Monday, August 6, 2007

Back in Boston!

Dear all:

I’m back after an incredible immersion experience in Costa Rica with our first group of 6 MSPP students (Jeanine Baillie, Juan Rodriguez, Aimee Asgarian, Zack Blumkin, George Soto, and Christina Massari) sponsored by the Lucero Latino Mental Health training program.

I spent the first two wks there and they’re now on their 4th of a total of 5 wks. The program exceeded my expectations—the language instruction, although intense (i.e., 6 hrs x day), has been of excellent quality provided by very qualified instructors. The school’s setting is idyllic--a natural outdoors tropical setting—and the staff feels like one big Latino family. We’ve also begun the establishment of a very exciting mental health volunteer program with our two native speakers, Juan and George. The two of them have been carrying out some very intensive and challenging clinical work at 3 adolescent women’s shelters (victims of abuse), a local medical clinic, a drug addiction facility, and a school in an impoverished neighborhood. The learning thus far has been invaluable, especially to appreciate the very creative work of very well qualified professionals with very limited resources (although, ironically, Costa Rica is probably the most stable Latin American economy).

In addition to the hardwork, the students have also been having some fun and exploring the natural beauty of Costa Rica in the weekends.

So, many thanks to everyone who contributed to the development and realization of this unique training opportunity for our students!


Amaro Laria, PhD


Lucero Latino Mental Health Training Program


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