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Volunteers Address Public Health Issues in Honduras

by Connie K. Ho | June 27th, 2011

Students can also learn more about other cultures on international service projects. Thupten Phuntsog, a transfer student who studied public health at the University of California, Irvine, participated in a Public Health Brigades to Honduras during spring break of 2011. Not knowing any of the other students on the trip, Phuntsog returned with an understanding of the openness of community members.

“You cannot help but feel rewarded after helping a family in another country. Knowing that the concrete floor you put in prevents the transmission of Chagas disease or the eco-stove you constructed minimizes the risk of respiratory disease, you leave realizing that you made a real, tangible difference,” replied Phuntsog.

Phuntsog served as the coordinator of the UC Irvine chapter of Global Brigades, which includes a Dental, Environmental, Law, Medical, Public Health and Water Brigade respectively. Each of the brigades will be traveling to either Panama or Honduras, working on projects ranging from seeing patients in mobile clinics to constructing irrigation systems.

“Through volunteering abroad, you develop a greater appreciation for what you have and a better understanding of the different perspectives in our global community. International service will not only enrich your personal life, but your professional life as well,” commented Phuntsog.

Photo via Thupten Phuntsog

Thupten Phuntsog graduated from UC Irvine in Public Health. She participated in public health brigades during spring break of 2010 and 2011. During her last year at UCI, she was the president of Global Brigades, the VP of FInances for Public Health Brigades and worked as an Alternative break Intern at the UCI Center for Service in Action. She will be traveling extensively throughout India, Bhutan and Europe in the spring of 2012. She plans to pursue a Master’s in Public Health whens he returns. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, being outdoors, doing yoga, playing with her dog, and arts and crafts.

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