Friday, April 1, 2016
Staff Spotlight: Introducing Dra. Silvia Zacarias!
Written by Tatiana Petrovick, Medical Program Coordinator
The Charlie Gomez Medical Clinic is pleased to announce the addition of a new staff member: Dra. Silvia Zacarias, our first full-time, permanent physician!
Dra. Zacarias was born into a family of eight other children in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala. “My older sister was a pediatrician and ever since I was young I wanted to be like her and be a doctor,” she said.
After attending university in Guatemala City, Dra. Zacarias went on to complete her medical training in Cuba. There, she became committed to serving those people who need it most. When Dra. Zacarias returned from her training in Cuba, she worked at a clinic in Ixcan, in the northern Quiche department of Guatemala. In this clinic, she saw the extent of the health problems facing the people of Guatemala.
“In Ixcan, we primarily worked with malnourished children. However, I saw a lot of other health problems, such as pneumonia, diarrhea, and cardiac defects.”
She worked hard to bring clinics out to distant communities where the people did not have access to health care. “Some of my patients would have to walk 3 hours to see me,” she said. “So I brought the clinic to them.”
“There are a lot of problems here in rural Guatemala. There are problems with health, education, and poverty. Most of the population of Guatemala lives in rural areas, but most of the doctors are in the cities and do not see people in isolated towns.”
Additionally, she sees a lot of social problems affecting the region. “In rural areas, women are not always aware of their rights. Mothers do not always know what to teach their children about sexuality and their bodies. As a doctor, it is my job to make sure that mothers and their children have all the right information.”
For Dra. Zacarias, the most rewarding part of her job is working with children. “I love to see the children and chat with them during my consult. However, most of all, I love to see them improving over time. It’s amazing to see a child that was sick smiling and playing.”
According to her, working with children is the key to building a better future in Guatemala. “Sometimes, adults can be very set in their ways. However, children can change the vision of the future.”
She is excited to begin working with an organization like Mayan Families. “Organizations like this have a vision to help people, and especially to help children.”
We are just as excited to have her with us working in the Charlie Gomez Medical Clinic!
The Charlie Gomez Medical Clinic brings comprehensive primary care and preventative health to those who need it most. For just $150, you can sponsor the clinic for a day and provide 15 patients with culturally sensitive, world-class healthcare. Please consider donating today!