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Malinalco: A change of scenery and mind

Malinalco: rural and small in size, yet extreme in its natural beauty and historic significance. A mere 2.5 hour drive from the crowded and hectic atmosphere of Mexico City, it was the perfect place for a weekend get-away—especially to get some clinical research experience in the field done. After a rough morning of departing Universidad Panamericana at 6 AM, we finally made it to Malinalco 3 hours later, and went straight to work. All weekend long, with some help from our new UP friends, we worked in the town’s elementary school, Miguel Hidalgo: El Padre de la Patria Escuela, and would ask young boys and girls of 5-10 years old about their diet, daily exercise activity and other daily habits in order to measure obesity in the community. The major premise of the survey and clinical exam, was to attain numeric data on how many students and parents were obese in the community.

One of Mexico’s main global health problems is obesity. Thus, this survey and clinical exam will be a good indicator of how healthy the families in Malinalco are, and will eventually help UP educate the families on how to live healthier lives. I am a strong believer that change comes by educating the youth. If one wants to reduce obesity, in Malinalco or in one’s own community, one should target the younger population as they are the future of our society— they are our future leaders. Thus, this trip to Malinalco and my classes thus far, have taught me that change does not happen over-night. In order to combat obesity and better global health and nutrition, international and community collaboration and intervention is necessary. Our efforts in Malinalco were simply the first step in this community based change.

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