Hola a todos!
I really do not know where the time went. It feels like just yesterday that I was a deer in headlights getting a tour of PUCMM thinking what did I get myself into and now my time here has come to end. I am not ready to leave. This past week consisted of wrapping up loose end here in Santiago since the theoretical portion of the program at PUCCM is over now and we will be heading to our rural stay in the town of Juncalito in the region of Santiago. All of the classes that I’ve taken here were really informative, but more than anything they have been an eye opening experience.
Hands down my favorite class was the Community Public Health class because we got to interact with the people of Arroyo Hondo Abajo here in Santiago. That class was focused on the practical side of Public Health in relation to prevention, promotion, and protection. For the past six weeks in the community of Arroyo Hondo Abajo, we had been interviewing families based on the topic of investigation we chose. My topic focused on Maternal Infant health in the community and the treatments that are provided through the Dominican health care system. As part of our investigation, my partner and I interviewed both pregnant and non pregnant women about their nutrition, life style, and pregnancy check-ups.
An interesting characteristic about the community of Arroyo Hondo Abajo is the Haitian community within it named Canada del Diablo. There is a large population of Haitian immigrants there, but because of the language barrier and the fear of deportation the people of the Canada del Diablo do not receive the medical attention they need especially pregnant women and their infants. As part of the program, an intervention we made was creating a flyer in Creole for pregnant women addressing nutrition and medical attention that is provided for free at the Primary Level Health Center.
Another part of the program was creating activities to promote healthy eating and life style habits. We focused on educating the people of Arroyo Hondo Abajo on eating fruits and vegetables as well as taking time off to relax and have fun for a healthy state of mind. These activities were by far my favorite part because the community welcomed us with open arms were very amicable. They taught us how to play dominos, dance Bachata, Merengue and Salsa, and drank some cafecito. We also got to interact with the children of the community and play games and color with them. I am really going to miss this community.
I can’t wait to see what this beautiful country of the Dominican Republic has in store.
Until next time,