Medical Spanish Immersion Program in Nicaragua: Video Transcript

Matthew Meeks [Zoology major, Class of 2015]: This was a chance and an opportunity for me to explore education outside of Miami, let alone the United States.

Tony Milliron [Biology major, Class of 2015]: The opportunity to go to another country and work with Spanish-speaking people was an opportunity I just couldn't pass up.

Amy Hutchison [Zoology major, Class of 2014]: A lot of this was working with patients essentially, and just finding out what's wrong with them, where's the pain, those types of things, and essentially doing an entire consultation with them, and the twist was doing it in Spanish.

Julie Szucs [Senior Lecturer of Spanish]: They actually got to experience the culture, they experienced local food, they experienced communication barriers and trying their best to communicate with someone.

Rachael Herriman [Biology major, Class of 2016]: So it's a matter of making a connection with these people, helping them to the best of your ability, and praying that what you've done can really help them in the long run.

Amy Hutchison: We were able to compile some food packages to give the people in the rural areas some basic sugar, flour, rice, those types of things. So we actually were able to hand deliver these packages to families in rural areas. They were just so appreciative.

Wyatt Andrasik [Zoology major, Class of 2015]: It was just really cool to see that despite the language barrier, we could still make a connection.

Nohelia Rojas-Miesse [Senior Lecturer of Spanish]: During the first week of the program, we probably saw about, I would say roughly 800 people that we were able to treat. During the second week of the program, it was more than that; it was probably a thousand.

Julie Szucs: The students visited lots of different kinds of clinics; they visited rural clinics, they visited…we did medical brigades, where we set up in a school and people from the community would come out.

Christina Metcalf [Spanish and Zoology majors, Class of 2014]: Our very last day, we went to clinic and in the clinic, there was a house that was shared in that same space. There was a family of six children.

Matthew Meeks: We realized the mother had passed away two or three years ago, so the 14-year-old daughter was the person raising her five other brothers and sisters in one room.

Christina Metcalf: I just couldn't believe this; this was the most astonishing example of poverty that I had ever seen in my life.

Matthew Meeks: I had the opportunity to give them a bag of food that we provided, and just their faces as I pulled out ketchup, a bag of noodles, rice, sugar, it was like Christmas Day for them.

Christina Metcalf: Just the sound of their laughter and just the excitement that we could provide for them just by running around the yard with them was really incredible.

Amy Hutchison: I hope to return to Nicaragua and help the people there, because they really, really need lots of help with just basic things.

Christina Metcalf: It gave me the opportunity to actually apply all the Spanish skills that I'd learned throughout my undergraduate career to a medical context.

Wyatt Andrasik: After I graduate, I plan on going to medical school and becoming a doctor.

Rachael Herriman: I want to do Doctors Without Borders in the future or travel to different countries.

Matthew Meeks: I had the opportunity to be right there and it was humbling. It makes me more passionate about what I want to do with the rest of my life.

[February 2014]