When I turned 10 years old, my mother took me on a rite-of-passage trip to volunteer in Southeast Asia. We spent part of our summer in the jungles of Laos, working at schools and orphanages.
That was my first experience seeing people truly in need of health care access.
In the years since then, while exploring New Mexico on our annual family road trip, I started to notice parallels between the remote communities of Southeast Asia and the rural communities of New Mexico, particularly pertaining to the deficit of health care facilities.
Having grown up in Albuquerque, without any ties to other parts of the state, I lived largely unaware of the struggles that rural New Mexicans face when trying to access medical services.