Ending a Great Expansion Year and Looking Into the Future

 

Dear Friend of our Nica Clinic,

As we leave 2016 behind us, we want to take a moment to thank you for all your support. You are the reason we can provide affordable access to high-quality healthcare and wellness programs in an impoverished rural region of Nicaragua. Our programs continue to grow, and the community is extremely grateful for that.

In 2016, The Roberto Clemente Health Clinic worked hard to strengthen relationships with many community leaders, organizations and community members with the help of our local and international programs and volunteers. We continued developing Healthy Living projects and programs with much creativity and hard work, focusing on the most urgent needs of our remote and small town communities.

We are very proud of the dedication and professionalism of Nicaraguan Clinic Team! We start 2017 aiming to have our best year ever.  We invite you to help us continue in helping the impoverished and uneducated get on the path to healthier living.

*****************************************************************************************************************

Diabetics Club Benefits From Our Healthy Eating Initiative

In 2017, we continue to strengthen ties with the Diabetics Club. Last November, the Clinic hosted several activities to support the many people in our communities who suffer from this dreadful disease. With the help of Mrs. Esmelda (the head of the Club), we were able to invite all of our patients to the event. A total of 40 patients, as well as some relatives who provided encouragement and support, participated.

Among the many activities carried out was a culinary demonstration offered by Pili, a known Spanish chef from the area.

Using the organic vegetables harvested at our Clinic, Chef Pili taught participants how to make diverse dishes that were healthy, tasty and inexpensive. We organized a trivia game to evaluate the level of knowledge those with diabetes have about their illness. Our Clinic staff clarified doubts and urged participants to have greater control over their disease.

We heard several testimonials from patients who shared their memories and struggles with diabetes. Our volunteer Mina Gerges expressed the importance of physical activity in achieving good metabolic control and offered the patients a brochure with useful information.

We offered medical checkups and electrocardiograms to the group of diabetics from the Limón 1 and Limón 2 communities.

Hear the Buzz?

In 2016, we taught members of nearby communities how to grow their own food using a bio-intensive system that produces organic crops. As a result, we started 12 community gardens, which benefited 804 people – including the individuals who attended our workshops on bio-intensive systems and their family members.

We welcome everyone to join us in continuing to grow this meaningful farming initiative in 2017. Our goal for the year is to start 30 to 40 additional organic gardens. To accomplish this, we will need to locate and start an agricultural partnership that will help fund the gardens. Should you know of any agricultural organization that would be interested in such a partnership, please contact Lorena Cernadas at lcernadas@nicaclinic.org. We are also interested in starting an entrepreneurial partnership that will help the Limón/Tola region to have some of the best honey in the world!

As part of the Clinic’s continued Healthy Eating Initiative, our Beekeeping Program is going strong. In 2016, we experienced some challenges due to a prolonged drought that directly affected the production of nectar, pollen and resins.

We are quite hopeful that 2017 will be a turning point for our hives. This January, with a bit more rainfall in the area, the hives were healthier and we were able to produce 8 liters of honey.

We currently have two beehives and expect to have 10 hives later this year. Bees are a vital part of our Healthy Eating Initiative as 70% of our crops need bee pollination to grow. It’s been said that “if the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe, then man would have only four years of life left. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man.”

The success of our beehives is linked to climatic behavior. We also face the constant challenge of nearby farmers who use chemicals to grow their crops. The importance of promoting organic agriculture has special meaning for us, and we are determined to continue our educational efforts.

Measuring Success, One Child at a Time…

Through one-on-one sponsorships, our Padrino Program has created meaningful connections and lasting relationships. We are always looking for ways to expand this vital program and promote the importance of health and higher education to families and their children.


We partnered with American Nicaraguan Foundation (ANF) to start a Nutrition Program that will fight malnutrition. The ANF program consists of providing “MannaPacks” to each child in our Padrino Program, as well as grains, cereals and other food supplements to other members of the family. Overall, 46 families and more than 220 people will benefit from this great initiative.

Of the 66 children currently enrolled in the Padrino Program, three of them are now teenagers and attending college and two graduated from high school and will be starting college this year. This is all possible thanks to the support of their sponsors. Thank you!

Agua Azul to Your House!

For many Nicaraguans living in rural areas, access to clean water is a serious problem. Drinking contaminated water can cause severe illnesses like diarrhea, birth defects, urinary tract infections and parasitic diseases. In addition to the bacteria, tainted water contains high levels of calcium, which may be connected to the increased incidence of kidney stones among this population.

Our Clean Water Initiative started a few years ago to address this issue. Last year, we made major improvements to the process of washing, filling and storing our purified water. In addition, we were able to make the changes in structure and equipment necessary to enhance the overall system performance.

There are other problems in the community that can be avoided with the consumption of clean water, namely parasite infections and urinary tract infections. To take this project to the next level in 2017, we have assigned an employee who is exclusively responsible for the activities in the water purification plant, distribution and relations with the community. All the activities are carried out following the Clinic’s protocols for purification and packaging. In addition, this individual has also been trained by “Profire” on the water filtration system to detect problems with the filters and replace them when necessary.

Thanks to the new methods and tools, demand for this water is growing. People are gaining confidence in this initiative to alleviate the problem of access to clean drinking water in the communities of Tola. We have conducted a survey in the area and found out that 28 homes and 56 families are interested in supporting the project and purchasing purified water from our Clinic. We are very excited to discover what 2017 has in store for our Clean Water Initiative!

Ever Thought About Volunteering?

We are always delighted to welcome medical and nonmedical volunteers! In September of 2016, a volunteer named Beverly Cuano from California visited our Clinic for a week. During her stay, she supported our medical team with minor procedures and patient consultations and offered her assistance at the Salinas de Nahualapa health fair.

The volunteer program at The Roberto Clemente Health Clinic is as rewarding to the volunteers as it is to the local patients and the surrounding communities. We would like to extend an invitation to anyone interested in an international volunteer experience.

We were also happy to offer our assistance to a Healing the Children brigade that came to the hospital in Rivas on a medical trip. Their visit was a total success. Working long hours over the course of five days, the volunteers cared for 60 children and performed 22 operations at the Rivas Hospital. We were honored to host the brigade as they provided great services for the children in our communities.

If you would like to volunteer, please click here for more information.

Kicking Off the New Year

We started 2017 by celebrating at our Annual Health Fair on January 21! This event has become a yearly tradition at the Clinic for the people of the surrounding communities.

We are always pleasantly surprised to see the massive number of people who attend our Health Fairs.

Each year, we offer free consultations and medicine. This year was a big “fiesta” and everyone enjoyed piñatas, a clown, a moon bounce and raffles with great prizes. We even had a reading corner for children thanks to “Libros para Niños,” which came from Managua, and CREA with its Library Initiative, lending books to children while promoting the joy of reading. Thanks to both for supporting our Annual Health Fair!

It’s hard to believe our Clinic first opened its doors in 2004. We’ve come a long way. We could not have done it without you!

At the end of 2016, we were blessed with a substantial donation from one of our longtime supporters and co-founders: the Bonner family. Thanks to this contribution, we were able to purchase additional land, which represents just the first step of this much-needed Expansion Project to expand our facilities and services.

We humbly ask you to please consider helping us with our programs. We do not have any grants or endowments yet and rely on individual donors like you to continue operating. If you have any questions or would like further information about our Expansion Project, please do not hesitate to contact us.

The Roberto Clemente Health Clinic is 100% supported by donations. We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit registered in Maryland, so all donations are tax-deductible. We accept funds through PayPal. We also accept stock donations. To donate, click here and select the program to which you would like to contribute.

Sincerely,

Lorena Cernadas

U.S. Development Office

The Roberto Clemente Health Clinic

lcernadas@nicaclinic.org

Direct Line: 410.369.0512