Empowering Detainees at Otero II to Live Healthy Lives
The Otero County Processing Center in Chaparral, New Mexico recently began a wellness program for the detainees housed in the immigration detention center. The wellness program was launched with a health fair where all interested detainees were invited to attend.
Isaac Mancha is the center’s recreation supervisor.
“Today, we’re trying to educate them in their health and well-being,” he says. “And also in the mental state. We’re trying to educate them into being into a more active lifestyle, especially here now that COVID has hit and a lot of lifestyles have changed dramatically.”
Sarah Mata is the assistant administrator of the center’s health services.
“We’re doing blood pressure checks, their weight, their height,” she explains. “We’re measuring their body fat, their neck, their waist, offering the flu vaccine, and also doing their blood sugar checks. Also, kind of give them a starting point of what kind of decisions they need to make to be healthier.”
“Detainees will get their first, initial check,” continues Mr. Mancha. “And if they’re in this program, this is going to be very vital information that we know.”
“With the detainee population we are able to encourage them to utilize the services that we have here,” says Ms. Mata, “to make sure that they are healthy and then when they get outside or whenever they are
released, they are able to continue making these healthy choices and know the direction and the steps they need to take to continue to take care of themselves.”