Create an Indigenous language program at the Universidad Francisco Marroquin
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In rural areas of Guatemala such as Chajul, the citizens experience many inequalities compared to the citizens of urban areas like Guatemala City. One of these inequalities is access to healthcare. The citizens of rural Guatemala do not have as much access to healthcare as the citizens in urban Guatemala. This lack of healthcare leads to higher child mortality rate in these areas. One of the reasons that there is a lack of healthcare in rural Guatemala is because of language barriers. The citizens of rural Guatemala speak indigenous languages such as K’iche, Kaqchikel and Q'eqchi' whereas the official language of Guatemala and the language that is spoken by most medical professionals is Spanish. This is a problem because when children get sick, they are unable to communicate with a doctor to get the help that they need. This leads to more child deaths because, without the medication they need, they are unable to survive certain diseases.
One of the main reasons that children in rural Guatemala die of diseases is because of malnourishment. When children get diseases such as cholera from contaminated drinking water, they lose their appetite and stop eating. This leads to malnourishment and eventually the children die. If these children were able to communicate with a doctor, they could get the medication they need to overcome the diseases and they would not suffer from malnourishment.
If doctors were able to understand these indigenous languages, this would help to lower child mortality rate. By educating students in medical school to speak indigenous languages, this would help to preserve the indigenous cultures and enable doctors to communicate with patients who speak these languages.
The Universidad Francisco Marroquín, has one of the best medical school programs in Guatemala. It is located in Guatemala City which is an urban city and the capital of Guatemala. At this school, Spanish is the main language that is spoken. As a solution to reducing child mortality rate, I think that in order to graduate from the undergraduate medical program at the Universidad Francisco Marroquín, each student must have a course credit in one of the three most common indigenous languages (K’iche, Kaqchikel or Q'eqchi'). This would mean that over time more medical professionals would be able to communicate and help citizens who are part of indigenous communities.
In conclusion, educating students studying medicine at the Universidad Francisco Marroquín to speak indigenous languages would be very beneficial to Guatemala. It would help to preserve indigenous cultures and reduce the child mortality rate in Guatemala.
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