The Other Side of Tigre

Today we went back to Tigre, but not to a nice, wellfunded hospital. Today we went to a kid’s center in the lower income portion of Tigre. There, kids will receive a medical exam to determine if they are meeting the height and weight goals of kids their age. This is to determine if the child is malnourished and requires extra intervention. The center will provide meals for the child, who may come from a family that is too poor to provide as much food as necessary. In addition, the center provides day care, learning and developmental support, clothing, and classes for the mothers.

Today’s visit was a stark contrast to the part of Tigre we were in yesterday. In Tigre, there is a great amount of inequality between the different areas. While I don’t think this inequality is good, I don’t think it’s avoidable. I sort of think that there will always be families who will always be stuck in or pulled into the positions of the families we saw today. As a society, we should always try to even the disparities, and maybe someday we will get pretty close, but I don’t think it will ever be even.

Globalization should decrease the amount of inequality in the world, because so many more doors are open through globalized practices. However, I think it sometimes takes away from the opportunities in smaller, local areas. Especially when, for example, buying something through the internet from another country is cheaper than going to a small business in the same town. I think globalization decreases disparities in that way markets are open around the world, and the information is increased. These things especially help out healthcare. Companies and hospitals can offer their products and services to a larger market, and hospitals can receive supplies from other countries. For example, Argentina isn’t known for making high quality vaccines, so they’re imported from other countries. Another example is equipment used in hospitals and the pharmaceutical company we visited, because the equipment is so specialized and only a few places manufacture the products.

Our visit to a different part of Tigre was eye opening and very humbling. It’s pretty amazing that such stark differences in income and possibly standard of life are so different in the same municipality. Luckily, we met some awesome kids whose personalities are in no way hindered by their circumstances. They loved seeing us, and the entire time we were there they were smiling and laughing. I hope they remember to keep smiling and laughing for the rest of their lives, no matter what circumstances they are in.

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