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 relevent), 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.
Spanish is the 2nd most spoken language in the world. What could be better than practicing the language in the world’s most populous Spanish-speaking country? Mexico!
The state of Oaxaca, one of the most distinct regions in all of Mexico, is steeped in history and tradition. Oaxaca City is home to over 260,000 and is the capital of this southern state. It is well known for its cuisine, skilled artisans and traditional handicrafts. This region is distinct from the rest of Mexico, with over 16 different ethnic groups each with their own unique language and culture. Experience its vibrant indigenous culture and colonial architecture while improving your Spanish proficiency, volunteering at local NGOs, and gaining practical experience in clinical settings. This program is ideal for those with little or no Spanish background, who want to develop this vital skill used everyday in today’s healthcare settings. Through this program improve cultural competency, to better serve growing Mexican immigrant populations in the US and other countries.
During the first portion of the program, take 50 hours of intensive beginner Spanish classes focusing on basic grammar, conversation and medical Spanish used in patient histories and physical exams. After language classes, learn about the social determinants of health by volunteering at local non-profits that provide temporary housing for young children of sex workers and after school activities and meals for street children. Assist with on-site projects including teaching English and computer skills, arts and crafts classes, helping students with homework, or helping in the kitchen. More in-depth projects such as contributing to presentations about basic hygiene or working with staff to improve the educational curriculum may be available.
During the last half of the program practice your language skills while taking part in clinical rotations such as community clinics serving low-income populations. Understand the implications of social, economic and cultural factors of the patient, provider, and healthcare system. Come away with increased confidence communicating in Spanish in social and professional settings, as well as a holistic view of healthcare in Oaxaca City and how Mexicans access these services.
Become immersed in Mexican culture and language through Spanish classes and living with a local family in Oaxaca. In the city of Oaxaca, go shopping, explore museums and art galleries, or hangout with locals in the vibrant Zócalo or main plaza. CFHI participants may also organize weekend trips to nearby destinations such the Zapotec ruins of Monte Albán.