El Camino is a goal-setting teen pregnancy prevention curriculum targeted toward Latino youth. It consists of eleven 45-minute lessons that encourage youth to set goals, make informed reproductive health choices, and have healthy relationships. Participating youth are asked to set a long-term goal and then to consider steps to accomplish this goal. Youth learn about contraceptive methods and about how these methods could align with their goals. They also participate in interactive activities that encourage them to identify their viewpoints and discuss why they feel the way they do, practice assertive communication, think through steps to achieve their goals, and identify healthy relationships. Throughout the program, participating teens read and discuss a series of novelas (or stories) about other teens in relatable situations, which help them think through issues around consent, healthy relationships, and reproductive health. El Camino’s focus on the needs and cultural norms of Latino youth and their families helps them achieve their academic and career goals.
El Camino was field-tested at seven sites across the United States. Preliminary research on its implementation suggests that Latino youth responded well to the curriculum and that participation led to changes in their attitudes and knowledge. For example, 91 percent of students reported that El Camino had made them less likely to have sex, more likely to use contraception, or more likely to use a condom. Completion of the curriculum increased students’ contraceptive knowledge, and participants felt more comfortable talking about sex and consent with their partners.
Child Trends is planning to conduct a randomized control trial to further study the effects of the curriculum. If you would like to be part of this project, please contact us at ElCamino@childtrends.org.
For Teachers and Curriculum Developers: