They say that everything is bigger in Texas. The food, the hair, the hats, even the animals in Texas are supposedly bigger. More important than any of that, Texas seems to have big health inequalities. Throughout the past few weeks while I have been preparing to travel to Texas with my class I have learned about some of the major health issues that the people of Texas are facing such as high levels of obesity, Type 2 Diabetes, and the general lack of health insurance. Big issues that seem to be specifically evident in the Rio Grande Valley.
The Rio Grande Valley is a very unique place. It is a tourism destination with a wide variety of culture that I am looking forward to experiencing. I am looking forward to visiting the beautiful South Padre Island, trying all the food I can possibly fit into my stomach, and maybe even riding a mechanical bull.
More importantly, I am looking forward to getting to know some of the people that call the Rio Grande Valley home. I am looking forward to learning about their culture as well as their health needs. I will be working with my colleague Grace on a project called Tu Salud Si Cuenta, which is focused on improving the health of the people in the city of Brownsville through healthy eating and exercise.
Tu Salud Si Cuenta has goals to improve the overall health of the community, but before you can improve a community it is important to know what the community wants and needs. Grace and I will be reviewing some of the programs such as free exercise classes that have been implemented through Tu Salud Si Cuenta. We will be reviewing these programs based on our own opinions, but I think that it will be even more important to find out how the people who are actually affected by these programs feel about them as well. Therefore, asking questions will be the key to this trip.
So in conclusion, I am ready for the trip to the place where everything is supposed to be big. I’m ready to have some fun, and I’m also ready to do anything I can to help improve Tu Salud Si Cuenta. My program review may not make a big impact, but even if it makes a big impact on just one person the work will be more than worth it.