February 7, 2012

Greetings from the FIMRC house in San Salvador! Here are some updates on the goings-on around here over the past few days...

Santa Ana

To start off week 2 in El Salvador, we took on Volcan de Santa Ana (Santa Ana Volcano) on Sunday. This is the highest volcano in the country, so the view is quite spectacular. And, the volcano features an amazing sulfur-based crater lake, making the trek well worth it.

In classic LMU-El-Sal-2012 formation atop the volcano: Angela, Julie, Steve, Mike

Julie and the view into the beautiful crater-lake.

Another picture at the top: Marloes (FIMRC Field Operations Manager), Angela, Julie

Community Health

We spent Monday morning seeing patients of all ages with Morena, including several sick children and a number of the community's elders. Many of the elderly here are quite healthy--the Las Delicias lifestyle is extremely active! On the opposite end of the spectrum, end-of-life care here is a lot different than in the US, and experiencing those differences has been informational, rewarding, and quite memorable. 

Cardiology Consult, Stat!

We have two more volunteers in the FIMRC house this week-a retired cardiologist and his wife-who have become regulars around Las Delicias in the past few years. The couple makes a week-long trip to Las Delicias every few months, and the cardiologist has established a cohort of patients here. Additionally, he is happy to see new patients, and we were able to send one of Monday's elderly patients to him for an EKG and cardiac evaluation. Each of us will also be spending a half-day with the cardiologist this week, and he is eager to teach us the subtleties of the physical exam which are so important in a resource-poor medical setting.

Nutrition Charla

On Tuesday morning we led a charla (chitchat/informal teaching session) covering the "Mi Plato" ("My Plate") nutritional health model for a group of a dozen mothers in the community. Just a healthful reminder--each meal should feature a plate of food containing 1/2 fruits and veggies, a little more than 1/4 carbohydrates and/or starchy foods (ie, potatoes or yuca--a starchy, tuberous root native to Central and South America), and a little less than 1/4  protein, plus a serving of dairy (ie, a glass of milk). ;)

Mike and Julie performing their charla act for a full house!

Teen Group

On Tuesday afternoon some of us had Spanish class, but others got to finally meet the "Teen Group". This is a group of adolescents from Las Delicias who were chosen to participate in weekly sessions at the clinic to prepare them as young community leaders and activists. Their leadership activities include various health initiatives (ie, anti-Dengue campaign), identifying and assisting families in need, and setting an example for their peers and the young children of the community.

Teen Group ladies: organizing clothing donations for local families in need.

Teen Group gentlemen: posing for the camera in a signature FIMRC t-shirt.

That's all for now, folks!


MSU CHM Saginaw said...

I love the nutrition reminder for all of us back here! Good teaching, thank you.

Joel Maurer said...

OMG--this brings back such wonderful memories when I had the honor of supervising students in Las Delicias a couple winters ago. I love Morena (even though I couldn't understand a word she said), and I see Italo is still helping out with transportation--he was sooo much fun--we hired him to take us touring and to the beach on weekends. I hope you all are having great time...the people of Las Delicias are so warm and beautiful.... Dr. Maurer

juliemarie said...

Hi, Dr. Maurer! So glad you were able to experience the wonderful community of Las Delicias. Italo sends his regards! The people here really are such a pleasure to work with. Thanks for following!

Steve Roskos said...

Go State - glad you guys are having fun and doing good. Keep up the good work.

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