Miraida Morales, Xiaomu Zhou
Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, United States of America

Tuesday, November 10, 8:30am


Summary
This qualitative study of folk health practices of an indigenous Mexican immigrant community in New Brunswick, New Jersey investigates the barriers this community faces, and their effects on its members’ everyday practice of health in a new urban environment. Facilitated by local community organizations, two focus group interviews were conducted with women from this community, along with a questionnaire and multiple field visits. Analysis revealed several themes related to health practices, including the role of food, and how indigenous knowledge influences the community’s beliefs about, and practices of, health. Additionally, several environmental, communication, and systemic barriers also appeared to affect the community’s health practices. This research indicates that providing healthcare access to immigrant communities is a complex issue extending beyond the availability of services and resources. A better understanding of immigrant communities’ socio-cultural health practices may be a key to improving the community’s healthy living and overall quality of life.