mission and vision
Juntos seeks to improve access to behavioral health systems that impact Latino/a/x/indigenous communities through outreach, education and mobilization.
Juntos believes that the Latino/a/x/indigenous communities deserve to live happy and healthy lives, realizing their full potential and contributing positively to their community.
The social determinants of health are the conditions in which people are born, grow up, live, work and age. They include factors such as socioeconomic status, education, neighborhood and physical environment, employment and social support networks, and access to health care. In addition, non-citizens who do not speak English well face greater barriers to accessing health coverage and
health care. (Key Health and Health Care Data by Race and Ethnicity, released: January 26, 2022, Latoya Hill, Samantha Artiga and Sweta Haldar) In Oregon, Latino/a/x individuals seeking substance use treatment or help continue to face barriers to accessing services to help them with their substance use. Many are unable to find services because services are not available in the language they speak. When they do find a program,
they are turned away from services because providers do not understand their culture, their beliefs and because they do not speak their language. This is because in Oregon, despite the fact that the Latino/a/x community is the second largest and fastest growing population in Oregon, there are only 244 certified addiction counselors identified as Latino and/or bilingual out of the 4,068 certified in the state (MHACBO, 2019) . The lack of
culturally specific service providers to serve the Latino/a/x communities continues to be a factor in the lack of culturally and linguistically specific services.
Juntos, is a community-based organization founded by Jose Luis Garcia, who was born in Colima, Colima, Mexico and has lived in Oregon for over 30 years. The mission of Juntos is to improve access to behavioral health systems that affect Latino/a/x/indigenous communities through outreach, education and mobilization. Jose Luis has worked for the past 22 years in behavioral health, providing culturally specific substance use treatment services, gang prevention services, employment services and housing services to the local Latino/a/x/indigenous community. Juntos currently provides outreach and harm reduction navigation services to Latino/a/x/x/indigenous communities in need of substance use recovery support. Juntos also provides spaces for Latino/a/x/x professionals to network, support and learn from each other. Juntos is an MHACBO-approved education that provides culturally specific training in Spanish to support the work of many Latino/a/x behavioral health professionals in the state of Oregon. Through these strategies, Juntos has created opportunities for individuals interested in joining the behavioral health workforce.