Interdisciplinary Global Public Health in Mexico

GHI Mexico Partnership Director: Lori DiPrete Brown, MSPH, Director for Education and Engagement, GHI

The Global Health Institute works in partnership with the University of Guadalajara to carry out faculty exchanges, field experiences, and credit-based service-learning opportunities for graduate and professional students in the areas of medicine, nursing, veterinary medicine, public health, and other health-related fields. This partnership takes place in a context of a sister-state relationship between Wisconsin and Jalisco, Mexico, and is supported by a University Partnership agreement between the University of Guadalajara and the University of Wisconsin System. The partnership provides a rich and stimulating teaching and learning environments for students and faculty from both schools, while enhancing quality of life for communities. UW students who participate in the program develop language skills, cultural skills and professional experience that will allow them to work internationally and to better serve the Hispanic population in Wisconsin.


  • Carry out global health field experiences and interdisciplinary public health service-learning activities jointly with the University of Guadalajara at CUALTOS (Los Altos) and CUCSUR (Costa Sur).
  • Continue to develop opportunities for clinical clerkships and/or residencies in medicine, veterinary medicine, nursing and pharmacy.
  • Continue to sponsor faculty visits from the University of Guadalajara to Madison in fields related to Global Health.
  • Identify opportunities for mutually beneficial joint research.

Field Activities

  • 3-year service-learning program initiated in the town of Tequililla, in January of 2009. UW students and faculty are working together in areas of health and nutrition, sex education, environmental care, youth services and income generation.
  • Clinical rotations have been carried out by UW students in medicine (2) and veterinary medicine (1).
  • Student field projects have been carried out in the following areas: of 1) laboratory skills related to food safety, 2) child safety and agricultural tasks, and 3) community based water quality monitoring and related community education.
  • Study tours of UW have been carried out in the areas of nursing, public health, veterinary medicine, agronomy and sustainable agriculture.
  • UW faculty members have presented lectures and workshops on the topics of quality assurance, public health service-learning, infectious disease, nursing, veterinary medicine, and environmental sustainability and care.

In 2010, activities included a January faculty-led service-learning experience and independent field experiences in the summer. In January four UW-students participated in the second field course in Jalisco, Mexico. The course was hosted by the University of Guadalajara-CUAltos, and the eight-day field course included orientation by UDG faculty, as well as visits to hospitals, health centers and cultural government sites.

The 2010 course also included a community stay in the rural community of Tequililla, where UW and Mexican partners have been active for three years. It also included visits to two new sites, Las Jicamas and Presa de Barajas. The visits to new sites focused on relationship building, community service, and planning of future activities. The following activites were carried out during the January visit:

  1. School-based education sessions relating to dental care (kindergarten), astronomy (elementary and middle school in Tequililla and Las Jicamas), and dengue and HINI (elementary and middle school in Tequililla).
  2. Telescope-building and star-gazing with community in Tequililla.
  3. Outreach Clinics (Tequililla and Presa de Barajas).
  4. Following up of previously initiated projects related to health education for teens, improvements to health center, school garden, and improvements to community plaza (Tequililla).
  5. Library Science: Presentation to Regional Hospital about open access resources for finding medical journals and articles on-line, planning oral history project.

The two-credit course continued throughout the spring of 2010, during which time the students who went in January worked with three 1st-year medical students to plan longer-term (5 week) field experiences in Mexico for the summer of 2010.

The summer projects included:

  1. Nutrition outreach and cooking coures
  2. Implementing a community school library
  3. Yoga and Salsa dancing workshops
  4. Soap making/hand washing workshops
  5. Smoking cessation training the trainers session

In addition to these projects students also participated in health fairs, organizing athletic events for youth, and other outreach efforts in the 3 communities (Tequililla, Presa de Barajas, and Las Jicamas).

Field activities for 2011 have been carried out with monetary support from the University of Guadalajara, the Global Health Institute, the Morgridge Center for Public Service, The Marshfield Clinic, the UW Latin American Caribbean and Iberian Studies Program, and the Ira and Ineva Reilly Baldwin Idea Endowment. For more information contact Lori DiPrete Brown, Associate Director for Education and Engagement, Global Health Institute.