Tuesday, June 7, 2016
Supporter Appreciation: Heritage College Brings Care to Communities
This blog was written by Sophia Kecskes, our medical intern.
Last week, Mayan Families had the privilege of welcoming a group of university students and professionals from Heritage College in Gatineau, Quebec, Canada.
We were thrilled to have the help of two teams from Heritage College. The first group included three early childhood education students and their professor, Laura. A group of medical professionals made up the second team, including two physicians accompanied by four recently graduated nursing students and their supervisor, Jutta.
Jutta and the doctor team, Dr. David & Dr. Gary, have visited Mayan Families every spring for the past several years. We look forward to their visits every year!
We had so much fun watching the early childhood education volunteers engage with preschool students at three of our Preschool Nutrition Centers. The group visited our preschools in Tierra Linda, San Jorge, and here in Panajachel. The children loved the team’s watercolor painting activity and we enjoyed seeing their beautiful drawings hanging around the classrooms after the visit. While the group only spent one morning with each of the preschool classes, we’re sure the kids will remember their visit for a long time!
We were impressed with the medical clinics the group of doctors and nursing students. The team provided clinics in Tierra Linda and San Jorge and also saw patients here in the Charlie Gomez Medical Clinic. In one morning in Tierra Linda, the team saw more than 30 patients! Because many of these patients in Tierra Linda live very far from a clinic, most of them may not have access to any care at all if it weren’t for the Heritage College team.
In San Jorge, the team conducted checkups at our Preschool Nutrition Center. These checkups are a preventative care strategy we promote to identify health challenges early and provide care that supports good health. For example, the team distributed daily vitamins to these children that will help them grow healthy and strong. We’re very appreciative of the team’s efforts to support the health of our preschool students and their families!
Stoves & Home Visits
Lastly, the group helped us install two fuel-efficient ONIL stoves in Tierra Linda.These stoves prevent lower respiratory illnesses, the leading cause of death in Guatemala (WHO), stop children from falling into open cooking fires, and use 70% less firewood, saving families a considerable amount of money, time and energy.
The doctors also visited some members of our elderly-care program in their homes to check on their health, provide physical therapy, and treat conditions such as lung infections and gastrointestinal issues. This is a huge help to our Elderly Care Program and brings care to those who need it most!
We would like to thank this group from Heritage College for their hard work and dedication to improving lives around Lake Atitlán. We hope to see you back here soon!