Sara in the Land of Dengue

Friday, July 21, 2006


In the Lago de Nicaragua is the island of Ometepe, which boasts 2 active volcanos and impressive nature as well as impressive rainfall. We arrived in the middle of a torrential downpour that continued all day long.

I was very lucky to have been invited to attend a Health Promotor Training that was being given by Dr. Saul Contreras. Dr. Contreras is a member of Doctors for Global Health and has started a network here in Nicaragua called Atencion Primera Salud that is working in both rural and urban location in increase access to and quality of basic health services for Nicaraguans.

The training carried a strong message that went beyond sharing and teaching basic medical skills. It carried a message of compassion and social conscious. He emphasized the need to treat every patient with respect and love, and that this type of treatment would be carried on throughout the community. It was apparent that he was talking and promoting the way that he lives his life which made the message 100 times stronger! There was definitely a religious compenent to the presentation but religious in a way that was repectful and accepting of all religions. I thought this was a particularly good manner in which to communicate with the Health Promotors because many people here in Nicaragua are deeply religious will really hold on to this message.

As luck would have it, Dr. Contreras also works very closely with the Maria Luisa Ortiz Clinica in Mulukuku and with Dorothea Granada and will be traveling there this coming Monday to give another training. I am so excited because one of my goals for while I am here was to go and visit this clinic. I am hoping that I will be able to go along help out with the training.

James and I spent the night at Finca Magdelena. The place is a cooperative run by locals, they have an organic coffee production and lead hikes up the volcano. (It pains me to say this but while the coffe was good it did not compare to Presto-the Nescafe of Nicaragua) The finca is a tourist destination that was filled with a huge group of Canadians as well as some other travelers. Among which was a recent graduate of Evergreen University in Washington State who is friends with Peggy. I cannot remember his name at the moment, I think Mark maybe-tall thin white guy with brown hair. Just goes to show what a small world this is...more to come about that in a bit.

I stayed for a night and then returned to San Juan del Sur for another day of surfing in warm salty water. In San Juan there are also many tourists and surfers...lots of Californians and many from the Bay Area. It just so happened that one of these works at UC Berkeley printing posters for presentations...and he remembered the poster that my group made for our Biostastics course last semester!


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