CAMINO AZUL:

OUR PATHWAY TO FOSTER THRIVING SHALOM COMMUNITIES AND CITIES

Camino Alliance has developed the Camino Azul Pathway to foster thriving Shalom communities and cities, with environments akin to 'Blue Zones'—areas renowned for the well-being and longevity of their inhabitants. Based on the Blue Zone movement this strategic approach works to create a healthier life for individuals and communities through the implementation and adoption of positive life habits and activities that have proven to significantly improve both community welfare and individual well-being.

OUR APPROACH: THE CAMINO AZUL PATHWAY

The Camino Azul Pathway centers on nine key areas of intervention designed to enhance various aspects of life and community well-being. It involves partnering with urban leaders, faith communities, organizations, civic groups, businesses, and government agencies, enhancing their capacity to deepen connections with God and others while promoting physical health, purposeful living, and transformative community change. The following section provides a detailed explanation of the Camino Azul Pathway:

CONNECT WITH GOD & OTHERS

Provide opportunities for individuals and families to connect to faith communities where they can find belonging and deepen their spiritual growth and faith in Jesus Christ in order to produce healthier lives and become equipped to live out the values of the Kingdom of God in every area of their lives. Research shows that attending faith-based services four times per month will add 4-14 years of life expectancy.

Encourage and equip families to establish healthy, loving relationships with good communication with their children and spouses by connecting them to resources and support that encourages them to spend quality time together to grow stronger and more resilient. Putting loved ones first by committing to a spouse or life partner and investing in children with time and love, can add up to 3 years of life expectancy.

Cultivate opportunities at local churches, schools, sports clubs, gyms, business associations and at other community and neighborhood groups to develop good friends who are a positive influence, share common values, are supportive in times of need, are fun to be around and together seek the common good. Promote community-wide events, such as block parties, tournaments and festivals to encourage the growth of social circles that favorably shape health behaviors and relational satisfaction and connectedness. By regularly participating in a healthy social circle, life expectancy is increased.

LIVE PURPOSEFULLY

Encourage residents to live their lives with a clear purpose, by helping them incorporate life skills and spiritual practices and create a life plan that helps them define their reason for being and achieve goals in different areas of their life. A good life plan answers questions related to identity (Who am I?), vocation (What am I here for?), belonging (Who do I belong to?) and core values and convictions (What is most important to me?). Knowing your sense of purpose is worth up to seven years of extra life expectancy.

Everybody experiences stress, particularly people living in fragile communities and cities. Stress leads to chronic inflammation and hypertension, associated with every major age-related disease. Encourage people to integrate routines in their lives to shed that stress and refuel. That can include morning meditation, regular times for prayer, taking a nap, going for a walk, watching a movie, meeting for happy hour with close friends, developing a regular hobby etc. Regularly engaging in such life-giving activities reduces stress and adds to life expectancy.

BE PHYSICALLY HEALTHY

Educate individuals and families to adopt a healthier diet by eating smaller portions of healthy food, stop eating when their stomachs are 80 percent full, and not eat large portions late at night, all as a regular practice to help reduce diabetes and other health issues. Also assure that healthy food options are accessible for the entire community and enjoy sharing traditional Latino foods and traditions with others.

Encourage people to move naturally, walk to places and engage in normal physical activities without thinking about it. Ensure that they have access to available resources to exercise, participate in sports activities, leagues and gyms, and go to parks that promote more active and healthy lives. Integrating regular wellness routines increases life expectancy.

LOVE YOUR NEIGHBORS AND WORLD

Create avenues for people to get involved to address the unique challenges of their neighborhoods, such as inadequate basic services, infrastructure deficiencies, violence, crime, environmental issues, educational disparities, and economic instability. Additionally, support efforts to resolve issues impacting children and families by protecting the legal rights of immigrants, enhancing family financial stability, ensuring quality education for children and youth, securing access to quality health services, and improving housing options.

Encourage people to bless others, beyond their own families, neighborhoods and workplaces. Provide concrete opportunities for them to get involved to create better futures for people in less fortunate circumstances, either by reproducing the local success in neighboring communities, cities and counties or by coming alongside other ministries and organizations in other countries.

Join us in this crucial effort to change lives, transform communities and cities and create a better future for Latin Americans and Latino immigrants.