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Programs : Brochure

  • Locations: (Various), Guatemala
  • Program Terms: Summer Internships
  • Restrictions: UPENN applicants only
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Program Description:

Program Snapshot

Global Internship Program (GIP): Guatemala Health Initiative
 
GHI LogoThe Internship: This internship will allow Spanish-speaking students interested in community/public health or social work to work at the Guatemala Health Initiative on projects concerning diabetes, charity care, and community health.

Number of Spots Available: 6-8

Duration: 11 weeks

Start Date: May 26, 2018

The Organization: Since 2005, the Guatemala Health Initiative (GHI) has coordinated interdisciplinary research, education, and service programming involving students from all schools at Penn.  GHI partners primarily with the Hospitalito Atitlán (HA) in Santiago Atitlán, Guatemala to develop and organize community-initiated programs in improving the health of the Atitlán community.  (Santiago) Atitlán is located in the Western Highlands of Guatemala on Lake Atitlán.  The population is predominantly Tz'utujil Maya.  The economy is primarily a subsistence economy influenced by tourism and remittances from abroad.

The Location: The internships will take place in Santiago Atitlán, in San Juan Sacatepequez, and in Coatepeque, approximately three to five hours from the capital.

Santiago Atitlán: an indigenous Maya community on the shores of Lake Atitlán in the Western Highlands of Guatemala.  It is located approximately four hours from the city.  Students are based at the Hospitalito Atitlán.

San Juan Sacatepequez: a rural community in the highlands approximately three hours from the city.  It is situated in rolling farmlands and is part of the growing ex-urban areas around Guatemala City.  Students are based at the Clinica Barbara.  

Coatepeque: the closest city to the Center for Human Development in the Southwest of Guatemala.  This is a lowlands area and has malaria, dengue, and zika.  Students partner with the Fundsalud program and live in the organizational compound of the program.  Due to safety risks, movements are restricted to program activities.

Some health and safety risks to be aware of include:
  • Trauma: Lack of road safety due to poorly-designed roads, lack of sidewalks, and poor driving (public collective transportation is not recommended)
  • Violence: Guatemala has a high risk of interpersonal violence, so travel outside the program is not recommended
  • Vector-borne illnesses: Biting insects may spread certain infectious diseases.  The highlands area currently does not have any, but this can change.  Biting insects, however, do exist.
  • Chronic disease management (including both physical and mental illness): There is not a pharmacy system or mental health system that can support chronic disease management.  Students should consider with their provider their ability to self-manage any chronic illnesses while abroad for extended periods
  • Emergency care: The emergency room at Hospitalito Atitlán is staffed with non-English speakers.

Internship Details

There are three types of internships available with the Guatemala Health Initiative:

1. World Diabetes Project Intern
  • Location: The primary work site is the Hospitalito Atitlán in Santiago Atitlán; however, interns will travel throughout the lake region to remote towns and communities to carry out the work of the diabetes project.
  • Number of Spots Available: 2
  • Work Hours: 8:00am-5:00pm, Monday through Friday, with a one-hour lunch break.  Some days will require early-morning travel to a remote community.  Students will return to the hospital in the afternoon for data management and group activities.
  • The interns will:
    • Work with the Hospitalito Atitlán program in prevention, screening, and treatment of diabetes in the Atitlán community
    • Collect structured and semi-structured interviews about chronic disease with a focus on diabetes
    • Work closely with the World Diabetes Foundation grant in support of the community-based interventions in diabetes education and access to care
    • Work with a local translator as well as the diabetes program staff
       
2. Charity Care Program Intern
  • Location: The primary work site is the Hospitalito Atitlán in Santiago Atitlán; however, interns will be taken to remote villages in a 4WD pickup.  As these trips require mostly overland transportation, car sickness is possible.
  • Number of Spots Available: 2
  • Work Hours: 8:00am-5:00pm, Monday through Friday, with a one-hour lunch break.  Some days will require early-morning travel to a remote community.  Students will return to the hospital in the afternoon for data entry,
  • The interns will:
    • Work with the Hospitalito Atitlán program in nutrition, child and maternal health, and reproductive health in the remote communities of the municipality
    • Collect structured and semi-structured interviews about under-nutrition, anemia, diabetes, and general health needs
    • Work closely with the charity programs of the Hospitalito Atitlán in support of the community-based interventions in these remote and underresourced areas
    • Work with a local translator as well as the diabetes program staff
       
3. Community Health Survey Intern
  • Location: The primary work site will be either at FundSalud in Coatepeque OR Clinica Barbara in San Juan Sacatepequez; however, interns will work in the community by conducting door-to-door interviews
  • Number of Spots Available: 2-4
  • Work Hours: 8:00am-5:00pm, Monday through Friday, with a one-hour lunch break
  • The interns will:
    • Work with translators in a broad survey to assess the prevalence of health conditions, symptomatology, and health beliefs in San Juan Sacatepequez or Coatepeque (based on the World Health Organization community health survey and PAHO STEPS survey)
    • Develop the non-communicable diseases aspect of the GHI partnership
    • Work with Guatemalan faculty from the University of Francisco Marroquin and University of San Carlos

Eligibility

All GIP applicants must be current full-time, degree-seeking University of Pennsylvania students who are returning to their degree program full-time in the Fall semester.  All GIP applicants must also be in good academic and disciplinary standing.  Additional requirements for individual internships are as follows:

1. World Diabetes Project Intern

The World Diabetes Project Internship at the Guatemala Health Initiative also requires applicants to meet the following eligibility criteria:
  • Spanish language proficiency
Priority will be given to applicants who have the following criteria:
  • Prior community-based engagement
  • Research training or experience
     
2. Charity Care Program Intern

The Charity Care Program Internship at the Guatemala Health Initiative also requires applicants to meet the following eligibility criteria:
  • Spanish language proficiency (the intern's supervisor does NOT speak English)
Priority will be given to applicants who have the following criteria:
  • Engaged, compassionate, organized individual
     
3. Community Health Survey Intern

The Community Health Survey Internship at the Guatemala Health Initiative also requires applicants to meet the following eligibility criteria:
  • Spanish language proficiency
  • Ability to work independently and diplomatically, as these are new sites without in-person supervision
Priority will be given to applicants who have the following criteria:
  • Initiative, creative, and diplomatic

Please Note: Students who have participated in this program in the past OR who accepted a placement through this program in the past but then withdrew are not eligible to apply again.

Accommodation

Santiago Atitlan, GuatemalaAccommodation is included in the program fee.

For World Diabetes Project Interns and Charity Care Program Interns: Housing is in homestays coordinated by the program coordinator.  Each house is evaluated for safety (both intrusion and health-related) and is monitored by the program coordinator in case problems arise.

For Community Health Survey Interns: Housing is on the clinical compounds of Clinica Barbara and the Center for Human Development.  These are shared work, leisure, and living spaces and are walled compounds.  After-hours social activity is restricted to the compound due to safety concerns.  Weekends are spent traveling to other locations, including Santiago Atitlán.

 

Money Matters

All students accepted to the GIP will be awarded a Global Internship Program Scholarship.  GIP scholarship amounts vary by student, and award amounts are based on location of internship, length of internship, the student's need, and the student's merit. The internship placement application process includes the GIP scholarship application essay.

The program fee* for the Guatemala Health Initiative is $2,000 and includes:
  • Housing
  • Internet service in the hospital
  • Translation services
  • Program transportation
  • Orientation
  • Some group meals
Please note: Interns are also required to pay for international airfare, any visa costs, some meals, personal expenses, extra travel, etc.

The estimated budget for this internship is as follows:
 
Expense Estimated Cost Notes
*Program Fee $2,000 Includes accommodation, internet, etc.
Round trip airfare $850 Estimated cost PHL - GUA
Accommodation $0 Included in program fee
Meals & Personal Expenses $500 Some meals included in program fee
Visa $50 Tourist Visa 90 days US Citizen - multiple entry
Local Transport $50 Public transport (monthly pass)
Other $0  
Total Estimated Cost $3,450  

How to Apply

Ready to Apply?  Follow These Steps:
 
1. Click Apply Now above to login with your PennKey and password and begin the application
2. Complete all requirements listed in the online application, including:
  • CV/Resume upload
  • Cover Letter or Personal Statement upload
  • Unofficial transcript upload
  • Scholarship award essay
  • Required advising appointment with the Global Internships Manager (schedule yours by clicking here)
  • Other program-specific requirements, as needed
3. Once all requirements have been received and checked off, submit your application by the deadline
 
Don't Forget:
  • You may apply to a maximum of two (2) GIP programs.  You may open your first program application by following the above instructions.  To open a second application, you must first meet with the Global Internships Manager for an advising appointment.
  • Do not wait until the last minute to schedule your advising appointment, as appointment slots may fill!  Advising appointments will not be available from December 23rd-January 1st, so please plan ahead.

 Application Deadline: January 10th, 2018 at 11:59pm EST
 

Resources

Schedule an Advising Appointment: Don't forget that meeting with the Global Internships Manager is a required component of applying to the GIP.  Schedule your appointment by clicking here, and don't wait too long, as appointment slots may fill!

Past Participants: Want to connect with a student who participated in the Global Internship Program?  Click here to view a list of past participants and get in touch.

Career Services: The Career Services office on campus can help you in several ways.  You may find the following links helpful: Visas: Depending on your citizenship and destination country, you may need a visa or work permit to participate in this internship.  It is your responsibility as a GIP participant to determine your visa requirements and obtain a visa, if needed. Past participants have found the following resources helpful in determining visa requirements:
 



This program is currently not accepting applications.