No Somos Una Caja, Somos UN Todo: Ethnomedicine and Globalization in Southern Chile
Hanna Garth, Rice University
The Makewe region of Southern Chile was used to study how the social changes of globalization affect public health in the region. The objective was to analyze how local globalization contributes to the public health crisis. Over 30 interviews were conducted. Participant observation was used both in the hospital and through residing with local families. The increase of forestation and the use of agrochemicals have contributed to a number of new public health problems. Problems with soil fertility and leeching have deteriorated the water supply and contributed to the poverty. The increase in poverty and low soil quality led to nutritional changes which manifest as “western” illnesses, a class of diseases that the Mapuche health care does not have the capacity to treat. As illnesses shift from ‘Mapuche’ origin to ‘western’ origin there is a shift in preferred treatment and available biomedical resources are in greater demand.