I was admittedly intimidated by the prospect of visiting an intercultural birthing center. Not that I’m squeamish or anything, but when we learned about it, it seemed like a space where I didn’t belong. But I think I better understand the importance of leaving my comfort zone now. It’s important to leave your bubble and observe something that you don’t know anything about.

I also appreciated the visit with traditional doctors and midwives.  I think that the two systems, traditional and Western medicine, have benefits and drawbacks. Western medicine is intimidating and unknown to people, while traditional medicine has existed for centuries. The practitioners of traditional medicine I spoke to said they learned how to make medicine from their parents or grandparents. And of course, they still need certifications, they aren’t quacks like some “alternative medicine” types in the US. Ultimately I believe a harmony can and should exist between traditional and Western medicine in Bolivia.


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