Comunidades de Salud (CODESA)
Funded by the California Wellness Foundation and California Endowment, Pueblo Unido CDC provides a comprehensive training and educational program to help farm worker and low-income families to understand how to manage onsite waste management and monitor the quality of drinkable water at Polanco mobile home parks located in Thermal, Mecca, North Shore, and Oasis.
CODESA is a critical component of PUCDC’s Polanco Rehabilitation Assistance Program (PRAP), which consists of redesigning and rehabilitating substandard Polanco parks. Ongoing training will provide families with a better understanding of septic and water systems’ proper functioning which will help prevent water pollution, and keep the parks in good working condition, and up to code compliance. In addition, many of these skills that will be taught will contribute to water conservation in the community.
Many of these Polancos are located in a geological area with high levels of arsenic and fluoride. Arsenic has been linked to bladder, lung and skin cancer, and may cause kidney and liver cancer. Arsenic is also harmful to the central and peripheral nervous systems, as well as heart and blood vessels, and causes serious skin problems. It also may cause birth defects and reproductive problems. State and federal environmental regulations stipulate safe drinkable water with arsenic level of 10 parts per billion. Currently, arsenic lab results in the area have found 21 parts per million.
Pueblo Unido CDC works in collaboration with other non-profit organizations, state and federal entities, the local water district, the Riverside County and elected officials to raise public awareness about the environmental health conditions in the eastern Coachella Valley.
These efforts provide critical support to improve government programs and increase resources available to community members.