Monday, August 31, 2009

San Cristobal

Here are a couple of photos (Above: Ken Henderson, Rosa Mejia, Kathy Garcia, Susan, Padre Orlando. Below: Ken, Padre Orlando, Kathy) from our visit last Friday to San Cristobal, a municipality in the Cuscatlan department. We drove out with Mercedes Tejada, who works with San Cristobal on behalf of the Archdiocese of San Salvador's Pastoral Social program. We met with Padre Orlando Erazo, with a couple of the parish's coordinators - both named Rosa, and with the Director of the local Unidad de Salud health clinic.

San Cristobal couldn't be more different from bustling, semiurban San Juan Opico, our other possibility for next year's general medical mission. It's very rural - most people in San Cristobal are making their living from agriculture or micro-businesses - and it's a small community. San Cristobal itself - the central town - is not large enough to support its own mercado, so residents must go to the nearby city of Cojutepeque to do their shopping.

Health and environmental issues and problems of access loom large here. Padre Orlando said he would like to find a solution for the water contamination that contributes to poor health. Infant and childhood mortality is above average here, perhaps both because of water and food contamination and the difficulty of getting into the central community from the rough dirt roads of the outlying colonias.

We experienced one of these roads driving to Santa Anita, the furthest village in the municipality, to see the beautiful little health clinic that was recently built there with help from the Spanish government. A doctor comes out once a week, and local health promoters work with the people at other times; a welcome change, I'd guess, from having to bounce over stones and through mud in the trucks that provide Santa Anita's only transportation.

No comments:

Post a Comment