Friday, September 26, 2014

In a few hours I will be on an airplane headed to Bolivia.

I will begin my journey as an intern in La Paz, Bolivia with IE3 Global Internships and Child Family Health International (CFHI). The internship focus is on pediatric and adolescent health.

Bolivia is a country in South America, bordering Chile and Peru to the west, Brazil to the north and east, and Argentina and Paraguay to the south. The country’s primary language is Spanish, and it contains a diverse amount of culture and climate. Bolivia is one of the poorest and underdeveloped countries in Latin America and is the poorest country in South America. Its medical care ranks lowest in the western hemisphere and it lacks proper healthcare for children and adolescents who try to survive while living on the streets, as well as children who come from families who are desperately poor.

The Pediatric Health program offers a holistic learning experience, including clinical rotations serving children and families, medical and conversational Spanish classes and a home stay with a local family in La Paz. During my internship I will have the opportunity to observe healthcare in a pediatric hospital and smaller medical clinics as well as be immersed in the region's language and culture while participating in La Paz's healthcare system. Although I will primarily be working with children, I will also have the opportunity to see and participate in public health work addressing other aspects of poverty as well. I will be living with a host family in two cities: La Paz and Tarija. La Paz is Bolivia’s capital, and is a developing city in need of more healthcare providers. Tarija is a rural area, lacking proper care and people to provide it. In both cases, I will be providing care to underserved Bolivian children.

My internship is 10 weeks starting September 26, 2014 through December 7, 2014.  Please pray for me as this is the farthest I have ever been from home as well as the longest I have ever been away. I am so thankful for all of the ways you have poured into my life and I am thankful for this opportunity to learn.

- Justin

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