I’ve always had a passion for wanting to help and work with marginalized communities but had never considered research as a driver. This summer I was given the opportunity to work on the Latina Immigrant Multidisciplinary Project in Advancing Research (LIMPiAR). This research project has required us to develop quantitative and qualitative research methods to explore if social and family factors have negative impacts on Latina women’s health, particularly those working in the cleaning industry.
For the past two weeks, our research team has been conducting in-depth interviews in conjunction with survey questionnaires. Before our interview process began, we knew we had to establish trust within the community. Often times, due to fear, Latino communities can be a difficult population to reach, therefore trust was an integral part of our research. Using a Community Based Participatory Research approach, we began attending community advisory board meetings and volunteered in community events in hopes to build trusting relationships. As a result, we established rapport with the community board members, who played a key role in helping us recruit women for our research project.
The in-depth interviews have been a humbling experience overall. Some interviews have required us to spend more time than expected, but have resulted to be the most insightful. In these interviews, women have been more than willing to share their personal stories about community, family and job-related challenges. A lot of work is ahead of us as we continue to analyze our data. We hope that the interviews we have conducted can shine light on whether or not social and family factors have negative impacts on Latina women’s health.