“For me, an area of moral clarity is: you’re in front of someone who’s suffering and you have the tools at your disposal to alleviate that suffering or even eradicate it, and you act.” – Paul Farmer

Welcome to my WordPress site for LACS 20: Politics of Development in Nicaragua. In this blog you will find some of my thoughts as a student trying to learn as much as possible of and from a very interdisciplinary study of Nicaraguan culture and the intricacies of Global Health and development. Paul Farmer is an inspirational medical anthropologists whose work and ways of approaching the social justice inequalities of the world have largely guided my passion and interest in this course and trip. As you can read in the quote above, he firmly believes that if we are blessed with the toolset and knowledge to be able to do something to restore global health equity, we should act. This course and trip are providing me with the opportunity to begin to act. Therefore, a large portion of this blog is dedicated to descriptions and updates about the ethnographic research and oral history frameworks I will use to apply this learned knowledge. Most of this site is a work in progress as I continue through the various phases of this journey, including the LACS 20 course in the fall and the eventual trip to Nicaragua in December 2016.  I am under no illusion that my actions will lead to any relief or eradication of suffering, but believe that it is my duty as a human and student of the world to do what I can with what I have now, and maybe one day I will be in a partnership that allows for those grander dreams to come true. For now, I am happy being a student of Nicaraguan culture.

A Previous CCESP group working in the Health Clinic in Hormiguero

A Previous CCESP group working in the Health Clinic in Hormiguero

The Bridges to Community Casa Materna

The Bridges to Community Casa Materna built in 2014

The Nicaragua Cross-Cultural Education and Service Program is a joined experiential and service learning experience from the Dartmouth Center for Service and Dartmouth College. I am participating as a 2016 participant on the Community Health team. In December, we will travel to Hormiguero, Nicaragua to work in the Hormiguero Regional Health Clinic. The health clinic is run by Bridges to Community, an international non-profit organization that has a mission to use service learning and community development to build a community and a more just and sustainable world . I will be working with their Health Program that brings preventive care and health infrastructure to people living in isolated rural communities. We will also be in the recently opened Casa Materna and working on projects such as teeth lacquering, the toothbrush project, and shadowing and helping out in the clinic.

In the RAAN region in remote northeastern  Nicaragua, most people are indigenous farmers living on about $1 per day. Currently, people walk up to 10 hours to reach a two-room medical outpost in the rural town of Hormiguero. For 12 years, Bridges to Community has sent volunteer healthcare professionals to this clinic to collaborate with local doctors and nurses.

This site has six sections:

Salud Maternal (Maternal Health): this page details some of the research I have done about Maternal Mental Health in Nicaragua

Unos Pensamientos (Some Thoughts): a blog with weekly posts about a variety of topics. This will continue to update as we get closer to the dates of the trip and after.

Conozca a la estudiante (About the student): an about me page so you can get to know who I am!

Un Proyecto de Historia Oral (An Oral History Project): this page details some of the work I have done preparing for my group project and the individual oral history gathering I hope to do while in Nicaragua.

El Proyecto Final (The Final Project): the Cross-Cultural Art Exchange project my group designed for our LACS 20 course.

Mis Recursos (My sources): an as-complete-as-can-be list of resources for all of my research. I cannot claim that it is fully complete because I have not found an effective way to credit the sources we covered in the LACS 20 class that have all also influenced my thinking and research.

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