Hugo Puerto is a recipient of the 2018-2019 Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship. The award provides undergraduate, graduate, and professional school students with financial support to develop fluency in less commonly taught languages (LCTLs) and expertise in the regions in which these languages are spoken. Every year the Center for Global Studies awards between 12-15 fellowships to UW students. Click here to learn more.
I am a global health practitioner and a Ph.D. in Anthropology candidate. During the past two summers, I have worked with Sinergias, a Colombian NGO, analyzing cultural approaches in healthcare services and building relationships with indigenous communities in the Amazon Rainforest along the border of Colombia and Brazil. The development of these relationships led to co-design a Ph.D. dissertation research with these communities as a tool to find options on getting adequate primary health care services in this region. The FLAS Fellowship will greatly improve and expand my verbal and written Portuguese skills, enabling me to mediate the dialogue between the “Western” medicine and the indigenous healing practices along the border region of Brazil and Colombia. The FLAS fellowship will not only help me achieve my research goals, but will also prepare me for a career in anthropology and public health in Latin America.