Please note this program is an unpaid global health education program. There is a program fee required to participate. This program fee pays for on-site services such a lodging, language classes (if relevant), 24/7 emergency support, coordination of rotations and/or placements, and on-site staff. CFHI is a nonprofit organization committed to fair-trade partnerships around the world. Please use the following code “HandshakeCFHI” in order to have the application fee waived when applying for a program on the CFHI website.
Bolivia has the highest percentage of indigenous peoples in Latin America, the Quechua and Aymara ethnic groups alone making up approximately half of the population of this diverse country. This program is based in the capital of La Paz, a cosmopolitan city confronting inequities between social classes and ethic groups. Nationwide indigenous groups have less access to public health insurance and only 30% of indigenous women give birth in hospitals. In fact, in Latin America unequal access to healthcare is still the number one killer of moms and kids (World Bank). In the last 10 years, however, political changes have meant improved access to health and educational services for the poorest of the poor including a focus on social services provided by the government for children and adolescents.
Take part in rotations at pediatric clinics and hospitals in and around La Paz, including the largest children’s hospital in the country, recognized as a major research hospital conducting work to influence national health policy. Rotate alongside local physicians, residents, and medical students in wards such as obstetrics, oncology, inpatient, infectious disease, and nephrology. Gain experience in working with largely indigenous populations in resource poor settings and come to understand the socioeconomic and cultural barriers they face in accessing services for their children. In addition to clinical rotations, participants can choose to volunteer with local non-governmental organizations that cater to the needs of underprivileged children and families.
Become immersed in Bolivian culture and language through conversational and medical Spanish classes while living with a local family in La Paz. CFHI participants may also organize weekend trips to destinations such as Lake Titicaca, the Inca Ruins at Tiwanaku, and the Uyuni Salt Flats.