Maize and Blue? Mace and Views!

Maite Zapata

Maite Zapata

MPH Candidate, Health Behavior and Health Education

Nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, mace... It appears to sound that I am compiling spices to achieve the
perfect recipe... but no! These are in fact words that will pop up on a google search for the island
of Grenada. Located in the Caribbean and dubbed as the “Isle of Spice”, this small island
happens to be the top exporter of such spices and many more which I didn’t mention. But, hey, if
spices aren’t of your interest... you can count on some stellar beaches and views!

Spices and beach talk aside, by the end of February I will actually have the opportunity of
visiting the “Isle of Spice” myself. Yet, I won’t be all alone... I will be accompanied by a group
of fellow classmates from PH616. But before I dive into the spiced tea... I must of course briefly
introduce myself. Hello, my name is Maite Zapata and I am a second year Health Behavior and
Health Education - Master in Public Health (MPH) student at the University of Michigan. Maize
and Blue! With that being said, I am most definitely looking forward to using the education and
skills I have obtained through this degree at a practical level in Grenada!

That’s right! I will be headed to Grenada to work alongside fellow University of Michigan
students. By reading just that, you might be asking yourself, “With who or what will you be
working with? Does it have to do with spices or beaches?”. Well, not exactly... As a matter of
fact, we will be working with the Grenada Planned Parenthood Association! Here, we will be
conducting calls with clients, update a prior national survey on sexual and reproductive health,
develop an interview guide for key stakeholders, revise research protocols, pilot test surveys,
conduct key informant interviews, conduct data cleaning and data analysis and finally, deliver a
report on our findings! But that’s not all, these tasks will also be worked with alongside Saint
George’s University students and faculty as well!

This experience will most definitely be one that is fruitful not only for me but for my fellow
classmates as well! I expect that our involvement in this intervention will address relevant sexual
and reproductive health barriers to further inform next steps within the Grenada Planned
Parenthood Association. I also foresee that our collaboration and participation will be greatly appreciated and hopefully be of great impact to the people of Grenada! Moreso on a personal level, I hope that this trip allows for me to learn more about the rich culture of Grenada through the direct source and experts, which are the Grenadian people.