San Antonio as a Face of the Future

A Model City's Approach to Health and Wellness

San Antonio’s mayor implements a strategy of community awareness and collaboration to improve health and fitness.

The mayor of San Antonio, Julian Castro, calls his city of majority-minority residents (63% Hispanic, 27% non-Hispanic White and 7% African American) the “New Face of the American Dream.”

The SA2020 project to improve quality of life (launched in 2010) set health and reducing obesity and physical inactivity as priorities. The Mayor’s Fitness Council, co-chaired by Salud America!’s director, along with 200 volunteers, want to make fitness and healthy eating a part of every day.

Other initiatives with Fitness Council oversight are bringing fitness into the parks, libraries, and neighborhoods; and healthier food into schools. Restaurants are promoting healthy options and famers’ markets are accepting SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) debit cards.

Writes the mayor: “San Antonio’s health and fitness trajectory is on the upswing. Continued momentum will mean that future generations of San Antonians will have better health outcomes and an overall better quality of life. And if we get it right here, the rest of America will be able to take a page from our book.”