My Capstone Project

For my Capstone, I decided to study access to healthcare in Peru. While I have been at FSU, I have grown a strong interest in learning about how people access healthcare and what barriers or facilitators they encounter while doing so. I spent five weeks this summer in Cusco, Peru, volunteering at a shelter for young mothers and their children. This is a disadvantaged group, and therefore I wanted to learn more about their experiences in medical settings. Going into this experience, I did not know a lot about healthcare in Peru, but I did have a decent understanding of concepts such as health literacy. Thus, I went in with a very open mind and I was very perceptive to my surroundings.

While I was volunteering, I interviewed the assistant director of the facility as well as several of the mothers living there. These interviews were very helpful in allowing me to understand how health care works for people in poverty in Peru. I lived with a host family in Cusco that were part of the upper-middle class, so through an interview with them I was able to learn about a different side of healthcare. I also learned a lot about natural medicine practices in Peru, which has a large influence on perceptions of health. 

While doing background research for this project, I became very interested in the idea of health as a human right and the obligations that governments have to guarantee this right to their citizens. Peru has experienced very tumultuous times in the last 30 years, and in the 1980’s the government almost completely collapsed, and with that the healthcare system. Since then, the government has made great strides and there have been many improvements in various measures of health. Despite this, there are still long-standing inequalities that cause great disparities in access to healthcare. Ultimately, I have found that Peru does not succeed in guaranteeing the right to health to all of its citizens. 

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