Welcome to PazSalud in El Salvador, our new blog for PeaceHealth's El Salvador Health Mission! We'll be posting about life and work and mission in El Salvador as we carry the Health Mission forward.
PeaceHealth and the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace have been connected to El Salvador since 1985, when Sisters Andrea Nenzel and Margaret Jane Kling accompanied refugees, providing an international presence in the Calle Real Refugee Camp. In the late 1980s Sisters Eleanor Gilmore and Margaret Byrne worked with Jesuit Refugee Services to help wounded civilians get health care.
The El Salvador Health Mission began in 2000, when Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace Eleanor Gilmore and Grace Didomenicantonio moved to San Salvador to coordinate the work of volunteers from PeaceHealth. The mission's first volunteers helped with emergency medical assistance following the devasting earthquakes of 2001.
As the Health Mission in El Salvador evolved, PazSalud began to offer regular opportunities for PeaceHealth staff and Sisters to participate in general medical missions, eye screenings, and eye surgeries. Our assistance to the communities we serve has expanded to include followup for special cases, a water filter program and community education.
And we continue to evolve with Kathy Garcia, PeaceHealth's Director of International Missions, with Darren Streff, PazSalud's new In-Country Coordinator, and with Sister Susan Dewitt, Communications Assistant.