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Hiking Expedition

Hiking Expedition

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Spector (2013) in her 8th edition of Cultural Diversity in Health and Illness has set out to make further establishments in the measures involved in the process of taking care of people who are from the diverse cultures and backgrounds in America. She further delves into analyzing the various healthcare systems and the different types of health consumers of the traditional health practices and beliefs on illness among various populations like the American Indians, Asians, Blacks, Hispanic and the White population. As part of the hiking activity, this paper will focus on the health and illness perspectives of the Hispanics population in North Carolina area that is highly social-cultural.


To begin with, it is essential to note that culture involves a discovered system of knowledge, actions, behaviour, values, principles, and standards that are practiced by the individuals who belong to a certain community or ethnic group with a similar origin as described by (Smith, 1966). In the broadest sense, researchers in the previous studies conducted have established that culture often entails how individuals think, what they do, and how they use their abilities and certain available resources to maintain their cultures. It is also worth pointing out that social variety results from the unique characteristics of each culture. The components, principles, and perspective of each culture is always very it from all others as outlined by Spector (2013) of the various cultures that she presents in her research studies. During my hiking expedition, I set out to learn more about the Hispanic communities, often regarded as one of the minority groups in America. My objective was to collect more information on the Hispanic culture and practices towards health and illness. For this reason, I visited the Sullivan health center that mainly serves the Hispanic population and had a discussion with the senior healthcare provider at the center.

From my previous secondary research before setting out in the field, I established that the Hispanic inhabitants are extr

emely heterogeneous, both among subpopulations and within themselves, and is considerably improving its existence in North America (The University of Texas at Austin, 2005). Currently, about twelve percent of the inhabitants is Hispanic America and numerically projected by census experts that these figures are on the verge of exceeding the African America inhabitants. Spanish speakers in America form the majority of the Hispanic team. This community includes those from Cuba, Mexico, Puerto Rico and other groups that form the Spanish culture (Center for Disease Control, 2010). They signify nearly 50 % (half) of the complete Hispanic inhabitants. With a yearly rate of growth that is three times higher than that of the non-Hispanic white inhabitants, the most research projection done by demographers indicate that Hispanic communities will in the years to come form one fourth of the U.S. inhabitants by 2050. Though Spanish is the language that is common among all Hispanics, many 'languages' are available that are specific to cultural categories. Unique words, pronunciations, and language conversation are obvious in conversation among individuals from different Hispanic origins. The total number of births per 1,000 Hispanic females who are between the 15-44 years is 76.2%.

Section B: Interview with Senior Health Provider at the Sullivan Health Centre

From listening to the conversation I had with the senior health provider it is evident that the culture performs an essential aspect in how individuals understand and respond to different situations, the cultural population I was studying included. I later interviewed Melissa, a mother of two and a local resident who is a grocery vendor as indicated below.

Me: Thanks for sparing sometime to meet me and share information regading the Hispanics’ health and illness perspectives, including their cultural beliefs. I assure you that the information you provide is purely for my class assignment and to enhance my understanding on the issue. I shall also share with you the draft of my report.

Melissa: Thanks again and feel welcome. I look forward to your questions.

Me: Melissa, would you mind starting off by explaining how long you have been in this town.

Melissa: I have been here for the last fifteen years. Am originally from Pueto Rico but my parents settled here many years ago thus I have grown up here


Me: Thank you. How then do the Hispanics, yourself included, define health?

Melissa: For most Hispanics in this area, health is the stable state of their mind and the overall wellness of their bodies to ensure proper functioning.

Me: And how do you define illness/ILLNESS?

Melissa: Illness is any state of destabilization of the body that affects and hinders normal operation, as a result of a disease.

Me: Are you in a position to tell the overall health status of the Hispanics?

Melissa: I am not quite sure but I have recently heard from a research released by the CDC that the percentage of individuals within all the age groups in reasonable or inadequate health among the Hispanics is 10.0%

Me: I am curious on what Hispanics do to maintain your HEALTH?

Melissa: The Hispanic Subpopulations are affected in a different way by illness and personal areas of focus may lead to the identification of different medical concerns. Overall, Hispanic culture focuses on health rather than sickness. What this implies is that individuals are concerned about maintaining a healthy, balanced culture both physically and emotionally, or from a natural knowledge of health and sickness.

Me: What measures are put in place to protect the HEALTH of Hispanics?

Melissa: My answer to this will be similar to the previous one, in that we strive to remain health, as we strong ly believe in the common saying that prevention is better than cure.

Me: What are traditional causes of illness/ILLNESS, such as; poor eating habits, wrong food combinations, the evil eye, hexes, spells, or envy, witchcraft, environmental changes, exposure to drafts, Grief and loss

Melissa: A paranormal cause of sickness that comes from outside the body is “mal de ojo.” Mal de ojo is due to excessive appreciation. For example, an personal who extremely enhances a child of their beauty can cause a mal de ojo on the child that can lead to common malaise, insomnia, or even become the cause of certain sickness. For this reason, parents may try to protect their children from mal de ojo by having them wear a special appeal created of silver. Envy, “envidia”, is also considered a cause of sickness or bad luck. That is; jealousy by others of an individual's success can cause the individual to become a victim of a misfortunate sickness.

Me: What do you do when you experience a noticeable change in your HEALTH?

Melissa: A discrepancy between hot and cool is considered a source of sickness, with hot and cool not totally creating reference to temperature but creating reference to the public category of a particular material or sickness. “Hot” diseases should be treated with “cold” remedies, for example penicillin, which is classified as a “hot” medication, should be prevented in treating “hot” symptoms such as diarrhoea or rashes. Another view on the aspect of hot and cool stability in sickness is that the cool should be prevented after having an extremely “hot” experience. For example, after doing comprehensively pressing in the house or preparing coffee, an individual should prevent getting directly into the outside cool air to prevent becoming sick. A recognized consequence of not following this guide is “pasmo.” The concept of Pasmo simply explains a paralysis of the face or divisions due to the interference of the hot-cold stability according to (Galarraga, 2007).

Me: I am also curious on knowing whether the Hispanics often diagnose their own HEALTH problems? If so, how do you do they do it? If no, why not?

Melissa: Individuals’ diagnosis has a long-standing place in Hispanic-American culture, and is especially common among first-generation Hispanics. We diagnose ourselves to determine the level of seriouness of the condition so we know whether to seek traditional treatment or visit the botanica clinics.

Me: From whom do you seek HEALTH care?

Melissa: On average when Hispanic individuals do become ill, they seek therapy. They also believe in getting medicines from the“botanica”, which is a religious drugstore that has many traditional in Hispanic areas.

Me: I also would like to know how restore your HEALTH? Would you also give examples?

Melissa: The treatments by curanderos and santeros consist of deep massages, herbs, guidance depending on their religious capabilities (“facultades”), and cleanings (“limpias”) that are always performed as bathrooms with a particular mix of vegetation. In some cases, the Santeros may also recommend herbs, creams, lighting of candle lights for the team, incense, and water that is generated from vegetation which can cure all types of ailments. However, sources of medical help and therapies are often determined and centered on the costs that eventually affect the Hispanics’ process of decision making. The effects of cost-ordered creating decisions often relies in the employment of a certified doctor as a last resort. Otherwise on a normal basis, the Hispanics often rely on healers for problems management, and a dependency on homeopathic remedies (The University of Texas at Austin, 2005).

Me: To whom do you turn first when you are ILL? Where do you go next?

Melissa: When ill, we seek treatment through the traditional program called the “curanderos” or those known as the“santeros.” Curanderos are naturalist healers who use vegetation and herbs to cure sickness. Santeros, on the other hand, makes use of the power of the group to cure, provide first aid, and advice the sick individuals. These natural healers are used widely throughout Hispanic-American culture, without regard to socioeconomic position, and are desired for public, physical, and emotional reasons. The healers do not promote their services but are well known through casual interaction in the Hispanic group network. Not all Hispanic-Americans use the traditional program, but medical service providers should be aware that patients who seem to have the last minute resorts for healthcare have most likely mentioned on treating their sickness using the traditional process. The traditional program is usually used together with institutionalized medication and is more likely to be used in particular cases of emotional disorders, which are often associated with wicked mood and forces. If an emotional problem is considered serious enough to consider admission into an emotional, medical center, then the emotional individual is considered a “loco”, who is considered as a dangerous personal that drops public position (Livingston, 2007).

Me: What are some of your home remedies?

Melissa: The type of sickness for which curanderos are generally preferred to cure is empacho. In this case, Empacho explains some sort of abdomen discomfort and pains that are believed to be due to the ball of food holding to the abdomen. The Curanderos, advice that home remedies such as performing a powerful massage over the abdomen should be undertaken. There are records of these deep massages quickly improving the powerful abdomen discomfort. However, there has also been a statement of a Hispanic individual attempting to cure a serious appendicitis as empacho at home and staying away from medical center good care until she was in a critical, life-threatening condition (Young, 2001).

Me: Imagine that you have just moved to a new location. You do not know a single person in this community. How do you find health/HEALTH care resources? (Note: you will need to differentiate for the person health vs. HEALTH)? Kindly bear in mind that HEALTH care resources are those set up for the overall good of all the members of the community.

Melissa: As a new community member, I would heavily rely on referrals. Here, we work closely together as we live like good neighbors. I ask my friends when in need and they help in providing the needed health information.

Me: What does your faith tradition teach you in terms of how to maintain, protect, and/or restore your HEALTH?

Melissa: In Hispanic culture, significant amounts of focus are placed on religious beliefs, the family, the group, and traditional principles including public standards, gender roles, and natural camp associated with health and fitness. Hispanic-Americans generally understand health and fitness as a gift from God regardless of whether they take aspect in the traditional program of healing. Health can becompensate for good behavior, and sickness can sometimes be a penalties for wrongdoing. Other potential causes for sickness unique to Hispanic culture consist of instability between hot and cool, paranormal activates, and jealousy. Hispanics gather health and illness details to facilitate their needs when planning and applying socioculturally congruent health and fitness details outreach activities.

Explore birth and birthing practices and traditions in your heritage and compare with the heritage of the person interviewed above.

In the Hispanic culture, contraception method is hardly ever used in the categories analyzed. Many moms wish to have less kids and they are in support of beginning prevention but do not exercise it. Men are particularly resistent to the use of birth control methods. The exercise of abortion is not approved as a standard nor followed in the categories analyzed, with very few exclusions. In common, maternity is seen by the moms as a organic procedure rather than as an irregular procedure or as a illness. In some non-urban places, a very low amount of females search for interest. Moreover, according to the Ecuadorean research, less than 40% of the females supervised their wellness, ate better and decreased actual work during maternity. This is very different from the Whites’ culture. Birth control is highly practised as women are educated and highly empowered. During pregnancy, most women are very keen to supervise their well being and eating habbits. Child delivery is done in hospitals under the watch of experineced doctors.

Explore end-of-life beliefs and practices and mourning traditions in your own heritage and compare with the heritage of the person interviewed above.

Death in the Hispanic culture is perceived as God’s will to call the patient and rest them from long suffering. Prayer is thus a part of the end-of-life process for the individuals and their close relatives. Family associates may use prayer or bring special amulets and rosaries (prayer beads) while going to the funeral of a person who has passed away. The close relatives may demand that they keep candle lights burning 24 hours a day as a way of retaining praise of the dead. Electric candle lights are available for the patient and their family members, who work in corporation and unity at the time. Family associates may also display images of the lost beloved while some family members may want to regard their dead comparative by washing the whole body. There may be a perception that an individual's soul is lost if they die in the medical center rather than the home setting. Wailing and strong feelings at the time of loss of life may be considered a sign of regard. Organ contribution and autopsy are not acceptable. Contrary to my White peoples’ heritage, an organ donation after the end of life is highly acceptable, especially for scientific research purposes. Both the cultures share the aspect of mourning loved ones, expressed by display of their photos, prayers and somber mood (University of Washington, 2008).


Center for Disease Control. (2010). Cultural insights: Communicating with Hispanics and Latinos. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/healthcommunication/Audience/AudienceInsight_CulturalInsights.p df

Galarraga, J. (2007). Hispanic-American culture and health. Retrieved from http://www.cwru.edu/med/epidbio/mphp439/Hispanic_Healthcare.pdf

Livingston, G. (2007). Hispanics and healthcare in the United States. Retrieved from http://pewhispanic.org/files/reports/91.pdf

Spector, Rachel E. (2013). Cultural Diversity in Health and Illness Coursecompass Access Card. Pearson.

The University of Texas at Austin. (2005). Hispanic health and aging in the new century. Retrieved from https://www.utexas.edu/lbj/caa/scaia_summary_report.pdf

University of Washington. (2008). End-of-Life Care: The Latino Culture. Retrieved from http://depts.washington.edu/pfes/PDFs/End%20of%20Life%20Care-Latino.pdf

Young, M. (2001). Hispanic health information outreach: Recommendations for NLM strategy and tactics. Retrieved from http://nnlm.gov/evaluation/tools/hispanicoutreach.pdf

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