After the preliminary meeting and introduction to what to expect as traveler’s to Guatemala, we were taught the general customs and culture of the region of Zacapa. We were introduced to a collaboratively extracted data regarding the average health and well-being of people in the area and Guatemala as a whole. For both of us, and our limited knowledge of Central America, information like this is paramount for better understanding the culture we hope to document.
We plan on working as closely as possible with students associated with Hearts in Motion. We learned the procedures of the clinic the med students will set up for the locals. The procedures included how to measure an individual’s Body Mass Index (BMI), how to measure their blood sugar, and their iron levels, all while gaining the consent of the locals for recording their results for research. We also learned the best way to gather the information through communicating appropriately within Guatemalan culture. For example, women in Guatemala can be sensitive about having or not having children and would feel most comfortable talking to another woman about it rather than a man.
Along with some of the health points discussed we were informed of the variety of ailments that come in the area as a result of diet, genetics, and environment. One of these ailments that the Hearts in Motion team plan to alleviate is the iron deficiency in the local diet. This lack of iron results in Anemia and was remedied with the implementation of the “Lucky Iron Fish” which is a physical iron fish that actually dissolves in water for the locals to cook with their everyday meals.