Health by mail: mail order medication practices of Latinx dairy worker households on the northern US border

  • Naomi Wolcott-MacCauslandEmail author
  • Teresa Mares
  • Daniel Baker
Symposium/Special Issue


Latinx migrant farmworkers face numerous barriers in accessing health care which are linked in part to self-medication practices using health products manufactured and sold abroad. This study explores the use of mail-ordered medication among the understudied population of Latinx migrant dairy workers in Vermont, a northeastern international border state. Thirty-four Latinx migrant dairy workers or their domestic partners were interviewed. Data analysis found that myriad health access barriers compounded by increased fear of law enforcement as a result of international border proximity results in unequal knowledge about and local access to desired health care products and services. This unequal access experienced by those living closest to the border in addition to a familiarity and trust in Latin American pharmaceutical drugs, and varied experiences accessing health care services, are significant factors influencing the decision to request health products by mail.


Migrant farmworkers Self-medication Health care barriers Border health 



This work was partially supported by the Vermont Agricultural Experiment Station with funding from the Hatch Act (Accession Number 230745) through the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Vermont ExtensionSt. AlbansUSA
  2. 2.Department of AnthropologyUniversity of VermontBurlingtonUSA
  3. 3.Department of Community Development & Applied EconomicsUniversity of VermontBurlingtonUSA

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