Buscando Tun’ Tzaj Chbinchey Q’ey Jó: Comparing Perceptions of Access to and Experiences Within Healthcare Between Mayan and Latina Women in East Oakland

Summer 2017

Dylan Bush : Latin American Studies

Donor: Leadership Fund
Mentor: Seth Holmes, Xóchitl Castañeda

Woven into the intricate fabric of Oakland’s Latinx population is a community of Maya immigrants. Many arrived as refugees, escaping genocide during the Guatemalan Civil War, and in part because of this traumatic history and their indigenous identity, Maya individuals face unique challenges in accessing health care. While both Latinx and Mayan populations may perceive a lack of access, no existing research analyzes how these perceptions differ, allowing for the assumption that both groups face the same challenges. My research investigates the distinct challenges that the Maya perceive in accessing healthcare and their experiences within the healthcare system of the United States. I will use concurrent mixed methods interviews, nonparticipant observation, and focus groups to conduct my study, which will culminate in a 60-80 page independent thesis and a published paper that pushes us to rethink how our healthcare system interacts with the indigenous immigrant community.

Dear Leadership Fund Donors, I want to extend sincere thanks on behalf of myself and the community that I am working with for making my SURF grant possible. Through my work, I am working with the indigenous Maya immigrant community of East Oakland around issues of access to healthcare. Many community members have thanked me for taking on this project but in reality, none of this would be possible without your generous support. Your endowment has not only been able to fund me but it has made its way back into the community as well and it is so beautiful to see community members excitement to participate in this project. Thank you so much. With many thanks, Dylan Bush dylanm.bush@berkeley.edu