I’m back from Guatemala and free of Malaria, Typhoid Fever, and Hepatitis. I’ll never know if I was exposed to any of these or if it was the cocktail of vaccines I took that staved off illness, but I stand by my prevention strategy and would do it again!
Although the stunning landscapes are romantic, I am reminded that the people of Guatemala live with the threats of these diseases without the privilege of prevention. In Guatemala, the Canadian standard of well-being is imaginary and it seems even our GDPs (Gross Domestic Product) prove that.
As citizens of a wealthy country, we often point to the long-held belief that people in poor countries are happier. It is comforting to imagine that our wealth would not make life better – perhaps we feel a little less guilty about our unfettered access to clean water, abundant food, advanced education, and one of the world’s best public healthcare systems – but it seems we are deluding ourselves.