Monday, August 7, 2017
A Unique Experience
My summer doing research in Nicaragua has come to an end. There is a lot to say, but it is an experience people have to go through in order to understand what I am saying. I feel like my passion for global health has grown and it is great knowing what I want to do in the future. This experience reaffirmed the path I want to take, and I couldn't be more excited for it!
I worked with three other students and my mentor Katy on chronic diseases in a semi-urban community in Nejapa, Nicaragua. We researched diabetes, hypertension, and obesity due to the high consumption of sugar around that area. It was interesting having cultural barriers that wouldn't allow us to teach them about healthy eating due to the habits they are accustomed to. It was indeed a challenge but it is what I find fascinating about cultures. As outsiders we might want to help them but the question will always be "how can we help them without necessary intervene in their culture?" After weeks, we were able to find answers, but it is a long-term project that will take more time than just 5 weeks. I am excited to know we left this project so other students can keep working on it and even focus on more areas such as physical activity or portion sizes. I am glad I got to experience this research because it is a unique experience that would be difficult to find another similar one. In other words, if I could go back, I would do it all over again.
Here we have the consejeras (volunteers that help promote health), my mentor Katy (on bottom right second to last), and the rest of the group that helped the project be well put together.