Nursing Students Without Borders at VCU provide health outreach to Guatemalan villagers
Twenty members of Nursing Students Without Borders at VCU and two VCU School of Nursing faculty members traveled on a community service trip in January to provide health outreach to villagers in the Highlands Region of Guatemala. Led by Leigh Ann Breckenridge, DNP, FNP- BC, MSN, RN, clinical assistant professor, and Michelle Legg, M.S.N., RN, CCRN-K, clinical instructor, the students provided education on hypertension and diabetes for women and midwives. They also built stoves for Mayan families to help reduce the risk of additional health issues caused by cooking over open fires.
Part of the visit involved learning about Mayan practices, such as herbal remedies and midwifery. The VCU faculty and students also participated in a Mayan religious ceremony, dressed in beautifully handmade Mayan clothing and ate typical Mayan foods among other activities. In addition, they spent a day in San Juan, Guatemala learning about the organic coffee cooperative which is assisting the country’s economy.
NSWB at VCU travels to the Highlands Region of Guatemala every year during winter break through a collaboration with the Highland Support Project. The Highland Support Project is a Richmond organization focused on the independence, well-being and continuation of the Mayan way of life in their community. This was the largest group of VCU nursing students to date to visit Guatemala.