BSN Class of 2010 students Molly White and Courtney Cox traveled to Guatemala during summer 2009 to provide care for people living in the poor areas of the country, particularly in Guatemala City and the surrounding villages.
With guidance from assistant professor Chris Harlan, White and Cox
BSN Class of 2010 students Molly White (left) and Courtney Cox (right) worked for six weeks in Guatemala City, Guatemala as a summer externship experience.
coordinated their trip through a Texas-based medical mission organziation called Shared Beat. For six weeks, they operated clinics, provided various types of screenings and distributed medications to people who have very little or no access to healthcare, many of whom had never visited a healthcare provider before.
Shared Beat operates the medical mission in cooperation with Safe Passage, a school open near the main city dump in Guatemala. Guatemala City is a very poor, violent place, and Safe Passage offers children an oasis where they can learn, get a healthy meal and participate in social activities. Many of the childrens’ parents collect recyclables and other materials that they can sell from the city dump.
The Guatemala city dump where many of the parents of children who participate in Safe Passage collect recyclables and other materials for money.
White, Cox and the other healthcare provider volunteers on the trip also did home visits in many of the small surrounding villages. A pediatric cardiologist accompanied them on these visits. The majority of people in these villages were living in primitive conditions. Many allow their chickens and other livestock to run free through their dwellings. Often, according to White and Cox, the animals looked and behaved sickly. Unfortunately, the sick chickens were also the only source of eggs and meat for many people.
White and Cox said that it was satisfying to be able to help individuals who have never had
Molly White (right) sits and talks with a man who has come into the clinic in Safe Passage to receive healthcare services.
access to healthcare before. Traveling to Guatemala either with Shared Beat or through the School of Nursing is something both students recommended to anyone considering a global study externship.