Founded in 1991, El Sol Neighborhood Educational Center (El Sol) is a grassroots non-profit 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to serve the educational needs of non-English speaking underserved and resource poor communities of San Bernardino and Riverside Counties.
El Sol addresses the local community's education gap, serving non-English-speaking individuals through culturally and linguistically appropriate programs, including English as a Second Language; general educational development; community-based programming for leadership, parenting, and computer skills; and community-based health education and outreach agency through the Promotores de Salud Program (PSP). Community Ownership & Participation El Sol has distinguished itself across the Inland Empire for developing PSP, which encourages community-level participation by recruiting promotores who live and work in target communities. By building a strong foundation of trust and safeguarding against the perception of being outsiders "parachuting-in", promotores use their direct ties to the community to address multiple barriers to health that exist for low-income Latinos, including culturally competent care, linkage and access to services, language, and stigma. As a result, communities that have benefited from promotores continue to seek their services. Partnerships & Collaborations El Sol effectively delivers services to marginalized target communities through strong partnership with local organizations, including 19 community centers, 25 medical clinics, 52 faith-based organizations, 4 school districts, 14 networks/coalitions, and the Consulate of Mexico. El Sol also has an invaluable partnership with a renowned research and academic institution, receiving in-kind support through evidence-based consultation and expertise and high-caliber graduate students. Due to these successful partnerships, El Sol is approached by various agencies that desire to model its unique community presence and leverage its work to reach more people. Cost-Effectiveness El Sol is exceptionally cost-effective in its approach. In 2010, the agency served 29,000 unduplicated Latino community members in the Inland Empire via 81 promotores for an approximate unit cost of $4.03 per person.
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