The purpose of the study was to analyze the repercussion of a training program in gerontological health promotion addressed to senior citizens in a rural area in Mexico. The impact of the program was examined at two levels: first, with regard to the development of specific practices relating to primary health care and to the actual implementation of community health programs and, second, through the interpretive analysis of bodily inscriptions in the participants. Results gave evidence of a gradual empowering process among the elderly health promoters who consistently developed a position of responsibility and autonomy regarding the control of their lives and, at the same time, an increasingly open critical attitude with regard to the social role ascribed to them by the community. Furthermore, the knowledge, sense of and meanings that operated on the significant practices of the participants were consistently determined by the extent of their social capital and habitus. It was important to note that the intervention research program did not lead to permanent changes in the participants’ habitus, whereas their main effects were associated to a greater consolidation of social support networks and to the acquisition of a salient position in their community given the symbolic cultural capital that represented having obtained an official certification. To conclude, a diversity of outcomes was evident in the participants as a result of the intervention program, depending on their personal biographies, social and cultural capitals, and on their particular positions within their community.

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