Have you ever dreamed of traveling to México to help improve the health of another community?
Dr. Carlos Cabrera offered that opportunity to University of California, Merced students on Thursday evening – and many are already heeding the call. (His talk was well-timed: Saturday (Oct. 15) is National Latino Aids Awareness Day.)
During his one-hour presentation, Cabrera described his work with Brazos Abiertos, a Mexican non-profit organization dedicated to decreasing the spread of HIV and sexually transmitted disease in the Yucatan, and improving access to health care – and overall quality of life – for those people who are already infected.
It’s not an easy task. Cabrera detailed the factors that make it challenging to educate people in the Yucatan about HIV and sexually transmitted diseases, including cultural taboos associated with the condom, cultural, social and language barriers, and limited access to medical services.
But with the help of volunteers and interns, Brazos Abiertos can make a difference, he said. “The more interns we have, the better,” he told me. “We need hands. We need people.”
Interns will specialize in research or health education. The unpaid position is open to students that are committed to the cause, are culturally sensitive, and can find resources to fund their trip and housing.
For more information, visit www.hivyucatan.org. Check out the Brazos Abiertos blog to read about the first-hand experiences of volunteers and interns.
- Note: I took the photo above while covering an AIDS-awareness campaign in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Read the full story here.