Course Description: Columbus discovered America on a beautiful tropical island in the Caribbean Ocean now called Hispaniola. Despite areas where wealthy vacationers spend time on sandy beaches, the average citizen in the country called Dominican Republic has a very low income and many health needs.
This interim provides those interested in faith-based health care the opportunity to explore the health care system and health needs of the warm and hospitable yet needy people of the country. Students work with both national and American physicians and nurses.
There are experiences in health care sites in the capital city of Santo Domingo, in hospitals and clinics in small towns and in traveling clinics in remote and extremely poor areas in various locations in the interior of the island. While assisting health care professionals students have ample opportunities to interact with residents, either through interpreters or using their own Spanish skills.
Students learn how the Dominicans care for orphaned children, those with mental illness and the elderly. Learn about local practices, including the role of voodoo as practiced especially by the Haitians. Interact with development workers who bring clean water and safe sewage systems to rural areas. Students see faith based medical missions in a variety of contexts.
Issues of justice and compassion challenge students as they encounter the unique health care problems of a developing country.
Field trips to historical sites, museums and tourist locations round out the experience.