134 Indigenous Students to Study at Venezuela’s Latin American University of Medicine

An event celebrated on Friday, the United Nations International Day of the World’s Indigenous People, recognized 134 students from indigenous communities throughout Venezuela who will be incorporated into the Latin American University of Medicine -Salvador Allende.

By Sascha Bercovitch

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The incorporation comes as part of a university initiative aimed at spreading education and health care to geographically isolated indigenous territories (ELAM)
The incorporation comes as part of a university initiative aimed at spreading education and health care to geographically isolated indigenous territories (ELAM)
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Caracas, August 11th 2013 (Venezuelanalysis.com) – An event celebrated on Friday, the United Nations International Day of the World’s Indigenous People, recognized 134 students from indigenous communities throughout Venezuela who will be incorporated into the Latin American University of Medicine  -Salvador Allende located in Filas de Mariches in Miranda state.

The students come from the eight Venezuelan states with indigenous populations , including the Barí, Warao, Wayúu, Cumanagoto, Yukpa, and Yekuana. They will study at the university founded by late President Hugo Chavez on the condition that they return afterwards to their local communities.

“We want you to return to your people and provide health care for your brothers. That's the fundamental premise of the school,” Venezuelan Vice President Jorge Arreaza said at the event.

Arreaza added that the university’s plan of study should move to incorporate methods of natural medicine advanced through “ancestral wisdom.”

Students were selected after trips through and consultation with individual communities, according to Minister for Indigenous Peoples Aloha Nunez, who is of Wayú ancestry.

“These are the young people who are going to guarantee public health for our indigenous peoples,” Nunez said.

The incorporation comes as part of a university initiative aimed at spreading education and health care to geographically isolated indigenous territories through the National Training Program for Comprehensive Community Medicine, launched by the Venezuelan government in 2005.

The program attempts to comply with Chapter VIII of Venezuela’s 1999 Constitution, which explicitly recognizes the rights of indigenous communities, including guaranteed representation in the National Assembly and a full health system.

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