Career goal: Work on research and programs to better understand how culture influences health.
Internship outline: This internship had three components: 1) community health education about HIV and other STIs; 2) HIV testing in the Manglaralto Hospital and regional subcentros; and 3) completing an investigation on barriers to HIV testing. Magdalena focused primarily on the research project, which aimed to provide Manglaralto Hospital with some basic descriptive epidemiological data on prevalence of risk factors for HIV, levels of HIV knowledge, and rates of HIV testing.
Value of experience: Working with the Manglaralto Hospital taught me how to adjust research protocols and expectations to fit within another country’s health system and culture. Teaching in the local high schools and the HIV testing campaigns allowed me to practice sharing health information across cultural and language barriers.
Best moment/experience:My favorite moments of the summer were the unexpected conversations with people I was surveying—discussions about their relationships, about their community or mine and about their experiences with health and illness. I feel incredibly lucky for those brief connections with members of the community that allowed me to better understand Ecuadorian culture and health care.
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- Maggie teaches weekly sexual health workshops as part of a health education program at the local Manglaralto High School. Here, Maggie and Sophie Shimer, Yale College ’14, instruct a class of 14-year-old students.
- A group of Manglaralto community members participate in a weekend “Day of Cleaning” co-hosted by Yale students and the local youth group.
- Yale students stand with Gabriela Mata and Chelsea Rienks of Fundación VIHDA, a non-profit partner organization in the city of Guayaquil.
- Maggie describes male and female reproduction during a sexual health class at the local high school.
- Internship tasks included daily HIV testing in the laboratory of the Manglaralto Hospital using the rapid HIV blood tests shown here.
- Three children assist with trash pick up during the communitywide Day of Cleaning, which aimed to raise awareness about community sanitation.
- Three students including Maggie, right, lead a public fitness class in Manglaralto’s town square.
- The capital of Quito from a tower at the Basilica of the National Vow.
- A giant river otter in Yasuni National Park in the Amazon where Maggie traveled during free time.
- On the peak of the Quilotoa Caldera in the Cotopaxi Province of Ecuador.