Emily Shaffer in Alajuelita, Costa Rica with FIMRC - Project Alajuelita


"My name is Emily Shaffer and I am a senior majoring in Biochemisty/Chemistry, with a minor in Global Health. I spent five weeks completing my field experience requirement in Alajuelita, Costa Rica with the Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children (FIMRC)– Project Alajuelita.


During my time in Costa Rica I worked with families living in the Alajuelita area of San Jose. There were many small neighborhoods that were some of the poorest in the country. The families coming to the clinic were almost entirely Nicaraguan, and came to the clinic seeking quality care as they can feel discriminated against among Costa Ricans. I was in the clinic 9 am-2 pm each day, and either shadowed the doctor, shadowed the psychologist, or worked the clinic. Following each appointment, the doctor and psychologist would debrief us (it was difficult to keep up in Spanish). The psychologist shared what she learned about her patients from art therapy, this was her specialization. I participated in distributing cough/cold medicines, lice shampoo, antihistamines, and anti-parasite pills. In the mornings we often took vitals such as height, weight, blood pressure, and recorded medical history.