I have known about the Escuela Latinoamericana de Medicina (ELAM) for quite some time and thought that American students no longer qualified until my good friend Adrianne George Lund posted a link. In English, this is the Latin American School of Medicine (in Cuba).

In 1998, when Hurricane Mitch devastated Nicaragua and Honduras, and Hurricane Georges lashed out at Haiti and the Dominican Republic, the Cuban government responded with a unique and generous offer. They immediately sent 2000 medical personnel to help out in the affected countries. But Cuba contributed much more than just short-term emergency relief. They pointed out that “the permanent hurricane of poverty and underdevelopment kills more people every year than these hurricanes just did…” And Cuba presented a comprehensive plan to create long-term health-care solutions for the nations of Central America and the Caribbean which are chronically poor. The idea behind the Cuban health care plan is to save as many lives every year as were lost in the hurricanes.

Full scholarships are afforded to student from around the world including the United States. American students used to be facilitated by the Black Caucus but efforts to reach them sent me from person to person and terminal hold. I just decided to get all the information I needed from the website Pastors For Peace. A quick phone call verified that American students are indeed taking advantage of this wonderful opportunity despite embargos and ban on travel to Cuba.

If you have the prerequisites and the mental fortitude and a commitment to working with the poor and underserved, then you may be a good candidate for this intensive program. You can get all the information you need from their website. The program is completely in Spanish, but you will get intensive instruction upon arrival. Think what you will about Fidel Castro, this is a good program. Check on the source to get more info.

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