Health, Culture, and the Latinx Community

SPANISH 306.01

members of the Durham Latinx community gather in a story circle to share their experiences.
In the Fall 2018 semester, students learned to facilitate story circles as a method of gathering data for the Durham County Public Health Department. Story circles rely heavily on deep listening to the communities being served in order to gain a more effective perspective. “No graph or data can tell you what an actual person can tell you through a story," says Alex Bajana (T’21), a computer science/biology major who took the course in Fall 2018.

Exploration of health issues in the Spanish-speaking world shaped by social, cultural, political, ethnic, and economic determinants. Topics: cultural competency, community beliefs, medical practices and policies, preventive medicine, mental health. Projects include presentations, writing, research, and conversations with local and global contacts. Evaluation on knowledge of content, oral and written proficiency in Spanish. One 300-level Spanish course recommended prior to enrolling. Prerequisite: Spanish 204 or equivalent.

Guest speakers will provide expertise on local health access for the Latinx community in Durham. 

There will be meals with the community as part of the community-engaged project with the Durham County Public Health Department. Students will engage with the community to obtain opinions and understand habits related to sugary drinks. The Public Health Dept is developing a new campaign to try and decrease the consumption of sugary drinks and wants more input from the Latinx community. The students will facilitate conversations with the Latinx community.

NOTE: There are two sections for Spanish 306. Spanish 306.1 is the one to select if you want to do service-learning projects in the community. Spanish 306.2 does not offer service-learning.

VIDEO: Students from Spanish 306 share their views on the course:


VIDEO: Communicating with people in a language you're not fluent in can be intimidating, especially when it comes to community engagement, but it can also be incredibly rewarding, says Savanna Groft.



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