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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Commun. | doi: 10.3389/fcomm.2019.00037

Painting a community-based definition of health: A culture-centered approach to listening to rural voice in Chaquizhca, Ecuador

  • 1Ohio University, United States
  • 2Other, Canada
  • 3Institute of Tropical Medicine Antwerp, Belgium
  • 4Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador, Ecuador

The terms “health” and “well-being” are commonly used in health communication research. These terms, despite calls for a consensus definition, are rarely explicitly defined. We argue that, instead of imposing a universal definition of health or well-being, communities can be better served if we adopt a culture-centered approach and listen to their local, contextualized definitions of health. To demonstrate community articulation of a definition of health, we offer an analysis of wall art created by and with a community and our service and research team. After understanding a definition offered by a rural community in Chaquizca, Ecuador, we articulate how a community-based definition of health can become a way to culture-centered way to operationalize definitions offered by the World Health Organization in ways that better serve local communities.

Keywords: Definition of health, Ecuador (country), Asset based community development, service-learning (SL), Children

Received: 26 Mar 2019; Accepted: 05 Jul 2019.

Edited by:

Nancy W. Muturi, Kansas State University, United States

Reviewed by:

James O. Olufowote, University of Oklahoma, United States
Iccha Basnyat, James Madison University, United States  

Copyright: © 2019 Bates, Marvel, Nieto-Sanchez and Grijalva. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Mx. Benjamin R. Bates, Ohio University, Athens, United States, batesb@ohio.edu