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Norma writes for Selvedge Magazine Issue #109 -- Rise Up, November 2022
Norma Writes for Selvedge Latin Issue #89
What is a Study Tour: Our programs are designed as learning experiences, and as such we talk with weavers about how and why they create, what is meaningful to them in their designs, the ancient history of patterning and design, use of color, tradition and innovation, values and cultural continuity, and the social context within which they work. First and foremost, we are educators. Norma worked in top US universities for over 35 years and Eric founded the education department at Oaxaca’s textile museum. Our interest is in creating connection and artisan economic development.
Why We Left, Expat Anthology: Norma’s Personal Essay
Norma Contributes Two Chapters!
- Norma Schafer and Oaxaca Cultural Navigator LLC has offered programs in Mexico since 2006. We have over 30 years of university program development experience. See my resume.
Study Toursd are personally curated and introduce you to Mexico's greatest artisans. They are off-the-beaten path, internationally recognized. We give you access to where people live and work. Yes, it is safe and secure to travel. Groups are limited in size for the most personal experience.
Programs can be scheduled to meet your travel plans. Send us your available dates.
Designers, retailers, wholesalers, universities and other organizations come to us to develop weaving relationships, customized itineraries, study abroad programs, meetings and conferences. It's our pleasure to make arrangements.
Select Clients *Selvedge Magazine-London, UK *Esprit Travel and Tours *Penland School of Crafts *North Carolina State University *WARP Weave a Real Peace *Methodist University *MINNA-Goods *Smockingbird Kids
Tell us how we can put a program together for you! Send an email email@example.com
- WEAVE Podcast: Oaxaca Coast Textiles & Tour
- NY Times, Weavers Embrace Natural Dye Alternatives
- NY Times, Open Thread–Style News
- NY Times, 36-Hours: Oaxaca, Mexico
- Cooking Classes–El Sabor Zapoteco
- Currency Converter
- Fe y Lola Rugs by Chavez Santiago Family
- Friends of Oaxaca Folk Art
- Hoofing It In Oaxaca Hikes
- Living Textiles of Mexico
- Mexican Indigenous Textiles Project
- Museo Textil de Oaxaca
- Oaxaca Lending Library
- Oaxaca Weather
- Taller Teñido a Mano Natural Dyes
Oaxaca Community Health Clinic is Learning Laboratory for U.S. Physician Assistant Students
When Meagan Parsons and Ben Cook arrived in Teotitlan del Valle, Oaxaca, three weeks ago to start their month-long public health clinic externship, they expected that people would be friendly and open since they had traveled before in Latin America. They didn’t know quite what to expect about Mexico’s health care system.
What the two physician assistant students from Methodist University in Fayetteville, NC, discovered was that
After only a few days “on the job,” Meagan and Ben assisted in a labor and delivery, which was a highlight. This primary care practice experience compares with a family medicine practice in the U.S. for which they receive academic credit as part of a clinical rotation.
Some of the most common medical problems that present at the clinic are diabetes, hypertension, intestinal and respiratory infections. Dr. Jonas Gutierrez explained that there is no breast or cervical cancer here. Neither is there Dengue fever or malaria.
The clinic staff, which includes five primary care doctors (one assigned to each residential section of the village), a pediatrician, psychologist, dentist, nurses, a social worker, and physician administrator who is also a surgeon, concentrate on preventive medicine through regular check-ups, health education, and administering vaccines. Complicated labor and delivery cases are referred to the tertiary care hospital, as are critical cases.
The doctors included Ben and Meagan in social activities, inviting them to lunches, sports events and family outings. There was no relationship hierarchy.
For a look into Meagan and Ben’s Oaxaca blog click here!
After the first few days, Meagan and Ben’s “ears turned on,” they began to hear the words and their Spanish improved, especially the medical terms that got bandied about. Meagan says that she developed keener non-verbal skills and could begin to pick up cues given by patients, which will help her immensely when she returns to North Carolina.
Ben says he will take home the language and how to better relate to Hispanic culture. He saw first-hand how everyone in the family is involved in health care decision-making, and this awareness will benefit him as he moves on in his career after December 2013 graduation.
Academic advisor Deborah Morris, MD, PA-C, who came for a one-week site and supervision visit, talked with Meagan and Ben about developing a Spanish-language diabetes education pamphlet to leave behind for patients, since this is a pressing health care issue for the village. The content will include treatment choices, self-care, diet and nutrition, and exercises. There will be lots of visuals to make it easy to understand. The doctors will review the content and provide feedback before the document is ready to print.
Each of the doctors who Meagan and Ben worked with said the students were very helpful, learned a lot and so did they. This was an excellent “intercambio” — an opportunity for cultural exchange, mutual sharing, learning, and collaboration.
Medical training in Mexico involves five years of study to become a family practice generalist M.D., plus a one year internship and one year of social service (medical education is paid for by the government and is nominal to students), for a total of seven years of education and service. To become a specialist, doctors add an additional four years on to their education by doing a hospital residency.
Thank you to the doctors and nurses of the Centro de Salud, Teotitlan del Valle, Oaxaca, for welcoming students to the clinic to gain valuable experience, especially Clinic Director Dra. Elizabet Lopez Martinez, Dr. Jonas Gutierrez, Dr. Pablo Aredondo, Dr. Jesus Morales, Dr. Faustido Hernandez, Administradora Mayra Mendez, and Dra. Jessica Lopez. Thanks also to the Public Health Committee of Teotitlan del Valle, and to Deborah Morris, MD, PA-C, for facilitating this collaborative health care exchange.
Note: All photo subjects gave their permission to be photographed.
Posted in Cultural Commentary
Tagged community health, health care, Mexico, Oaxaca, rural health, system