Indigena Health and Wellness Collaborative: Early Identification & Intervention Therapy Program

The Indigena Health and Wellness Collaborative (IHWC) is a partnership between Instituto Familiar de La Raza and Asociación Mayab that works to improve the health and well-being of Indigena families in San Francisco. Program services and activities provided by the Indigena Health & Wellness Collaborative are intricately linked to honoring the customs and traditions of the Indigena as a means of diminishing cultural isolation and enhancing their cultural resilience.

Population of focus

The estimated 10,000 to 15,000 Yucatec Mayans and other indigena living in San Francisco, CA.

About Early Identification, Intervention, and Individual & Family Therapy Program

An Early Intervention/Mental Health Specialist is present during IHWC’s spiritual ceremonies and cultural activities to provide one-on-one support to individuals and families requesting mental health services. Individual interventions may include risk reduction counseling, crisis intervention and linkage to needed services. As needed, Indigena clients can also receive crisis intervention, short term mental health services, and Information & Referral. Health Promotores support families with referrals about community resources for mental health and other social services. Clients receiving early identification services can participate in the program for up to 3 months or upon successful linkage to appropriate services.

Other programs

  • Wellness Promotion Activities: Spiritual ceremonies and cultural activities provide opportunities to inform, educate, and engage Indigenas. The collaborative utilizes its wide network of relationships with traditional healers and community-based groups to integrate health promotion and risk reduction messages into traditional celebrations, ceremonies and other cultural activities.Community forums are organized to stimulate dialog about individual, collective, and historical trauma among Indigena families.
  • Cultural Events/Group Activities: IHWC supports various traditional ceremonies and other cultural practices and activities that already exist in the community. Providing outreach, materials, and organizational assistance, some of the events IHWC supports include Dia de Los Muertos, Tonantzin, Fiesta de Colores, Mayahuel, and Año Nuevo Maya, among others. Group activities include El Encuentro de Culturas Indigenas de America, a large gathering of Indigena cultural groups, and Sanando el Alma, an event focused on providing tools to deal with trauma.
  • Outreach and Engagement: Street and venue-based outreach is conducted in neighborhoods and locales where local Indigena frequent. Outreach efforts are used to introduce Indigena to available programs and resources available to them and their families.
  • Indigena Health Promotores (Promoters): Promotores play a key role in recruitment and engagement of participants to attend ceremonies and cultural events, workshops, community forums and the Encuentro de Culturas Indigenas de America. Health Promotores, who are often Indigena themselves, are trained and mentored by professional staff within the collaborative. In addition to providing outreach and support services, Promotores co-facilitate workshops and community forums and participate as panelists in the Encuentro de Culturas Indigenas de America.


2919 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 229-0500