Chile: Public Health, Traditional Medicine, and Community Empowerment
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Educational excursions are an important component of the Chile public health program and provide different contexts in which to examine health care delivery in Chile, Peru, and Argentina. Program excursions may include field visits to public health centers throughout Arica and surrounding valleys, including community medical centers, hospitals, public health centers, rural health facilities, mental health centers, and women's health centers.
Longer excursions include traveling to Tacna, Peru; the rural area of Putre in northern Chile where the Aymara population lives; Temuco/Nueva Imperial in southern Chile, home to the Mapuche community; and Bariloche, Argentina.
Putre (northern Chile)
An excursion to the Chilean highland exposes students to the health practices and beliefs of the Aymara. The excursion introduces students to a rural health system, Chile's intercultural health system, alternative medicine, and the Aymara's cosmovision. During this excursion, students experience northern Chile's impressive natural beauty through visits to Chungara Lake, Lauca National Park, and Lauca Biosphere Reserve.
The excursion to Tacna allows students to observe some of Peru's successful health programs focused on improving health care in rural communities. Students examine specific health campaigns targeted to improve the health care of some of Peru's poorest communities, and students are able to visit patients at their homes. During the excursion to Tacna, students also visit meaningful historical and cultural sites such as the Museo de la Guerra del Pacífico, Peruvian craft centers, and colonial churches.
Temuco/Nueva Imperial (Mapuche region)
Students experience the unique Chilean intercultural hospital located in the town of Nueva Imperial. Students explore health beliefs and practices of the Mapuche people, while considering issues of access related to alternative methods of health treatment. This excursion sparks debate on the topic of multiculturalism in relation to heathcare. Students have the opportunity to learn firsthand how policies and politics surrounding healthcare affect indigenous people in Chile. Students also have the opportunity to experience the region's beautiful volcanoes, valleys, and forests.
An excursion to Bariloche in southern Argentina ties together central themes of community empowerment and development. Students will observe activities and participate in projects that focus on the empowerment of the Mapuche community, especially in the areas of intercultural heath care delivery and traditional medicine practices.
Additionally students will be able to visit the region’s beautiful volcanoes, lakes, and forests and sample delicious southern Argentinean cuisine.
Duration: 15 weeks
Program Base: Chile, Arica
Language Study: Mapudungun, Spanish
Prerequisites: Coursework in public health or development studies; 4 semesters Spanish Read more...
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