Cruise Ships and Bush Medicine: Globalization on the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua and Effects on the Health of Creole Women

Authors


Abstract

Objectives

Global health research into the relationship between health, economic inequalities, and globalization is necessary to address increasing health disparities in low income countries. Nicaragua has high levels of poverty and extreme poverty when compared with other Central and South American Countries.

Design and Sample

Photovoice and ethnographic research methods were used to explore health experiences of Creole women in Bluefields, Nicaragua and the intersections between culture, socioeconomic status, and gender. Twelve Creole women participants, ages 18–45.

Measures

After initial focus groups, participants used disposable cameras to document health experiences. Follow-up interviews were conducted about the meaning of each photo. Participants then selected photos to be included in a city-wide photoshow.

Results

In initial focus groups, participants described great distress over changes they perceived in Creole culture and how these changes affect the health of the next generation. Participants related most of these changes to the economy and globalization. Photos taken were primarily of aspects of Creole culture, including household practices and traditional remedies from Creole culture.

Conclusions

Findings on the relationships between culture, disease, and community-identified health risks in this minority population can help health care providers and public health policymakers develop and sustain culturally appropriate health interventions.

Ancillary