community health agents (chas) are considered important for the implementation of the sus (sistema único de saúde/single health system), especially for reinforcing primary health care. their work may lead to situations that generate realization and/or experiences that are determining for motivation. this study aims to characterize the labor process of the chas in an area of teresina, state of piauí, brazil, describing their perceptions about work and their motivations. thirty-one chas took part in the study. this is an exploratory and descriptive qualitative review. in order to collect data, we used the focus group method. six focus groups were held, one per family health team belonging to the territory. the discussions were based on three guiding questions, recorded in mp4, and then transcribed and categorized. five categories were created to present and discuss the results. it was noticed that the chas have an understanding of the importance of their work, but they feel discouraged for not getting support and recognition, in certain situations, from the community, the team itself, and from the city's management. there is a desire for the appreciation of their work.