Students on this trip will get an overview of healthcare in Nicaragua, while also exploring and enjoying the natural beauty and vibrant culture of this enchanting Central American country. Get a fresh perspective on U.S. healthcare by learning about how public and private entities work to meet healthcare needs in the second poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.
Tentative Itinerary (SUBJECT TO CHANGE):
Day 1: Arrive to Managua and receive a warm welcome from the San Ramon staff who will be waiting to take you directly to San Ramon. You will pass through the town and head up to the mountains to Finca Esperanza Verde, the award-winning eco-lodge and coffee farm founded by SCSRN. Meet the new owners and all-local staff and learn their stories. Enjoy your first Nica dinner and settle into your cabin after a long day of traveling. (To learn more about FEV, visit www.fincaesperanzaverde.org)
Day 2: During your three-day stay at FEV, the eco-lodge will serve as a lush, beautiful backdrop to your first glimpse into healthcare in Nicaragua. On your first full day at FEV, you will receive a talk about healthcare in Nicaragua with a representative from the Ministry of Health. This informal talk will be held in FEV’s open-air pavilion. The purpose is to give you a general understanding of how healthcare is structured in Nicaragua.
During your free time at FEV, you’ll have the chance to explore the natural beauty of the tropical cloud forest and learn more about coffee production and rural life.
Day 3: After a delicious breakfast (and some bird-watching if you like), take a tour of a health post in a rural community. Talk with doctors and local health promoters to learn about health priorities in rural communities. Return to FEV to de-brief what you’ve learned and continue enjoying your time at the eco-lodge. Take a cooking class; take a tour of the coffee farm, visit the butterfly hatchery and organic farm.
Day 4: Say goodbye to your FEV friends, and head for the town of San Ramon. Meet SCSRN’s friendly staff, get some cultural orientation, and then be welcomed into the home of your host family. Receive a tour of this small town from local guides and learn about a day in the life of a local. Learn about how families prepare food and manage hygiene (in comparison with rural families) by observing and interacting with your host family.
In your free time in the town of San Ramon, you’ll participate in cultural activities such as dance classes, cooking classes, a crafts fair, and much more.
Day 5: After breakfast with your host family, you’ll visit Los Pipitos, a free clinic for children with disabilities. Then you’ll take a tour of the town’s health center to compare with your earlier visit to a rural health post. You’ll also visit the “Casa Materna,” a place for expecting mothers from rural communities where they receive prenatal care and education. In the afternoon, visit a natural medicine store where many locals go to seek traditional cures for their ailments.
Day 6: In the morning, take a tour of the regional hospital in Matagalpa. Speak with doctors and nurses, and learn about the chain of public health from rural areas to urban centers. Later, you’ll attend a Q &A session with representatives from the public and private sectors, including alternative medicine practitioners.
Day 7: Enjoy a leisurely morning with your host family, learning about what home life is like for a typical Nicaraguan family. Later, receive a talk from a local non-profit working in food security in rural communities. As this is your last day in town, your group will be given a chance to de-brief all the things that you’ve learned about healthcare in Nicaragua. In the evening, enjoy a night of music and dancing in the park.
Day 8: Have your last breakfast with your host family, and say farewell to your new friends in San Ramon. We’ll be waiting for your return!
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