BRONX, N.Y. (PIX11) — It’s not every day that you can get your blood pressure tested and do some holiday shopping, but that is the idea behind the annual Bronx Wellness Fair. 

“This is a good way to give them both, a little bit of art, and with diabetes getting health, screenings, workshops it’s a combination of really helping to uplift our community in the best way we can,” said Raesha Cartagena, with the Puerto Rican institute of the arts.

The South Bronx was specifically chosen for the location wellness fair because the population here constantly faces health disparities and has some of the highest rates of diabetes, asthma, and other illnesses.

“There’s a lot of information that is there but the seniors now it’s a digital age the seniors don’t know how to access those things. They don’t go on the websites,” said Laura O’Connell of Village Care max

The event at Hostos Community College culminates a week meant to put a spotlight on diabetes, which disproportionately impacts communities of color.

Organizers collaborated with dozens of healthcare providers and organizations. About 30 Latino artists who made one-of-a-kind paintings, jewelry, and other artifacts also joined the event combining wellness and culture.

“It is important for the younger ones in particular you want to keep that family and history there,” said East Harlem resident Elezier Berrios.

Several health presentations from a chef and medical experts are all on hand to teach New Yorkers how to best prevent diabetes when possible and how to live a healthy lifestyle after a diagnosis.

“It’s important to bring back the diabetes events especially after COVID because many of the people that suffered from that and had chronic diseases such as diabetes,” said Helene Velasquez, the event’s main organizer.