CIPR | Center For Inter-American Policy & Research

Tulane University

Arachu Castro

Senior Associate Research Fellow - Samuel Z. Stone Chair of Public Health in Latin America

Arachu Castro, Ph.D., M.P.H., is Samuel Z. Stone Chair of Public Health in Latin America at Tulane University and Senior Research Affiliate at CIPR. Her major interests are how social inequalities are embodied as differential risk for pathologies common among the poor and how health policies may alter the course of epidemic disease and other pathologies afflicting populations living in poverty. As a medical anthropologist trained in public health, Dr. Castro works mostly on health systems responses to infectious disease and women’s health in Latin America and the Caribbean. She has worked in Mexico, Argentina, Haiti, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Colombia, Peru, the Dominican Republic, Brazil, Nicaragua, and Honduras. Prior to joining Tulane in 2013, she was Associate Professor of Global Health and Social Medicine in the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School, Senior Advisor for Mexico and Guatemala at Partners In Health, and Medical Anthropologist in the Division of Global Health Equity in the Department of Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. Among other awards, Dr. Castro is the recipient of the 2005 Rudolf Virchow Award of the Society for Medical Anthropology and the 2010 Guggenheim Fellowship for her work on Women and AIDS in Latin America and the Caribbean. In 2012, she was named Fellow of the Society for Applied Anthropology. She has worked as consultant for PAHO, WHO, UNICEF, UNAIDS, UNDP, and the World Bank. More information here

Contact Info
acastro1@tulane.edu

Degrees

  • M.A., University of Barcelona, History/Social Anthropology, 1988
  • R.D., Polytechnic Institute, Barcelona, Nutrition, 1989
  • M.A., École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS), Social Anthropology & Ethnology, Paris, 1992
  • Ph.D., EHESS, Social Anthropology & Ethnology, 1996
  • Ph.D., University of Barcelona with credits from University of California, Berkeley, Sociology, 1997
  • MPH, Harvard School of Public Health, International Health, 1998

Academic Experience

  • Samuel Z. Stone Chair of Public Health in Latin America, Tulane University, 2013-
  • Associate Professor of Global Health and Social Medicine Harvard Medical School, Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, 2011-2012
  • Assistant Professor of Social Medicine Harvard Medical School, Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, 2004-11
  • Instructor in Medical Anthropology, Harvard Medical School, Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, 2001-04

Research & Teaching Specializations: Infectious disease, women’s health, primary health care in low-and middle-income settings, social inequality, health policy, medical anthropology, Latin America and the Caribbean.

Related Experience

  • Consultant, World Bank, 2013-
    Consultant, UNDP Regional Center for Latin America and The Caribbean
  • Consultant, UNICEF, 2007- (intermittent)
  • Consultant, Pan American Health Organization, 2001-2011 (intermittent)
  • Medical Anthropologist, Division of Global Health Equity, Dept. Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, 2004-2012
  • Secretary-Treasurer, Society for Medical Anthropology, American Anthropological Association, 2003-06
  • Mexico and Guatemala Projects Director, Partners In Health, Boston, 2001-08
  • Chair, Critical Anthropology of Health Caucus, Society for Medical Anthropology, 1998-2002

Distinctions

  • Fellow, Society for Applied Anthropology, 2012
  • Guggenheim Fellowship, Medicine and Health, United States and Canada Competition, 2010
  • Burke Global Health Fellowship, Harvard Initiative for Global Health, 2009
  • Bacardi Family Eminent Scholar Chair in Latin American Studies, University of Florida, Gainesville, 2009
  • Rudolf Virchow Award, Professional Prize, Critical Anthropology of Health Caucus, Society for Medical Anthropology, American Anthropological Association, 2005
  • Dean’s Letter, Excellence in Teaching (Freshman seminar), Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Harvard University, 2005
  • Conmemorative Medal for the Centenary of Professor Pedro Kourí. Institute of Tropical Medicine Pedro Kourí. Havana, Cuba, 2001

Languages:

  • Spanish
  • French
  • Catalan
  • Portuguese
  • Haitian Creole

Selected Publications

  • 2013. “Health insurance for the poor decreases access to HIV testing in antenatal care: Evidence of an unintended effect of health insurance reform in Colombia.” With Allison Ettenger and Till Bärnighausen. Health Policy and Planning 1-7; doi: 10.1093/heapol/czt021
  • 2012. “Quality of Life of People with HIV/AIDS Receiving Antiretroviral Therapy in Cuba: A Cross-Sectional Study of the National Population.” With Carlos Aragonés-López, Jorge Pérez-Ávila, and Mary C. Smith Fawzi. American Journal of Public Health 102(5):884-892.
  • 2011. Análisis Regional Consolidado de los Informes UNGASS Presentados por 17 Países de América Latina en 2011. Panama: UNAIDS Regional Support Team for Latin America.
  • 2011. “En estado de buena esperanza: Análisis de la experiencia reproductiva en mujeres con VIH en Cuba.” In Jesús Armando Haro (ed.) El planteamiento de una epidemiología sociocultural: Un diálogo en torno a su sentido, métodos y alcances. Buenos Aires: Lugar Editorial and El Colegio de Sonora.
  • 2010. “Social Inequalities and Dengue Transmission in Latin America.” With Yasmin Khawja and James Johnston. In Plagues and Epidemics: Infected Spaces Past and Present. Eds. Ann Herring and Alan Swedlund. New York, Oxford: Berg Publishers, pp. 231-249.
  • 2009. (Ed.) Challenges Posed by the HIV Epidemic in Latin America and the Caribbean 2009. Washington, DC: Pan American Health Organization, UNICEF, and UNAIDS.
  • 2009. “Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV and Syphilis in Latin America and the Caribbean,” in Challenges Posed by the HIV Epidemic in Latin America and the Caribbean 2009. Washington, DC: Pan American Health Organization, UNICEF, and UNAIDS.
  • 2004. (Ed.) Unhealthy Health Policy: A Critical Anthropological Examination. With Merrill Singer. Walnut Creek, CA: Altamira Press.

Recently-Taught Latin American-Related Courses: Health & Inequality in Latin America; Public Health in Cuba

Number of Dissertations or Theses Supervised in the Past 5 Years: 5

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Apply for the Teaching Cuban Culture & Society: A Summer Educator Institute in Cuba

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Teaching Cuban Culture & Society: A Summer Educator Institute in Cuba
Havana, Cuba | June 23 – July 7, 2018
Program Application
Application Deadline: March 2, 2018

Tulane University’s Stone Center for Latin American Studies and the Cuban and Caribbean Studies Institute at Tulane University join forces with the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Center for Latin American & Caribbean Studies to take K-16 educators to Cuba. This is our fourth year running the Cuban Culture & Society K-16 Educator Institute and we are excited about this year’s itinerary. The institute will approach Cuban society and culture form a multidisciplinary perspective focused on the arts, the geography, and history of the country. Innovative programming and annual summer teacher institutes over the past three years provide the benefits of an interdisciplinary approach to teaching and studying the region. Taking advantage of Tulane’s relationship with the University of Havana and Cuba’s National Union of Writers and Artists, the institute equips teachers with multidisciplinary content, curricular resources, and methods of inquiry for developing that approach in their K-16 classrooms. Conducted in English by Professor Carolina Caballero, the institute will explore current trends and issues in Cuban culture and society through readings, films, and lectures. The program includes a series of talks by prominent Cuban intellectuals and local field trips to important political and cultural sights throughout Havana.

This two-week program provides the unique opportunity to work on developing lesson plans while exploring the sights and sounds of a nation and country that remain obscured behind political rhetoric and misinformation. Recent economic changes on the island have provoked a series of social and cultural transformations that have left Cubans and the entire world wondering what could be next for the island and the Revolution. Don’t miss the chance to witness some of these challenges and triumphs firsthand and get the opportunity to bring your experience back to your students in the classroom.

The trip will include a pre-departure orientation and two weeks in Cuba. The institute incorporates visits to local museums and exposes participants to arts organizations, schools, and teachers from the country’s national literacy campaign. Participants will stay within walking distance of the Malecón, the university, and many cultural venues. There will be group excursions to the historic Che Guevara monument, a visit to the site of the Bay of Pigs invasion, and a special visit to the town of Hershey, the town developed by Milton Hershey to begin his chocolate enterprise with the sugar from Cuba’s plantations. There will also be group excursions to the historic cities of Trinidad and Cienfuegos, Playa Girón, and Viñales, focusing on their role in the development of the economy and culture of the country

PROGRAM COST: $3,500
The cost will include a shared room and two meals a day, medical insurance, airfare to/from Havana from Tampa, Florida*, airport transportation in Havana to/from residence, OFAC-licensed academic visa, and specialized tours and outings.

*Airfare to/from Tampa, Florida, a one-night hotel stay in Tampa, incidental costs, and extra meals and expenses are not included in the program cost. You are responsible for your own air flight to/from Tampa, FL.

PROGRAM APPLICATION
Those interested in applying must be a K-16 educator or librarian. There is no Spanish language requirement for this program. The application deadline is March 2, 2018, at 5:00 PM.

Please note: This program is only open to K-16 educators who are currently teaching, are pre-service teachers or are serving in a school or public library.

PROPOSED ITINERARY – 15 DAYS
Please be advised that this itinerary is subject to change based on availability in Cuba. The itinerary below is the schedule from the 2017 institute.

  • Day 1 – U.S./HAVANA, CUBA
    Depart from Tampa, FL, Upon arrival, enjoy dinner and a welcome reception followed by an informal walk and people watching on the Malecón.
  • Day 2 – HAVANA
    Habana Vieja (Old Havana) Tour with local preservation experts to discuss in depth the history of local landmarks, historical preservation efforts, and future plans. Visit Muraleando Lawton, a community art project in the Lawton neighborhood of Havana. Hear from the founders of this project on how the neighborhood developed to promote skills in the community and support the local economy and meet with local community leaders, students and elderly folks at the community center.
  • Day 3 – HAVANA
    Lecture with Professor Carlos Alzugaray on Cuba Since the Special Period. Visit the elementary school Sergio Luis Ferriol in Habana Vieja. Connect with teachers and administrators about their experiences in the classroom.
  • Day 4 – HAVANA
    Visit the Museo Nacional de la Alfabetización (National Museum of the Literacy Campaign) and connect with members of the literacy brigade, teachers from the literacy campaign.
  • Day 5 – HAVANA
    Visit and explore Ernest Hemingway’s house. Have lunch in the infamous fishing village of Cojimar. In the afternoon, explore art by taking a tour of the Cuban Collection of the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes accompanied by a curator then visit with artists at the Taller de Gráfica.
  • Day 6 – HERSHEY
    Day trip to the Hershey, Cuba and nature park. The site where famous chocolatier Milton Hershey developed his chocolate business by setting up sugar mills in the early 1900’s. Explore the natural side of Cuba in this country town.
  • Day 7 – HAVANA
    Learn about children’s literature and the book publishing business in Cuba by visiting Cuba’s national publisher UNEAC and hear first hand from children’s book authors. We will hear from children’s book author Olga Marta Pérez about the children’s/ youth Literacy Scene in Cuba today.
  • Day 8 – HAVANA/REGLA
    Take the ferry across the bay in Havana to the town of Regla to learn about Afro-Cuban dance and music from musicologist Cari Diez and an Afro-Cuban dance performance group.
  • Day 9 – SANTA CLARA, TRINIDAD
    Travel to Trinidad via Santa Clara, a town founded by 175 people on July 15, 1689. It is the site of the last battle in the Cuban Revolution in 1958. Visit to the Che Mausoleum in Santa Clara. Also visit the historic sugar plantation of Manaca Iznaga before arriving in Trinidad.
  • Day 10 – TRINIDAD
    Explore this UNESCO World Heritage site, founded on December 23, 1514 by Diego Velázquez de Cuellar. Trinidad was a central piece of Cuba’s sugar-based economy. Guided city tour with the city historian. Visit the Trinidad library to learn about the importance of libraries and debate questions of intellectual freedom with the staff.
  • Day 11 – PLAYA GIRON (SITE OF BAY OF PIGS) Ciénega de Zapata, Playa Larga
    Day excursion to the historic site of the Bay of Pigs, one of the landing sites for the 1961 US-backed invasion. Visit the Finca Fiesta Campesina farm, the Playa Girón museum, the Parque Ciénaga de Zapata, the Laguna del Tesoro, and the Taino Indian village. Snorkel in the Bay of Pigs!
  • Day 12 – HAVANA
    Visit the U.S. Embassy and hear first-hand about the state of current relations between the U.S. and Cuba. In the afternoon, we head over to meet up with the famous hip-hop group, Obsesión to hear about their music and experience as hip-hop artists in Cuba.
  • Day 13 – MATANZAS/VARADERO
    Take a day trip to Matanzas, the capital of the Cuban province of Matanzas. Known for its poets, culture, and Afro-Cuban folklore, we will explore the Triunvirato Plantation and the Castillo San Severino where we will hear about the history of slavery in Cuba. The rest of the afternoon we relax and explore the beautiful beaches of Varadero, a popular resort town covering Cuba’s narrow Hicacos Peninsula.
  • Day 14 – HAVANA
    Wrap-up curriculum workshop followed by a free afternoon ending in a celebratory dinner.
  • Day 15 – HAVANA/U.S.
    Morning departure for the U.S.

Explore our past trips through these photos and curricula:

Program Application

For more information, please contact Denise Woltering-Vargas at dwolteri@tulane.edu or call the Stone Center for Latin American Studies at 504-862-3143.