Global Health Nonprofit Opens Intensive Beginner Spanish and Healthcare Program

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CFHI’s Intensive Beginner Spanish and Healthcare program in Mexico is a Global Health Elective designed for those with little to no knowledge of the Spanish language, but who wish to increase their cultural and linguistic competency as well as their understanding of health care delivery in a low-resource setting.

We know that global health is increasingly of interest to young people preparing to be the health professionals of the future, and we know that Spanish and Medical Spanish are more important than ever...

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Child Family Health International, a leader in global health immersion programs, announced today that its new Intensive Beginner Spanish and Healthcare Program in Southern Mexico is up and running. A pilot version of the program ran several times in 2011.

“Now that we have taken the input from the initial participants, we have been able to make adjustments to provide a quality program –one that benefits the community as well as the students,” said Nick Penco, CFHI’s Student Programs Manager. The program based in the southern Mexican city of Oaxaca, is designed for those with little to no knowledge of the Spanish language, but who wish to increase their cultural and linguistic competency as well as their understanding of health care delivery in a low-resource setting. Participants are exposed to the local public health care system while gaining an understanding of the social and economic factors that impact the health of the local population.

Within this month-long, language intensive program, participants will take two weeks of intensive Spanish classes while volunteering with local non-profits in the afternoons. The last two weeks will focus on utilizing and expanding language skills during clinical rotations at local healthcare facilities and additional Spanish classes. Participants will be exposed to the public healthcare system in Oaxaca by participating in clinical rotations at primary and secondary clinics that provide free or low cost services to the urban population. Living with a local host family allows participants a more immersive language experience, as well as affording a deeper experience of Mexican culture.

CFHI has been offering international volunteer experiences for the last 20 years and also has programs in Latin America, Africa and India. “We know that global health is increasingly of interest to young people preparing to be the health professionals of the future,” said Steve Schmidbauer, Executive Director of CFHI, “and we know that Spanish and Medical Spanish are more important than ever for today’s doctors and nurses. This program allows us to reach out to the medical student, nursing student or pre health students who know how important this is for their careers but don’t know where to start.”

CFHI plans to add an intensive beginner Spanish program to its programs in Ecuador very soon.

About CFHI

Founded in 1992, CFHI (http://www.cfhi.org) is a non-government organization (NGO) operating at the grassroots level to provide transformative global health education experiences and community empowerment in underserved communities around the world. CFHI offers 20+ global health immersion programs designed to broaden students' perspectives about global health - as well as a variety of community health initiatives and projects - in developing countries including Bolivia, Ecuador, India, Mexico, and South Africa. More than 6,000 students have participated in CFHI programs to date. CFHI has been granted Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC).

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