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Review for Child Family Health International, San Francisco, CA, USA

Rating: 3 stars  

I participated in two programs with CFHI; Intensive Beginners Spanish and Amazonian Community & Indigenous Health. I could write extensively about both programs, however I was much more impacted by my time spent in the Amazon. During this program I spent a little over three weeks in a town (Puyo) that lies just on the outskirts of the Amazon jungle. Two of my weeks were spent in and around the town while the third week was spent visiting an indigenous tribe within the Amazon. During my time in Puyo I shadowed physicians at the well known Voz Andes clinic where I was able to see a full spectrum of health cases. Some patients were locals who simply needed standard care while others traveled more than a day to receive treatment. My second week in Puyo was spent on the public health trail where I followed a Ministry of Public Health employee door to door in checking for mosquitoes in an effort to eliminate dengue. Finally, my week in the jungle was probably my most memorable time. The route to get there started with an hour bus ride to an outpost clinic followed by a four hour hike along a muddy trail that was impassable by anything but foot. The hike was beautiful in addition to exhausting. However, the effort was worth it as I was welcomed by the local tribe with open arms for the duration of my four day stay. During this time I was invited to be part of several traditional rituals and songs. Additionally, one day was spent going over the local flora to learn what plants were consumed and for what purposes; medical or otherwise.

Simply put, my trip into the Amazon was full of breadth both medically and culturally. It couldn't have been more spot on.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Be more clear about what participants will be doing on a day-to-day basis before they sign up. My time in Quito was not nearly as impactful if only because I didn't sign up for the right clinic rotations.

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Role:  Volunteer