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         In the past three months 200 families received Chapina stoves, 105 more families have running water at their homes, we started another water project for 135 families, improved 3 schools, trained 24 kindergarten & first grade teachers, and started a composting latrine project for 84 families. The health team treated over 1,100 patients. 
      But it's not about numbers. Our work is about teaching people. It's about health education, keeping kids in school, and training men and women in the villages how to build their capacity to identify issues and develop solutions. 

      During each consult, our health team teaches the patient about their disease. We teach men and women in the villages how to work together so they "own" their projects.  When the people in the villages determine their issues and set priorities, they can achieve results. Each project is built by them and they can say "they did it". There is no better way to build self esteem and sustainability than "bottom up", localized solutions. 

     We appreciate the support of our friends, donors, and volunteers who make our work possible.  Only with your support can we continue teaching the indigenous how to live healthier, more productive lives.

     Kind regards,

        Men and women in Pacoj meet once a month to discuss issues in their village. Luisa received our leadership and development training.  Above, she reviews the list of priorities and leads a discussion group.


Dental Team Sees 394 Patients
                             Dental Team Volunteers
  Front Row: Brittney Reid, Molly Yang, Jenna Folkedahl, Ka Ying Vang, Ross Higgins, A Thao Vang.  Back Row: Dr. Stuart Topley, Dr. Nicole Napier, Dr. Erin Topley, Caty Colson and Kou Vang. 
Bonnie Seymour is not pictured.

      Employees and family members from Community Dental Care in Maplewood, Minnesota, spent a week of their vacation with us serving others. They worked tirelessly for  4 1/2 days in 2 remote villages and at the field office in San Martin treating a total of 394 patients.

    The volunteers were led by Dr. Erin Topley. Erin's father, Dr. Stuart Topley, saw patients along side Dr. Hernandez during the primary care clinics. Plus they brought over $20,000 of donated dental supplies and equipment.
     Peace Corp volunteers Caty Olson, Ross Higgins, Kristian Cowden and Lindsay Bartlett translated for the group.
     Thanks to everyone at Community Dental Care for making the dental clinic possible.




Computers are Improving
Education in Rural Schools
     It is a fact that 70% of the teachers in rural schools have never turned on a computer.  Our Bringing Technology to Rural Schools project aims to change that. 

     Last month students and teachers at the elementary school in the remote village of San Bartolome received computers. Before the computers could be installed we had to replace the leaky roof over the classroom and install dedicated electric outlets. The teachers attended classes to learn the software and how to maintain the computers. 

     Over 2,200 students in 13 schools are now learning computer skills and using software to enhance their education.  

     We have a list of schools waiting for computers. You can support our computer project by making a donation today.


Students and Patients Benefit 
from Psychology Services

      Telma Medina always has a smile despite the sad stories and sometimes horrific family crises she deals with every day. She is coordinating our scholarship program and counsels our students and patients.  She was hired in January to coordinate our scholarship program and consult with patients.
    Students in our scholarship program and patients at our health clinic suffer from abuse, violence, abandonment, alcoholic parents, and even worse, some contemplate suicide. 

     Some fear the abuse and violence that will surely be delivered at the end of the day. There are no support groups. Keeping secrets helps one survive another week. Someone who will listen, who can help identify the issues and sort out solutions, is an invaluable friend and confidant.  

     Telma encourages our students to stay in school and helps them cope (every student has a difficult story). She visits homes in the remote villages so she can get to know the families and grasp a better understand of their problems.  She consults with patients and now people are knocking on our door because they heard "we can help them"


     What is Telma's biggest challenge?  "It's helping people remove the mask they hide behind" Telma said.  She explained, "once the mask is removed, my patients are open to receive my help."

           Telma, right, visits with a new patient.  


           Patient granted permission to print photo.




Visiting Doctor Sees Patients

     Dr. Don Dian, a retired pediatrician from Ft. Myers, Florida, conducted a pediatric clinic at the field office in San Martin in March.  During his 2-day clinic he treated babies and adolescences with skin rashes, pulmonary and intestinal infections, vomiting, sore throats, and malnutrition.  The gravest case was a 1-year-old girl weighing only 15 pounds. 


     "It is evident that the lack of education is a large contributing factor to poor health" said Dr. Dian. He instructed moms on a wide range of topics including food allergies, tooth aches, diaper rash, and potty training.  "I realize young children are not read to because parents themselves can't read and there are no books in their homes" he said. 



     Children attending our clinics under the age of 60 months receive vitamins donated by Vitamin Angels. The health team, led by Dr. Gabriela Hernandez, provides nutritional training for the mothers.  We provide a fortified drink for underweight babies and monitor each child monthly.  


     For just $25 a month you can help us treat children with acute malnutrition.  Please go to our website and make a recurring donation.  




Kindergarten classroom receives chairs, tables and whiteboard

     Olga Colom had tears in her eyes when we delivered a new white board, tables and chairs for her kindergarten classroom at the remote village of El Cimarron. Olga is a member of our Teachers Helping Teacher program.  


     When Olga was assigned to the school in Cimarron in January, she faced several challenges...there were no desks appropriate for 5 and 6 year old students, no white board, and no teaching materials. 


     The classroom improvements was made possible by a Christmas gift Karen & Roy Bonnell made in honor of their family.

Olga reports the enrollment increased once the parents saw the new tables and chairs.  


                     Olga and her excited students.