Two Days of Spanish Class and Learning About Health Care Systems

I'll admit, the last two days have been very tiring. After our return to Xela, the following day we had Spanish class from 8:30am-12:30pm. I was still pretty exhausted from the previous day so I mainly relied on coffee to keep me animated for my lesson with Annabella and the doblado from the market and fried chicken from Pinulito were much needed morale boosters during the 30-minute break at 10:30am. After Spanish classes, Katie, Mitchka, and I went back to our house for lunch and we took a short nap before going to Blue Angel to watch two documentaries on the health care systems throughout the world. The first documentary about the health care system in Cuba was long but very informative and I learned a lot of things that I didn't know. I wasn't aware that Cuban had such an effective and efficient health care system. Nor did I know that Cuban doctors are very well trained and well respected among other Latin American countries. Watching that documentary was very helpful because the information that was presented in it could definitely be used in my research paper. I think that Guatemala could really benefit from implementing some of the things that have worked for the health care system of Cuba. It's unrealistic for Guatemala to implement changes that richer countries have effectively used because Guatemala doesn't have the same structure or resources that are available to those other countries. However, Cuba is very similar to Guatemala in terms of resources and culture, so it would be a good idea to look into what has worked for Cuba when considering solutions that Sofia and I could propose in our research paper.

The other documentary was shorter than the Cuban documentary but I really liked it because it did a good job of efficiently explaining the different health care systems in Germany, Japan, Taiwan, Great Britain, and Switzerland. While some of the things that are effective for these other countries may not be effective in Guatemala, it does open up the possibility for other ideas and solutions. After the documentaries, I went back home and just relaxed. I felt pretty drained after a long day of class and two documentaries and I was ready to just knock out, which I did.

The following day was very similar in that we had another day of Spanish class but instead of watching documentaries after lunch, we met with Dr. Fredy Salanic to talk about the health care system currently in place in Guatemala and the problem that diabetes plays in Guatemala as well. The thing that stood out to me about his lecture about health care in Guatemala is he said that two main factors in health outcome are poverty and education. Dr. Salanic also mentioned that a big factor is the inequality and poor distribution of wealth in the country. He mentioned that Guatemala has the 2nd worst distribution of wealth in Latin America and the 9th worse distribution of wealth in the world. That's absolutely ridiculous to me. Another thing that he brought up was there are five families that are very rich and powerful in Guatemala and they control a lot of the economic decisions that are made because of their wealth and power. In addition, those families aren't paying taxes that directly contribute to education and health care, harming the state of the country. There was a lot of information in his presentation that could be extremely helpful when writing my research paper with Sofia.

Now I'm just trying to catch up on editing all of the vlogs and photos that I've shot over the last couple of days but as of now I'm really enjoying my time here in Guatemala. I'm honestly learning so much and having such great experiences that I don't want to leave! It's crazy to think that we've already been here for 10 days. Time needs to slow down. -Scott