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Dr. Elizabeth Cartwright

Medical Anthropology in the Peruvian Andes: Traditions and Culture Change

Medical anthropologists explore how different cultures understand health and illness. This talk will highlight Dr. Cartwright’s work in the Sacred Valley region of Peru where she has been working with a multi-disciplinary team of anthropologists, medical doctors, nurses and others to understand the rapidly changing lives of these rural villagers. This is a region ringed with some of the highest mountains in the world, and where, according to local beliefs, each mountain top is a different Apu (god) to whom the villagers make offerings to protect their health, cure their sicknesses and ensure bountiful harvests.

State Standards

This presentation meets the following state education standards for high school students:

World Languages


Relating cultural practices to perspective

Standard CLTR 1: Investigate, explain and reflect on the relationship between the practices and perspectives of the cultures studied in the target language.

Objective: CLTR 1.1 Analyze the cultural practices/patterns of behavior accepted as the societal norm in the target culture.

Objective: CLTR 1.2 Explain the relationship between cultural practices/behaviors and the perspectives that represent the target culture’s view of the world.

Objective: CLTR 1.3 Function appropriately in diverse contexts within the target culture.


Making connections

Standard CONN 1: Build, reinforce, and expand knowledge of other disciplines while using the target language to develop critical thinking/creative problem solving skills.

Objective: CONN 1.2 Relate information studied in other subjects to the target language and culture.