La Paz de Susan

Link here to La Paz de Susan, Sister Susan Dewitt's blog about working with PazSalud and living in El Salvador from 2009 through 2013.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Getting ready for the mission

With only two weeks to go before the general mission, the entire team is in high gear prepping every last detail needed to create a successful medical brigade.  

In San Pedro Perulapán we will be working inside a large spacious auditorium - here it is -

and on a recent trip to El Salvador, Kathy and I put together a rough schematic of how the operation will be set up.  What started off as some cut out post-it notes on graph paper eventually transitions to tape, marker and post-it notes on poster board.  

With a pretty solid blueprint in hand we held a meeting with our local volunteers as our coordinators Iris and Yessenia walked the team through the overall patient flow, volunteer stations and responsibilities.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

San Vicente

Darren writes:

As part of preparing for our groups to deliver health care in El Salvador I frequently visit various doctors and government officials outside of San Salvador.  Recently, I went to San Vicente to speak with the regional director for the Ministry of Health in El Salvador and took the opportunity to take some pictures of the centrally located, beautiful old colonial town.  I hope my work brings me back here soon.


Darren writes:

Recently the Center for Interchange and Solidarity (CIS - Centro de Intercambio y Solidaridad) invited me to their Christmas party and gift exchange where we shared great food, fun conversation and holiday cheer.  CIS has been a trusted and valued partner to PazSalud for many years and they continue to provide us with the indispensable local volunteer networks we rely on to bring medical missions to El Salvador.  In addition to working with us, the CIS is a multi-faceted organization, with many programs supporting education, organizing, and social justice.

Thanks to some of our favorite guys

Darren writes:

On a recent trip to the Pacific Northwest I took the opportunity to pick up a few gifts for some great guys PazSalud works with in El Salvador.  And just in time for the Ducks Alamo Bowl win too!

Marvin Hernandez

Marvin was our coordinator for all three missions in Estanzuelas and Jose Manual helps navigate us through the byzantine process of obtaining government permission to hold a mission in El Salvador.  Two of the many valuable people PazSalud is proud to work with to bring health care to Salvadorans in need.

 José Manuel González

Friday, January 3, 2014

New Year thanks to our favorite Salvadoran volunteers

Darren writes:

On New Year's Eve I wanted to take a moment to recognize a few of the amazing Salvadorans who make PazSalud's work easier and more effective.  Without these great women we would not be able to impact the lives we do in this incredible country.

Carmen Aviles (pictured with some of her children) has enabled us to help Gloribel go to school and continue the process of overcoming her disabilities in order to lead a happy, healthy and productive life.  As Gloribel's neighbor and godmother, she monitors her progress, addresses issues as they arise and serves as a vital conduit between Gloribel and PazSalud.

Rosa Aguiar has volunteered with PazSalud since our medical mission in her hometown, Comasagua, in 2009.  She volunteers on PazSalud's medical missions by working with patients diagnosed with cataracts and pterygiums and explaining how PazSalud can assist them in our eye surgery mission.  She plays a critical role in enrolling people and assisting us on-site with the patients during the eye surgery mission, providing local continuity and helping patients throughout the process.

Rosy Melara, a retired surgery nurse, volunteers on PazSalud's eye surgery missions as a scrub nurse.  She has also helped us build strong connections with our host hospitals.  In addition, Rosy tirelessly works with Sandra Lopez to connect her with the local resources she needs to prevail over her physical limitations.  Rosy was Sandra's first teacher and worked with her over six months to give her the basic skills and education to enter first grade.  

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Christmas gifts to friends in El Salvador

From Darren:

Just before Christmas, I was excited to deliver presents from PazSalud to some of the special families we work with throughout the year.  Here's a brief update on how they are doing.

Gloribel and her mother Hortensia:  Gloribel is a wonderful young deaf woman that PazSalud has worked with for several years by helping her to go to school.  She has made tremendous progress in recent years and has a loving family that helps her along the way. (Also she's really not twice the size of her mother, just a camera angle distortion.)

Rosita and her daughters Lupita and Edith:  Rosita is a double leg amputee who lives with her two daughters in El Paraiso; a modest rural community just outside of Chalatenango.  PazSalud has worked with her over the years to help her obtain some of life's basic necessities to ease the burden of everyday existence for the poor in El Salvador. 

Sandra (blue shirt) with her grandmother Maria Ines and her sister Elizabeth:  Sandra is a beautiful girl, born with arthrogryposis, who PazSalud has been helping to attend school.  With the help of an individual in-class tutor, Sandra has made great strides in the past year and recently passed into the 3rd grade.  Education coupled with physical therapy ensures that her condition no longer limits her potential.

Sonia with her children Julia, Kelly and Harry; Sonia and her family have been with PazSalud for several years and as with Rosita, we work with them to ensure they are able to live safe and comfortable lives.  Sonia works incredibly hard to provide the best possible future for her children and PazSalud is happy partner with her in this effort.

PazSalud is honored to participate - in a small way - in the successful futures of these families and all the amazingly resilient, deserving and loving people we have had the pleasure of meeting over the years.  Merry Christmas.