Honors Theses

Date of Award


Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis


Croft Institute for International Studies

First Advisor

Kate Centellas

Relational Format



This thesis is concerned with Bolivian public health care, specifically how interculturation plays a part in bringing indigenous rights and representation. By examining indigenous traditional healing and Western medicine, this thesis attempts to answer the question of: is the role of pluralizing medical practices a mechanism that successfully gives more power toward the representation and inclusion of indigenous rights in Bolivia? If so, how exactly has interculturation taken place? This thesis hypothesizes that through projects of cultural sensitivity and the respecting of Aymara and Quechua languages, rituals, and traditions, indigenous representation is enhanced in the Bolivian public health care field, allowing for health care professional and traditional healers to work together in alleviating Bolivia's poor public health indicators. The theories of interculturation, medical enculturation and cultural sensitivity as it contributes to recognizing indigeneity are examined via a theoretical framework. Furthermore, to test the hypothesis, data was gathered from various international organizations, national programs and ministries, and the 2001 Bolivian census data. In all, through various analyses it is possible to determine that the act of interculturation in public health care is crucial for including the indigenous population into national representation.


A thesis presented in partial fulfillment of the requirements for completion of the Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies from the Croft Institute for International Studies and the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College.

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