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2 Week Specials, Public Health in Mexico by Erica Sumbler

A group of Public Health volunteers at their placement

I was part of Projects Abroad's Public Health programme in Mexico. Projects Abroad organised my flights at reasonable times, which made me feel stress-free about going to a different country by myself. It was a very safe trip and all the staff members of the programme were friendly. I was pleased I got to be with them.

My host family

I was very lucky to be able to stay in wonderful accommodation. It is clear that the people of Projects Abroad thought about the accommodation requests I had put forward before my trip. I had all the resources I needed, like water, food, adequate bathrooms and beds.

There were many rooms so other Projects Abroad volunteers lived in the same house as me. This was beneficial, because we got to spend more time together and it was a great bonding experience. Our group became close quite fast. The host family was really kind and was always happy to help with anything we needed. They were very flexible with any changes we had, which I am thankful for.

Beautiful scenery in Mexico

My Public Health placement

Visiting hospitals in Mexico was quite an experience. We got to visit three different hospitals throughout Guadalajara, which were all different in size, interior, and overall atmosphere. Our group was able to see so much more than we could in the hospitals in our hometowns. The most exciting part for me was to be able to go into the surgery room and see a C-section and a hip replacement. I feel that being able to see these surgeries gave me experience that will be very useful when I pursue a career in medicine. After watching doctors work in difficult situations and seeing patients who do not have the resources for optimal health, I now know more about access to medical facilities in Mexico.

Volunteers in scrubs prepare to watch surgery

Along with observing the hospitals, we got to do some hands-on work during outreaches. We went to different communities to help people living in areas that do not have adequate access to medical supplies. We were able to assist doctors in diagnosing medical problems for those in need. We checked things like blood pressure, heart rate and respiratory rate of patients. We also practised speaking to patients. I was very glad that I had the chance to help those who really need it.

My overall experience

Projects Abroad is such an amazing organisation and I feel blessed that I found it. This trip made me more excited to be in the medical field. I got to experience the culture of a beautiful country and I made many great memories with the other volunteers. I would like to join this programme again, just to be even more experienced in medicine and to travel more.

Erica Sumbler

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