Friday, April 26, 2013

¡Hola Amigos!

Yesterday all of the students were put into separate groups for both the morning and the afternoon. A few went back to the language school to continue improving their spanish while other students were split among the different areas in Las Obras (the hospital). Groups of students were able to work in a pediatric section, with the young adults or the older adults. Students and therapists alike were able to communicate and work alongside the Guatemalan therapists as they treated the patients.

In the afternoon, a group of students and therapists took taxis to a nearby town, San Juan Alotenango, where there is a school for children with disabilities. The school's name is Enseñame a Pescar (Teach me how to fish). There we were able to participate in a health fair for the community. There were four stations on topics including caring for the low back, nutrition, sanitation and hand-washing, and blood pressure. We had no idea what to expect, but we ended up having 89 men, women, and children come to learn more about living a healthy lifestyle! It was an amazing experience and the Guatemalans were so receptive to the information and resources we had for them! All of us received so many besos (kisses) on the cheek by the end of the fair!!

Today all of the students were again split into groups that went to the language school and the hospital. It is amazing how much our spanish has improved in only two days! When people say immersing yourself in the culture is the best way to learn the language, they were not kidding! It is very nice that we learn more in the language school and then are able to directly apply our skills when working with patients, other therapists, and even when tying to barter with the merchants in the market! Also, today Christina was able to present her capstone about Down Syndrome to a large group including the students, the leadership team, and staff and therapists from Las Obras. She was able to give information about the pathologies associated with Down Syndrome along with specific physical therapy techniques to help improve the health, wellness and quality of life of these patients. Other students this afternoon were able to return to the school to work with kids from the local community with disabilities.


Tomorrow a large portion of the group is headed out to one of the local volcanoes. We will be sure to take many, many beautiful pictures! Other students will be touring Antigua, learning how Guatemalan coffee is made, or learning more about Guatemalan culture.


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