The Azcapotzalco, Iztapalapa, Iztacalco, and Gustavo A Madero districts of Mexico City, with a combined population of almost four million people.




The local context

Mexico is an upper middle- income country[1], however, it is also one of the most unequal[2].

Childhood obesity and teenage pregnancy are especial health challenges. Obesity and overweight have been growing fast in recent years and 15% of male and 12% of female children aged 10-15 were obese in 2015[3].

The country has the highest rate of adolescent pregnancy among OECD countries.[4]

Most of the Mexican population relies on the public sector for their healthcare, but a national study showed significant barriers to access for adolescents[5].

In January 2014, Mexico introduced specific taxes on energy dense foods and sugar-sweetened beverages. In its first year, consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks dropped on average by 6%, and most sharply in the lowest income households, according to research published in the BMJ[6].

Our objectives

The goal of the YHP in Mexico is to ensure that young people, aged 10-24 years, practice fewer risk behaviours due to:

  • increased knowledge, skills and capacity
  • improved youth- friendly health services
  • an enabling support system and policy environment

The direct beneficiaries of the programme are 46,000 young people aged 10-24 living in the four Mexico City areas, plus parents, teachers, women, community leaders and healthcare professionals.

A further 100,000 indirect beneficiaries will be reached via campaigns, community events, Facebook and other media.

Our programme

YHP Mexico centres on the use of peer-educators (PEs) who

  •  help other young people to identify challenges in making healthier life choices,
  •  impart critical knowledge and skills to enable their peers to make choices that promote health and wellbeing,
  •  serve as role models for young people that can influence more positive behaviours,
  •  connect young people to available services and resources in their communities.

Some PEs will receive training and act as advocates and champions for more youth-friendly policies and services.

The programme works through:

  • Primary schools (ages 10-12) and secondary schools, reaching young people up to 18.ages 10-18.
  • Universities in partnership with related fields of study, such as public health, pre-medicine, psychology, and other social sciences. University PEs will be responsible for targeting young people aged 18-24.
  • In each area at least one community-based YHP Club for young people aged 10-24, to include out-of- school and other vulnerable youth in the programme.

Jose Manuel Besares Lopez, MPH YHP Scholar, & OYW Coordinating Ambassador for Central America

Our partners

Project HOPE is a global health and humanitarian relief organisation committed to transforming lives and uplifting communities by empowering healthcare workers to implement and teach innovative lifesaving solutions.

Yo Quiero, Yo Puedo  is a Mexican civil society organisation, founded in 1985, that empowers individuals, helping them to develop behaviours to take control of their lives and fully develop their potential.


[1] The World Bank, World Bank Country and Lending Groups. Available at

[2] CIA, 2019, The World Factbook. Available at

[3] WHO, 2018, Noncommunicable Diseases Country Profiles 2018. Available at

[4] OECD (2009), Doing Better for Children. Accessed at

[5] Villalobos, A., Allen-Leigh, B., Salazar-Alberto, J., De Castro, F., et al. (2017). Quality of reproductive healthcare for adolescents: A nationally representative survey of providers in Mexico. PLoS One. 12(3): e0173342. Available at

[6] Arantxa Colchero M, Popkin BM, Rivera, JA et al 2016, Beverage purchases from stores in Mexico under the excise tax on sugar sweetened beverages: observational study, BMJ 2016;352:h6704. Available at