katie skelton peru 2

Welcome to Urubamba, located in the ancient Inca’s Sacred Valley in the heart of Peru.  The local culture is permeated with Andean traditions as natives wear traditional clothing and live in Adobe homes.  Although the personal sense community is strong, the need for Public Health services remains vast.

Since arriving in Urubamba, I have been working on a health assessment of the Collanes-Pillary community, located approximately 20 minutes from Urubamba.  This community is in desperate need of much help.  They face many barriers that have prohibited them from obtaining optimal healthcare.  Many of the natives are not educated, do not speak Spanish, and have little to no income each month.  Our health assessment, containing 26 questions, will enable us understand the needs and wants of the community at hand.

Thankfully, my coursework at ETSU has greatly prepared me for the challenges I face here in Peru.  I have learned how to create a first-class survey, assess communities, and have gained the ability to develop and conduct a tailored, health intervention. These skills will be of great use to impact the health status of the local community.

Upon completion of my first two weeks in Peru, I have assessed ninety different families.  While each family is different, many of the same issues are consistent from household to household.  The area is lacking in clean water, the homes do not have sewers, health education is sparse, and gender equality is not present.  Over the next 6 weeks, the health assessments will be used to develop several specific health interventions that will best fit the community’s needs.  I will continue to work each day to help the local community defeat the barriers they face and obtain the needed healthcare they need and deserve.

Thank you Hope Through Healing Hands Foundation and Niswonger Foundation for making this incredible opportunity possible.