The Culture of Poverty

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For my portion of the project I chose to write about the health beliefs and social beliefs practiced in the Latino culture. These practices are vastly different from the American culture. When it comes to health care, many patients seek health care through a primary care physician. This decision is only utilized if one’s illness can’t be cured by spiritual or religious practices. These beliefs play a vital role in prayer and healing. The use of candles that have different saints are used to burn and pray for certain illnesses. For example, the candle for healing is Our lady of Lourdes which provides healing for all types of body illness. I have purchased one for everyone to see. This reiterates how prayer and religious beliefs are most important in their culture. Faith in God is used to understand and cure the problem for some with an illness.

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Other resources include home remedies such as Salvia which is Sage, this is said to prevent hair loss, coryza, and diabetes. Another resource used among the community is using herbal medicine or sharing of prescriptions from other family members. While some of these beliefs and traditions can be beneficial, some could be harmful. Their belief is that if someone is sick it means they are out of balance or too much hot or too much cold. Hot diseases are visible such as sore throat or vomiting. Cold diseases are symptoms that are not visible such as ear aches or stomach cramps. Depending on where the patient is from it is best to ask if there are any medications that contradict their beliefs.

There are many traditional remedies used in this culture to help with many types of illness. If someone has a skin rash, the remedy would be to apply cornstarch to the rash. This is only one example of many remedies used for healing. Statistically, a great portion of the Latino community live below the poverty level and can’t afford to go see a physician. Therefore, practices like prayer, herbal medicine, and home remedies are the primary source of dealing with illness.

?When it comes to social behaviors, family is the most important aspect in the Latino community. Collogues and good friends can also be considered family. This is where family members find their identity. Even usually has a role in the family so it can be considered a good support system. The gender roles from past generations still tend to be the traditional norm. The husband in the family make the health decisions for the whole family. The husband is the protector, provider, and even the decision- maker for the family, this is referred to as Machismo in the Latino community. The wife holds the family and home together with being the primary caregiver and at the use of culture wisdom. ?Spanish is the primary language in every household and if there is an elder in the household, he/she sets the tone for respect. Using proper manners and stay true to values such as honor, family is most important.

Also, communication between other Latinos in the community is critical on how they respond to one another. A good firm handshake is a sign of immense respect because it displays trust but, in some communities, making direct eye contact is a sign of disrespect. Some communication behaviors can be non-communicative, just with touch and stance while interacting. This is an old tradition still used today. In conclusion I’ve learned that spirituality and religion is the primary resource for any illness. The other types of resources are first utilized and if that doesn’t suffice then medical attention from a physician is the last resort. Also, family is the most important tradition in Latino culture because they will always be there when you need them

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The Culture Of Poverty. (2022, Feb 05). Retrieved January 30, 2023 , from

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