The NAPA-OT Field School in Guatemala nurtures
leaders in medical and applied anthropology and occupational therapy to
promote social justice. Students work intensively in clinical and
community settings gaining skill in research, observation,
communication, and transdisciplinary collaboration. Within small groups
integrating students from occupational therapy and anthropology
backgrounds, participants have the opportunity to spend focused research
time with faculty in: Sensory Integration Approach to Nutrition, Feeding and
Pediatric Development; NGOs and NGO Networks for Health in Primary Care Delivery; and Sustainable Technology for Community Development. Seminars
emphasize critical theories in applied medical anthropology, approaches
to social and occupational justice, and human rights.
Students also study Spanish one-on-one with individual instructors at
their own level and pace. Living in a home stay increases language
fluency and understanding of Guatemalan culture.
therapy students may fulfill a portion of their Level II professional
degree requirements with approval from their graduate program.
Student feedback on the NAPA-OT Field School:"This school is both challenging and rewarding. It challenges student to think outside typical paradigms and focus on bigger picture structural aspects affecting occupational justice. It rewards them with the meaningful experience of listening and gaining a valuable understanding of a larger society, while teaching an effective approach toward approaching occupational injustices." - Student 2013
"NAPA OT has not only taught me a different way of thinking, but also a different way of seeing. Looking at situations and problems critically then sculpts the way I conceptualize the causes and solutions of such issues. I'm so grateful for the discussions that began this month, and that I hope to continue for the rest of my life. Too sentimental? No matter, it's the truth!" - Student 2013
"This trip was a powerful experience for me. I've been on other study abroad trips but this one was really special. I felt so inspired by and close to the other students and our mentors. Everyone was so passionate about what we were learning. I feel so fortunate to have been a part of it." - Student 2012
"The field school is an invaluable experience where you will be stretched and challenged, consider and discuss current human rights issues with a historical perspective, receive insightful and nurturing mentorship, and get hands-on experience. The integration of anthropology and occupational therapy provides a unique and comprehensive perspective." - Student 2012
"You can read all you want on global health, but until you study it firsthand in an applied context, you can't say that you truly understand the issues, challenges and potential solutions to health disparities in developing countries. This field school gives students the opportunity to immerse themselves in that context and challenges them not only to do in-depth, qualitative research but also to embed their findings in the wider social context, developing recommendations for health interventions that are practical, culturally-sensitive, and effective." - Student 2011
field school provided me with an all-encompassing fieldwork experience
than any placement in the United States would not have been able
provide. Particularly interdisciplinary collaboration, cultural and language exposure."
- Student 2010
"The NAPA-OT Field School provided a rich and rewarding experience... Prepare to be forever changed!" - Student 2009