Building Healthier Communities in the Dominican Republic
Article by Jason Erno
Contrary to popular belief, the characteristics of human health are not solely based on physical and mental components. Dr. Arelis Moore de Peralta in the Department of Languages and the Department of Youth, Family and Community Studies leads her Building Healthier Communities in the Dominican Republic Creative Inquiry team in taking action to identify and combat communal health problems.
Lower income communities in the Dominican Republic are often faced with high illiteracy rates, lack of higher education opportunities and poor public health systems. The community of Las Malvinas is no stranger to these issues. Moore de Peralta and her team are working to revise the United States’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) healthy communities program Community Health Assessment and Group Evaluation (CHANGE) to operate in less developed countries. The team’s goal is to expand their knowledge of the hazards there in order to identify potential solutions.
In the future, the team hopes to utilize the ecological area surrounding Las Malvinas as a source of revenue for the community through tourism as well as continue to visit the country every spring break. “After visiting Las Malvinas, I keep myself reminded that what I’m doing in the classroom is for the benefit of people,” Chloe Schockling, a junior health science major, said.