Last Wednesday evening, Volunteer Coordinator Lucy and I (Community Coordinator Brooke) had a great opportunity to provide reproductive health education to at-risk youth. Reproductive health is a sensitive topic that often goes unaddressed in this very conservative society.
We traveled from Ollantaytambo to Casa Mosqoy in Cusco, which houses at-risk youth aged 18-24 from in and around Ollantaytambo. There, 20 students warmly welcomed us and we were provided a wonderful dinner before we started teaching about male and female reproductive anatomy, the menstrual cycle, and growth in the womb from conception to birth.
We enjoyed the students’ high level of engagement, and were impressed by their wide variety of questions about hormones and how pregnancy occurs. Many among them had never had any type of reproductive health education. We found that many students did not know how and why menstruation happens or how one gets pregnant.
For questions that the students did not want to ask in front of others but wished to have answered, we had a “caja de preguntas”, or question box. The students could anonymously submit questions and receive answers in front of others so all would benefit.
The leadership of Casa Mosqoy has invited us to return and make three more presentations will be even more challenging: sexually transmitted infections, family planning options, gender identity and sexuality, and healthy relationships.
We look forward to addressing these topics in a way that is culturally sensitive, honest, and that empowers women to have more of a voice in a primarily male-dominated society.
¡Stay tuned for more tales from Casa Mosqoy!
– Written by Brooke Bachelor, RN
For more information on Casa Mosqoy: