We’ve had some big changes at Salud y Paz in the last few weeks. Clarissa Fuentes, our executive director for the last 2 and a half years, has moved back to the U.S. with her husband, Andres, and son, Adrian. We will miss all three of them, but we wish them the best in their new adventures! Thank you so much Clarissa, Andres, and Adrian for your commitment to Salud y Paz during your time here! We hope you come visit soon!! Pictured here are some moments of the despedida (going away party) for Clarissa and Andres. We celebrated their time here by sharing gifts, reflecting on memories created, and spending time together as a Salud y Paz family. Read about the transition of our executive director here: http://mailchi.mp/47644d32bd3d/salud-y-paz-august-2017-newsletter-1862313
Recently we had the privilege of hosting St. Luke’s UMC out of Austin, TX. They brought a dual team, with both construction and medical components. The construction team built a structure to help keep our Nahuala patients dry. In Nahuala the weather is often rainy and cold, especially during this time of year. St. Luke’s was able to start and finish their project during the week they were here. Now our patients will stay dry while waiting to see the doctor! The medical team brought one doctor of their own, and hired a local Guatemalan doctor to compliment their team. The two made an awesome pair serving the communities of Chichicastneango and Nahuala. Of course they couldn’t have been so successful without the help of their amazing nurses and pharmacy support staff! This was a very special team for Salud y Paz, because it was lead by former long term volunteer Jay Cooper, who spent 2 years in the Team Coordinator position and helped mold our team program into what it is today. It’s awesome to see our volunteers come back for a visit, and continue to support the Mayan community of Guatemala! Thank you St. Luke’s UMC!
Read all about staffing changes at Salud y Paz!
We are so excited to welcome Francisco who is volunteering with Salud y Paz through Photographers Without Boarders. He will be with us for the next two weeks documenting everything we do here at Salud y Paz!
We needed another local driver so we sent Edwin to driving school. We are proud to say not only did he pass with flying colors but he has a freshly minted license. Way to go Edwin!!! We know you’ll be keeping the roads hot purchasing medications and supplies and getting the team from Pana to Camanchaj. We’re so proud of you and the valuable role you have on our Salud y Paz team!
Last Friday both outgoing and incoming Executive Directors, along with members of the leadership team, met with the Executive Committee of the Guatemalan Methodist Church in Quetzaltenango.
Thank you to our dedicated staff who despite difficult and deteriorating conditions arrived to the clinic to give medical and dental attention today. We are going to close at mid-day so that everyone can take extra care in getting home. There are mudslides, accidents and water in the road and the possibility of aftershocks and a tropical depression over the country that is complicating a dangerous environment. We covet your prayers for safety and for recovery for many Guatemalans in the departments of Quetzaltenango, San Marcos and Retauleu who have suffered the brunt of the damage from last night’s earthquake.
Come on down and join an amazing team in an amazing country!
We want to send a BIG thank you to all of our donors for allowing us to replace our antique photocopiers. Late last year the schools photocopier died, and a few weeks ago the one in the clinic finally quit working. You don’t realize how much a school/ clinic relies on its photocopiers until you are without one. We first looked into fixing our machine, but when we realized we could buy a new one for essentially the same price we decided to invest in a brand new machine! We’ve enjoyed making multiple double sided copies with ease, and even sending documents to be copied directly from our computers. It may seem like a small upgrade, but we couldn’t function without it. We are so grateful for the support we receive to be able to continue our work here in the highlands of Guatemala!
The other position for which we are hiring…please share! http://www.saludypaz.org/medical-coordinator-job-posting/
We are looking for two enthusiastic individuals to join our team, a medical coordinator and a team coordinator. Please spread the word! http://www.saludypaz.org/team-coordinator-job-posting/ http://www.saludypaz.org/medical-coordinator-job-posting/
Last week Lawrence 1st Church of the Nazarene installed 84 water filters. Ecofilter (ECOFILTRO). Schools in the areas of Chichicastenango, Nahuala, and Quetzaltenango will benefit greatly from this!! THANK YOU, GRACIAS, MALTIOX. AMIGOS OF USA.
http://www.saludypaz.org/give/sponsor-a-child Become a child sponsor at Colegio Susanna Wesley. A child sponsorship is a powerful way to partner with us to promote health, healing, and education among one of Guatemala’s most vulnerable populations—indigenous Mayan children. As a sponsor, you have the power to impact a child, their family, and their community when you support their early childhood development in one or more of the following ways: • Education and Language Sponsor at $600 per year: Covers cost of education and acclimating students to speak, read, and write in Spanish, which includes but is not limited to education-related expenses for each student such as a workbook, a uniform, a backpack, school supplies, field trips, physical education, extracurricular activities, etc. • Nutrition and Hygiene Sponsor at $500 per year: Covers the cost of providing two healthy meals, a snack, and vitamins every school day (more than 70% of their weekly nutritional needs), as well as hygiene training and toothbrushes, cups, and cloth hand towels for each student. • Medical/Dental/Vision Sponsor at $400 per year: Covers annual health screening, medical care, dental care, eye exams, medication, and labs through our clinic and/or ministry partners as well as financial assistance for any specialty care beyond what our clinic offers. • Total Education & Well Being Sponsor at $1500 per year: Covers all three program areas listed above.
We are getting ready to open the doors to the Houston Salud y Paz fundraiser at Memorial Drive UMC! We’re ready!
Last week we worked with Christian Medical Missions out of Texas. They brought 3 medical providers and 2 dentists. They also hired a local dentist, Dr. Juan, out of Chichicastenango to work with their team. Dr. Juan was a joy to work with and fit in perfectly with the rest of the team. He speaks both Spanish, and Ki’che fluently. It is hard to find doctors that speak Ki’che, but it makes such a difference with our patients. They appreciate being able to communicate directly with the doctor. Between Dr. Juan and our other two dentists we were able to pull 459 teeth in 4 days. What a blessing to the communities of Chichi! Our medical providers worked hard as well! We were able to clean out lots of ears, and restore gift of hearing to those patients. We also saw the usual colds, eye problems, GI issues, etc, that we were able to take care of. These types of things usually have pretty straight forward solutions, but when you have few resources it can be hard to find and afford those solutions. So our patients were so grateful for the time we took with each one of them to first understand and then to treat each one of their issues. Thank you Christian Medical Missions for a fun, but more importantly productive week serving the people of Chichicastenango!
We had a great week with Works of Grace, out of New England. They are one of our few teams that choose to serve the communities surrounding the town of Cunen. Cunen is by far our most remote clinic, and takes an extra half day of travel to get to. The team stayed in a simple local hotel, and had a wonderful attitude EVERY day whether they had hot water or not! They brought 3 providers, and all necessary support staff. We treated lots of chronic conditions includeing a fair amount of diabetes. Some of the diabetics had been seen by a medical team in January, and we were able to pull their charts to note any changes in blood sugar and make any necessary alternations in their medications. We also saw tons of pediatric patients, including a 3 day old baby girl that had yet to be named. The mother was amused by the team members trying to convince her to name the little girl after them. The team really invested in the kids in each of the communities we visited. We enjoyed playing marbles, parachute, and chalk among other things. A few children thought the chalk was candy at first and licked it. By the expression on their faces we can assume it doesn’t taste very good! They quickly figured out what it was actually used for and had a blast coloring. At the end of their service week Works of Grace had requested to visit a home of a local community member to help them understand the culture a little better. We chose to take them to visit Tomasa and her 5 boys. Tomasa works at our main clinic in Camanchaj counting pills. The team enjoyed the hike down to Tomasa’s adobe home, getting the tour of the kitchen and bedroom, and hearing about Tomasa’s incredible story. You can hear more about her story here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_k_gnYbU9w A huge thank you Works of Grace for your continued support! It is a blessing to partner with you!
One Heart Mission from New Hampshire with a HotWheels surprise for the kids at Colegio Susanna Wesley!
Do you have the gift of administration or know someone who does? Please share this post as we consider applications for our next Executive Director. https://www.idealist.org/en/nonprofit-job/fb142f94b80f430384b718b3750798ea-executive-director-salud-y-paz-camanchaj
Each year Salud y Paz hosts dental students from the University of Illinois at Chicago in their final rotation under the supervision of our staff dentist Dr. Luis Alvarez. This April, our five dentists have been exceptional! They have completed dental treatments for all the children in our Colegio Susanna Wesley as well as attended to adult patients. Today and tomorrow we are in our most remote clinic in Cunen, Quiche, offering fillings and extractions to a very under served population. Thank you to Asa, Daniel, David, Jackie and Spyridon for making the smiles around our part of the world a little brighter!
Fare thee well our friend! Today we celebrate Tara who has completed her time of service with Salud y Paz, two years of loving, serving, writing, organizing, playing and giving. Thank you for living among us and sharing the best of times and the challenging moments that have made us stronger! We miss you already but our love and prayers go with you!
We were very excited to welcome back Paradise Valley UMC out of Arizona this year! They served in the Nahuala and Xela areas with 2 providers of their own, and all of the necessary support staff for those providers. They also hired a Guatemalan provider in order to allow them to treat even more patients. Dr. Ermin, who often works at our main clinic in Camanchaj, was with them for the week. This year the team had a particularly special patient to visit in San Francisco La Union, which is located outside of Xela. Last year Dr. Peters saw a little girl he diagnosed with a heart conditional called PDA. Thanks to Dr. Peters and his family, she received the care necessary to resolve her condition. It was wonderful for Dr. Peters and his wife Ann to spend time with Maybelyn and her family. Every year Paradise Valley UMC brings donations to give out the communities they serve in. Every patient who sees the doctor gets to select one item to help maintain or improve their general hygiene. Thank you paradise valley for your continued service in Guatemala. We look forward to working with you next year!
We had a wonderful week with University UMC. We were able to perform 61 surgeries in 4 days. We treated patients who were light perception only on Sunday, and by Friday they were seeing the faces of family members for the first time in years. We also treated kids who had strabismus (lazy eye), who were being bullied in school to the point they didn’t want to go. Now they can go to school and concentrate on learning. We educated other patients that weren’t ready for surgery or had other conditions that didn’t need surgery. Many patients received drops for dry and itchy eyes, and were taught how to prevent future eye problems. We also gave out lots of reading glasses. Many of our patients are illiterate, BUT they weave for a living. So when their vision starts to go, it affects the way they are able to provide for their families. A $2 pair of reading glasses allows them to continue to educate and feed their children. Thank you University UMC for serving the people of Guatemala!!! Many lives were changed from the week you spent here!