Social capital and health promotion in Latin America

  • Jaime C Sapag Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile; Escuela de Medicina; Departamento de Medicina Familiar
  • Ichiro Kawachi Harvard School of Public Health; Department of Society, Human Development, and Health
Keywords: Health promotion, Social change, Social inequity, Community development, Social capital, Latin America


Latin America faces common development and health problems and equity and overcoming poverty are crucial in the search for comprehensive and high impact solutions. The article analyzes the definition of social capital, its relationship with health, its limitations and potentialities from a perspective of community development and health promotion in Latin America. High-priority challenges are also identified as well as possible ways to better measure and to strengthen social capital. Particularly, it is discussed how and why social capital may be critical in a global health promotion strategy, where empowerment and community participation, interdisciplinary and intersectorial work would help to achieve Public Health aims and a sustainable positive change for the global development. Also, some potential limitations of the social capital concept in the context of health promotion in Latin America are identified.
How to Cite
Sapag, J., & Kawachi, I. (2007). Social capital and health promotion in Latin America . Revista De Saúde Pública, 41(1), 139-149.
Special Article