I haven’t updated this blog in a while, my apologies. My most recent humanitarian effort was with Foundation for Worldwide Health at Nicaragua. http://fwwh.org/index.html. They have been coming to Nicaragua every year for the past ten years. It is an ongoing effort to help Nicaragua become more self sustaining; besides providing clinical care, they also bring education and infrastructure planning to help them eventually not rely on foreign country missions and be able to care for their own people in the long run. Some of their projects for self sustainability include helping local farmers of coffee beans establish a more profitable business venture with US retailers. In exchange for establishing this trade route, a percentage of the earning must go into building clinics, hiring medical professionals in the local area near the farms. Future projects includes, having televised lectures with live interactions through the internet for dental schools in Nicaragua, and many other beneficial educational opportunities. This organization is doing a great service to Nicaragua and US’ image, it would be a worthy cause to help out if any of you are interested.
When I stepped off the plane and went into immigrations, we encountered some problems with the customs with our equipment and luggage. Even though the organization has done this for 10 years in a row, and filed the correct papers, it seems there were new personnel and some confusion or maybe expecting some extras. There I learned that Nicaragua receives a lot of charity groups, and they have well over 100 groups visiting every year to help their citizens and we were not so special anymore to their eyes. It has seemed the country began to rely on these mission groups to take care of their many issues. More the reason to go forward with the self sustainability projects.
Out here in Nicaragua, I participated in the Nathan’s Project division of FWH. http://fwwh.org/id58.html. Nathan’s project originally formed to provide dental care to the special needs population of Nicaragua. Dr. Mercado was visiting Nicaragua, and had notice a few Down’s syndrome children not receiving proper dental care and realize this population will probably never get dental care as many requires sedation or general anesthesia. In collaboration with FWH, he helped formed the Nathan’s project in memory of his own Down’s syndrome son. We worked in Hospital Metropolitano which is primarily a burn center for children. Most of the population of Nicaragua still uses fire wood to cook everyday, and they would usually leave the embers in the back yard. So there is a high incident of children playing in the back and falling or tripping into the embers resulting in severe burns. This hospital and their directors have graciously donated space and resources to help our cause. Other organizations have also used this hospital such as, Project Smile and a group from John Hopkins. Now we are here to provide this unique service in Nicaragua.
Continued in Part 2