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, December 30, 2014

Christmas gifts

Every year, just before Christmas, PazSalud delivers gift baskets to some of the families that we have been working with over the years.  Each basket is filled with healthy staples for the family to enjoy during the holidays.  Sharing the gift of food during this special time of year is one of the ways PazSalud continues to be a presence in our past mission communities and be a catalyst for change in the lives of needy Salvadorans.

Rosita and daughter


Sandra and family

Monday, December 22, 2014

Mission preparation

Among the mountain of details involved in planning a PazSalud mission one of the most important is coordinating daily lunches for the team.  We need to ensure that the food is healthy and prepared with the hygiene standards to which most Americans are accustomed.  Starting early in the morning and working long days means that good food is integral to a successful mission experience.

Maira and I met last week with a group of local cooks who are experienced in cooking for large delegations.  We discussed menu options and the various hygiene standards to which we’ll ask them to adhere.

Maira meeting with the cooks.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Estanzuelas Committee

During a General Medical Mission in a Salvadoran community, PazSalud’s medical team identifies individuals that need special attention beyond what the mission can offer.  We undertake to work with these people – typically children – and assist them in accessing greater health care in El Salvador.  During our mission in Estanzuelas, Usulutan in 2013, we encountered six such children and have been working with them ever since.

I recently had the opportunity become involved with an experimental committee forming in Estanzuelas; the site of our 2013 mission.  PazSalud teamed up with the local government and several Salvadoran NGOs to create the Local Committee for Children’s and Adolescent’s Rights.  This committee is designed to work with local youth, helping them with basic health, education and living needs.  Our hope is that we will be able to connect our patients from our 2013 mission with this local committee and extend our assistance to helping other Salvadorans in great need.

The mayor of Estanzuelas speaking to the crowd

The panel of local NGOs

One of our volunteers from 2013 providing the entertainment

Monday, December 8, 2014

Tamanique volunteer meeting

An important part of the planning for every PazSalud General Medical Mission is preparing the local volunteers for the 6-day experience of hosting and executing a large-scale medical event for their community.  This generally involves multiple meetings of team-building exercises and training sessions to help them identify their volunteer roles and what their specific tasks will be in addition to an orientation on the overall project.

To begin the process, I recently met with local volunteers to explain who PazSalud is, what we do and what our medical missions typically look like.  I will build on this meeting with our local coordinator and try to meet with the volunteers on a regular basis until the start of the mission.

Talking to the volunteers

An introduction and team-building exercise

Watching the PazSalud video on the 2013 General Medical Mission/2014 Eye Surgery Mission

Monday, December 1, 2014

Blankets for San Pedro

Every year a former PeaceHealth employee and her sisters hand-make and donate quilts to PazSalud to distribute to needy families and individuals from our mission communities.  This year I worked with Yessenia – our local coordinator from CIS who helped us with our General Medical Mission – to identify some folks in San Pedro Perulap├ín who greatly needed and appreciated this small gesture of friendship and solidarity with the people of El Salvador.  It was a joy to see so many happy, smiling faces at receiving something they will treasure for years to come.

Meeting the women and children of San Pedro Perulapan