BSN Dominican Republic Day Six: Kangaroo Kids and Mapping out Manhattan

This morning, Rita, Sarah, and I went to Manhattan to conduct a census and health surveys. We paired with members of the community, and went door to door to ask questions about their access to food, electricity, plumbing, trash disposal, and disease prevalence.

The community has roughly 225 families, and we surveyed about 50 of them. We noticed that many of them only had one full meal a day, which was usually rice and beans. Few had indoor plumbing, but most had electricity. Many children had asthma. Unfortunately, most of them said that it took them over half an hour to get to the nearby hospital.

Meanwhile, Bryonna, Miriam, and Krystena spent some time at San Vicente De Paul Hospital in the newborn Kangaroo care section. They were able to see the progression the children in this unit made through the use of Kangaroo care. Due to the environment, the doctors saw fit to provide nutritional supplements for many of the children such as vitamin A &C, iron and electrolyte powder to combat an amoeba infection.

In the afternoon, we all visited the museum house of Las Mariposas. Las Mariposas, or “The Butterflies” were three sisters from a wealthy family. They fought against Rafael Trujillo, the former dictator of the Dominican Republic. Trujillo was in power from the 1930s until his assassination in 1961. Although he brought the economy unprecedented growth, it came at a price—human rights violations were common, and he was responsible for the deaths of 50,000 people. Trujillo had them assassinated when they visited their husbands, who were in jail for treason. When they died, they became martyrs. We loved seeing powerful women play such a central role in Dominican history.

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