Dear Friend of the Clinic,
As if there is not enough depressing news…
At least there are inspiring efforts taking place right now on the ground – in an American place not too far away from our hearts.
Nicaragua is a place where 1 out of 5 people make only $2 per day… where the rate of food insecurity is much higher than it is in our local U.S. cities… and where COVID-19 continues to ravage the vulnerable and teetering healthcare system.
The people of our Nicaraguan community desperately need our help to recover from the devastation caused by these two back-to-back hurricanes.
Just think about what we are dealing with in our wealthier Western nations with the pandemic…
Now add economic collapse and the destruction from two historic hurricanes to one of the poorest regions in the Americas. It’s just hard to fathom how it is surviving, until you look at the local heroes and those dedicated to the region’s recovery.
We have tremendous faith in our Clinic team on the ground there. The team’s ability to clean up and provide outreach to those who cannot access medicines, food, clean water and clean clothing is outstanding. On a small budget, our team operates 24/7, going into rural communities. And right now, roads are closed, schools are closed, and friends and colleagues have lost homes. They need us.
Nicaraguans will stay strong. But they really need financial help to get the supplies they need, now more than ever.
Hurricanes Eta and Iota were the worst storms to hit this area since Tropical Storm Nate hit a couple of years ago. Our team did a superb job getting the region back on its feet then, thanks to support from individual donors.
Here’s our response to this disaster through pictures, not just words…
After Eta and then Iota, we lost power in the entire region for days. But our team was safe. Our battery-powered generator helped out. Our medicines stayed dry. But the cleanup is a mess… and getting out to help others is severely challenging with road closures everywhere.
Meanwhile, many in our communities need basic supplies just to survive while still needing to protect themselves from COVID-19.
Our water treatment plant is working – thank goodness – so we can get clean water out to those in need. But the community organic vegetable gardens feeding residents during this economic crisis are now flooded, and many have been destroyed.
A core medical team stayed in the Clinic to handle emergencies and to protect supplies and equipment from the rising water.
We’ve been working closely with the local development of Rancho Santana and local nonprofits to help the community distribute clean water and basic supplies.
Our Clinic team – more than 27 nurses, doctors, pharmacists, agriculture engineers, administrators, educators and ambulance drivers – will visit schools with community leaders to get a sense of what is needed. We will document 940 families in dire need, many of which are in hilly, remote areas that are very hard to access on the washed-out roads. In the coming days – and for some weeks – there will be a high risk of contamination. And we will have to continue dealing with the dark presence of COVID-19.
We urgently need added resources to bring on more medical personnel, replace equipment and supplies, and get more basic medicines.
We are in close contact with the Ministry of Health and American Nicaraguan Foundation, as well as the mayor of Tola, the Rivas hospital and organizations in Managua that can send in supplies.
Our main focus right now is making sure the community has support for trauma, purified water, proper nutrition and resources to help it get back on its feet.
Locals have never experienced two hurricanes back to back. Nor have they dealt with a pandemic like COVID-19. This is certainly the worst disaster we’ve faced since we opened the doors to our Roberto Clemente Health Clinic in 2004.
Many of our colleagues and residents are without homes, clean water, food, clothing and medicines.
The Clinic, nearby Rancho Santana, schools and other local nongovernmental organizations are now cleaning up their own facilities while also providing shelter to those who have nothing.
The long process of cleaning up and getting the community back on its feet has started. Our team is working tirelessly to make sure the Clinic is able to respond to all emergencies. Using our one ambulance and other back-road vehicles, we are now providing the needed outreach to those who cannot make it to a facility.
Many people don’t realize that we are a nonprofit supported by individual donations. We have become a model private health clinic in Central America, providing more than just emergency and primary care. Our inspiring team is dedicated to health education outreach, including programs for healthy eating, gardening and water treatment.
Our Clinic team educates the community on physical and mental well-being, family planning, and the importance of having kids in school. We offer programs on vocational training for our staff, and we work hard to be an essential positive force in this impoverished region. We are making an impact every day, though never more so than now.
Sadly, all 60 organic community gardens and beekeeping operations are badly damaged. We’ll need to rebuild.
And the rain is still coming. The mud is everywhere – in people’s homes, in schools and in stores. And there’s the potential for more rain on the way.
We could really use your help. We need more resources and funds to add staff, get more medicines, replace equipment, repair and upgrade our facility and vehicles, and distribute donated supplies.
We are a donor-supported 501(c)(3) nonprofit registered in Maryland, so your donation is 100% tax-deductible.
The Clinic is a 24/7 operation. We will continue to work around the clock to respond to this crisis and help the community get back on track.
Please join me today by donating here.
Julia C. Guth, Chair of the Board
With Dr. José Mosquera, Clinic Director