Miguel Ángel Pérez Méndez, eighth semester student in the Licenciatura in Nursing, is currently doing social service, from March 1, 2019 to March 2, 2020, at the health counter of the Mexican Consulate in New York. “I am very excited and grateful for this opportunity, because I am the first Mexican nursing student to comply with his social service at this consulate”.
In an interview, the UDLAP student said that his interest in doing his social service requirement in a foreign country is due to his awareness of the difficulties and limitations that immigrants face when living in another country, regarding health topics. “With this initiative, I visited and talked with the health counter coordinator and proposed this project, which she liked. Once I had that acceptance, I started all the paperwork in Mexico and at the university, and in October, 2018 an agreement was signed with the Secretary of Foreign Relations, which included the Nursing and Medical Surgeon majors to carry out their social service abroad, and thus help Mexicans who live abroad,” said Miguel Angel Pérez.
Then, he added that his social service is helping people who recur to the health counters, which is a program that was established by the Mexican Government in 2002, through the Institute of Mexicans Abroad and the Health Secretary, in order to provide health services to Spanish-speakers living in the United States, and to create a culture of prevention, education, and participation in improving the quality of their lives.
Regarding his activities, Miguel Ángel Pérez said that he works in different associations, community organizations, and clinics to educate and promote a culture of disease prevention, touching on subjects such as vaccines, diet, substance abuse, family violence, AIDS, TB, and all preventable diseases.
He ended the interview saying that health is a human right that needs to be emphasized: “Everything that we can do to improve the quality of life of people is good; I would like my classmates to continue with this project and promote wellbeing in people.”