PPS has specifically targeted Mexico as a venue for our research and interventions due to demonstrated need and relevance to our own community in North Carolina:
Mexican Immigrant Health
Latinos are the largest and fastest growing minority in the US. Between 1990 and 2000, the Latino population of North Carolina alone increased by nearly 500%, with the majority of new immigrants originating in rural Mexico. These immigrants often fall victim to severe disparities in access to care, with over 15 million uninsured, and in health education. Mexicans and Mexican-Americans have been disproportionately affected by both cardiovascular disease and diabetes, two of the primary subjects of our research.
Guanajuato: a North Carolina Connection
We hope that our work abroad will help us better to understand the medical needs of these communities and, by extension, our future Latino patients. We have specifically chosen the state of Guanajuato because it is one of the principal sources of immigration, accounting for 11-12% of all Mexican immigrants to the US; we hope to maintain a long term affiliation between between the UNC School of Medicine and the state of Guanajuato. PPS recently expanded to include a second site within Guanajuato state, San Miguel de Allende, in addition to the existing, long term Sister City relationship between Juventino Rosas and Carrboro, NC. Given the growth of the Latino immigrant community in the U.S., and the strong connections between U.S. immigrants and their source communities in Mexico, we seek a more comprehensive, multi-national approach to meet the growing needs of Hispanic health.