July was another month of difficult challenges for the country of Guatemala. The country remained essentially in a lockdown due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Although figures are not available due to lack of testing, many cases in Guatemala City were noted and hospitals remained stretched beyond capacity. Excessive deaths were noted all through the country. Due to lack of protective equipment, doctors and nurses were hesitant to go to work fearing for their own safety. At Camotan Clinic, we have been able to get our shipments of PPE (personal protective equipment) into country. We are able to not only protect our own employees but we bought supplies to help the local government run health clinics as well. We spent almost $2,000 on N95 masks, lovenox (a medicine used to help prevent clotting in Covid infections), gloves and gowns to give to other hospitals and clinics around Camotan. Below Dr. Toledo is donating gowns to the local hospital in Chiquimula (the closest hospital to Camotan, about an hour away).
The doctors and nurses at the local health centers always need our help. If you have read any of our past posts, you know that we often give supplies and medicines to them since they often have none. In Camotan Clinic our patients are still able to get their medications and supplies. However, we have slowly become known as a helpful resource to other clinics and to our regional hospital in Chiquimula for all the donations we give.
Local health care center nurse receiving one of our donations.
With Covid, we know that proper PPE saves lives. To those of you who donate, your generosity may be saving the life of a healthcare worker. So thank you.
Despite the lockdown, our work with other organizations continued as well. Camotan Clinic has partnered with another Guatemalan non profit that has made water filters for those living in the mountains. (See our prior posts on our future water filtration system planned for Camotan Clinic–currently on hold until we get through this pandemic). In July we were able to deliver 8 of these systems to families in 3 mountain villages.
Water filters for mountain villages
We have an ongoing partnership with this organization and will deliver more filters in the future. Below Dr. Toledo is explaining use of the filter to villagers.
Lastly, we always take food for the most in need. As we have mentioned here in recent posts, the Covid crisis worldwide really hurts the poorest the most. Many families around Camotan and in the surrounding mountains were on the cusp of food insecurity before Covid. But with the pandemic their food shortage has become a reality. This is terribly sad. We at Camotan Clinic are spending all of the money we can on keeping as many families fed as possible. In the photos above and below you can see the bags of food we have prepared for these people at each mountain village.
We know that at this time many people here in the US are suffering and in need of our help. For those of you able to still give to the people of Guatemala, we thank you greatly. Remember that 100% of what you give goes directly to the people. To those of you who support us in prayers and thoughts thank you as well. We are so grateful for all of you joining us on this journey.
As a last mention, we want to let you know that we continue to plan for our future. We have looked at building sites in the past month and have continued dialogue with medical and dental schools in Guatemala. Our long term goals are a hospital with clinics in Camotan. We hope to staff Camotan Clinic with Guatemalan dental and medical residents once again as we were doing prior to the pandemic once it is under control. And once our American staff can get back in, we will have regular support from US physicians and dentists. Our goal is to improve the lives of all those living around this region of Guatemala.
Thank you again for reading. Blessings to all of you for your concern and prayers in this difficult time for so many.