Mr. Van Dusen and Dr. Springer were joined by CATCH researchers from the University California at San Diego, as well as representatives of the Tijuana government, including the Secretaries of Social Development and Health, as well as the mayor of Tijuana, Dr. Jorge Astiazarán Orci. Mayor Astiazarán is a certified medical doctor himself, and understands the importance of child health for long-term prosperity in his community.
The delegation visited two elementary schools in Tijuana, where they observed PE classes, visited snack concession booths within schools, and spoke with school principals. The visit concluded in a trip to the mayor’s office, where Dr. Springer spoke at length about how CATCH has worked to help address childhood obesity in partnership with communities around the US.
The government is in the process of assessing how CATCH might impact five schools in Tijuana, all managed by the local government. However, Mr. Van Dusen states that he was very impressed with the interest displayed by all levels of Mexican authorities in attendance. “There was also representation from the national government in our meeting with the mayor, and I was struck by their impressive interest in the health of Tijuana’s children and the CATCH program overall,” he says.