Katie Steider spent seven weeks in the Dominican Republic studying Public Health at Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra (PUCMM) offered through the Council on International Educational Exchange. Living with a host family in Santiago, she enhanced her understanding of the Spanish language through her interactions at home and in the classroom. Through her classes, Katie learned about the history and culture of the Dominican Republic, the many aspects of health care, and about health issues specific to the Dominican Republic. She also had the opportunity to tour various local clinics and hospitals in order to observe first-hand the Dominican Republic’s health care system. One of the highlights of Katie’s abroad experience was the week that she spent volunteering at a rural clinic in Ojo de Agua as part of her Topics in Community Medicine class. She had the opportunity to learn from a wonderful team of nurses and doctors and made many lasting memories with the locals. During her stay in Ojo de Agua, Katie was inspired by the story of Las Hermanas Mirabal, three sisters who were murdered for fighting against the dictator Rafael Trujillo for national independence, and actually got to spend time with the fourth surviving sister, Dedé Mirabal, at her home. Katie also volunteered as a Health Promoter in the marginalized neighborhood of Barrio Obrero, helping to educate the locals about health concerns and eliminating criaderos where disease-causing mosquitoes could multiply and flourish. In her free time, Katie took the opportunity to explore the capital of Santo Domingo, the beaches of Cabarete and Sosúa, as well as other places of interest inside and outside Santiago.
CEE Title: Speak Out! A Gender Issues and Awareness Student Film and Arts Festival