they started the program, The Rojo Way.  [See Aidee and Laura’s story at Rosa Es Roja: Taking care of Latinas.]It’s the first offering of the organization Rosa Es Rojo Inc. founded by Aidee in 2016.

The program consists of 20 hours of training on nutrition, positive thinking, emotional wellbeing and physical activity.  There are 4 workshops of 4 hours and then 4 more hours of mentorship for 20 to 25 women at a time.

The goal of the workshops is to help Latinas become healthier and in turn help them to make their families healthier by picking better options, recognizing and naming their emotions, reading labels, setting goals and activities, translating emotions to position thinking.

All program activity is offered in Spanish and is culturally relevant.

For example, when teaching about healthier food choices, the program includes nopales, beans, and chiles, and stresses lower calorie ways to cook. The program also concentrates on helping Latinas begin an exercise program and learn to manage their emotions.  Laura Mendivil, program stressed that because Latinas are a “tiny bit noiser”, they often express themselves differently and need help in naming their emotions.

The program also trains ambassadors to carry on the work in organizations throughout North Texas.  So far, the program has trained about 2 ambassadors(with a goal to train 10 by year end) and educated over 600 Latinas.  There are 855,000 Latinas in the North Texas area, but Laura stressed that for every Latina who is trained, there will be 5 additional people impacted her training.

With those trained thus far, Rosa es Rojo has potentially improved the lives of over 3,000 Hispanics in the DFW area.

One of the reasons for the organization’s success is that Laura and Aidee employ business measurements to judge the impact of their not-for-profit business.  They apply three evaluation tools:  One at the beginning of the workshops, one immediately after the workshop and one usually two months later.

The results show great promise:

  • 85% of the Latinas make better food choices
  • 95% read the labels on food
  • 86% name and recognize their emotions
  • 80% demonstrated how to set SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely) goals.

Like all good businesses, Laura and Aidee have enlisted mentors and supporters through the acceleration programs offered by United Way of Dallas, United Way of Tarrant County, and Social Venture Partners Dallas.

Related articles:

Part one: Rosa Es Rojo: Taking Care Of Latinas [Video]

Turning Spending into Investment Power for Latinx in America

Federal Agencies and the Impact of Administrators on the Latinx Community

Latinas in South Florida to Be Honored for Community, Culture and Charity


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