Grantee Spotlight from Puerto Rico

Engaging Parents and Caregivers in Puerto Rico to Communicate with Teens about Sexual Health


Our strategy is a testament to the potential of adults to reconnect with their own teenage experiences in order to forge stronger connections with the adolescents in their lives. Approaching teenagers with curiosity, empathy, and openness paves the way for honest communication on sexual health and other vital topics during this critical stage of development.
Samaris Vega and Edna Acosta Pérez, Project Directors of Puerto Rico Optimal System ChAnge (PROSa)

It’s common for parents and caregivers to feel unsure how to navigate conversations about sexuality with their teens, but most teens name their parents as the biggest influence in their decisions about sex. Puerto Rico Optimal System ChAnge (PROSa), a TPP20 Tier 1 grantee, has implemented an innovative strategy to support parents and caregivers in talking about this topic. PROSa’s efforts reinforce the protective factors that support healthy youth development.

Central to PROSa’s strategy is the launch of the “Conecta con tu Adolescente” (“Connect with your Teen”) website, coupled with a social media campaign: "Hablar de sexo está de madre...y de padre. Conecta con tu adolescente." ("Talking about sex is for mom…and dad. Connect with your teenager.") 

The comprehensive Spanish-language website offers a variety of easy-to-digest resources that educate parents and caregivers about teen development and how to approach conversations about sex with curiosity, empathy, and openness. Resources include video interviews with gynecologists, clinical psychologists specializing in adolescence, and family psychologists, as well as articles and podcasts on how young people’s brains—and social and emotional skills—develop. The website also includes short and digestible articles on relevant health issues for both parents and youth. Local youth have been involved in developing all products.

PROSa’s Instagram (@adoles.ciencia) serves as a great resource for youth on the topics of sexual health, healthy relationships, and optimal health. Youth can access a list of youth-friendly and free clinics for reproductive health services and explore the Photo Voice Gallery from Instagram.

For additional tools to support your TPP program in engaging parents and caregivers in adolescent sexual health, check out Talking with Teens About Sex: Resources for Caregivers and the Develop an Elevator Pitch to Engage Caregivers Job Aid from the RHNTC. Equipping parents with the information and resources they need to support, advise, and care for young people is a key component of National Adolescent Health Month™.