CESAPU – Volunteer Center for Public Health


Welcome to the First Public Health Center of Perú, CESAPU (Centro de Salud Pública).


Mission of CESAPU is to be a pioneer center in the practice of public health that develops programs to promote physical, mental, and communal health in the village of Villa Los Angeles.

Vision of CESAPU is to be an efficient and effective model of establishment in public health, with the capacity to be adapted and replicated in other strategic zones that will benefit vulnerable populations in Peru and Latin America.

poster campanas1

In Peru, public health education and prevention is a theory not yet put into practice. On top of a weak national health system, millions of Peruvians are left suffering from preventable chronic and infectious diseases. Unfortunately, those with low socioeconomic status are the ones who bear most of the suffering.

Hands on Peru, a nonprofit that has been working in Trujillo and Huanchaco, Peru, since 2013, has noted such devastating weaknesses in the Peruvian health system. Together with a team of international donors and local professionals, they built CESAPU - Centro de Salud Pública - as a potential solution to prevent even more of Peru’s poor to bear the physical, financial, and emotional burdens of preventable disease.

CESAPU is the main project of HOP Hands on Peru and it is located in the district of Huanchaco, Province of Trujillo, Department of La Libertad. It is located between Trujillo City and Huanchaco Beach and easily accessible via public transportation. 90% of its inhabitants live in poverty, with no access to sewage & clean water, in what can be called a modern urban slum dwelling. It is located right next to Chan Chan, ancient Chimu ruins, and experiences beautiful sunsets every night at 6 pm. It is surrounded by humble and friendly neighbors and many loveable children!

At CESAPU, we firmly believe that we can improve the health of the people of Huanchaco by implementing interactive programs that generate healthy attitudes and behaviors in order to improve social determinants of health and reduce risk factors for disease. Health, well-being, and happiness is our primary focus. We have implemented five core public health programs, all of which are based in six essential public health pillars: promotion, prevention, education, evaluation, investigation, and community participation. They were developed grassroots style, depending on the needs and the feedback of the community members themselves.

As an intern, your participation in our public health programs is encouraged and expected.

Viviendo Sano is a packet of educational and preventative health campaigns. This includes access to basic services like: blood pressure, height, weight, BMI calculation, and primary care and family medicine services. Specialized services include: dental, chiropractic care, pap smears, hemoglobin testing, glucose testing, and ultrasounds. All campaigns have an educational portion on top of consultation with doctors. * We have partnered with the Society for Family and Community Medicine to receive free family medicine residents every week * (Meets Monday & Wednesday 9-12)

Niños Felices (Happy Children) is a program that works with children in their psycho-social development. We focus on developing the social skills and abilities of children, teaching them discipline, mindfulness, and instilling in them positive values. We have replicated Ania’s TiNi- Tierra de Niños - which promotes teamwork and environmental consciousness. (Meets Saturday 4-6.)

Chicas Bonitas - A program that works with adolescents in their sexual and reproductive health. Chicas bonitas teaches girls about puberty, we help them form a life-plan, and discuss other relative topics such as menstruation, abortion, contraceptives and more. The objective is to decrease the rate of adolescent pregnancy. (Meets Tuesday 5-6.)

Madre CESAPU - Women empowerment is a major concern in Villa Los Angeles, where 75% of women are employed as a “ama de casa” or ‘housewife”. Our program Madre CESAPU works to empower the mothers of the community so that they can build independence, self esteem, and self efficiency.. We offer them mental health work shops, english classes and art classes with the goal to sell their products to generate their own income. It is a community-strengthening and friendship- promoting session. (Meets Tuesday 4-5)

Reto de Zumba- (Zumba challenge) We dance Zumba 3x a week to promote health through physical activity. Each month the mothers pay 10 soles and receive the following services: blood pressure, body measurements, weight, BMI calculation, and nutrition advice. Reto de Zumba is taught by a certified yoga and Zumba instructor named Belinda. (Meets Monday, Wednesday, Thursday 4:30-5:30.)