Jen’s Journal

Delivering food

During the last year, Camotan Clinic has extended its services to address whole patient care as they are identified.  Our nurses visit the mountain villages weekly, identifying and addressing a myriad of problems.

Our group was able to follow up on some of these needs during our last visit.
We met with Maria Vasquez. Maria faces daily struggles with shelter, food, and safety.  Her husband was murdered and left her as a single mother of 3 young boys.  Her home was destroyed in one of the hurricanes in November 2020 and they currently sleep in a small hut with stick walls and a tin roof.  She walks 2 hours, with her children in tow, to work on a coffee plantation.  Her needs are enormous.  
We have provided her with food, blankets…and care… on a few occasions.  Her trust in us has grown.  And on our recent visit, she quietly approached me and asked…. “would you build me a house?  I need a safe place for my children.”  Her act of faith demonstrated her trust in us.  

We plan fulfill her request.  We will build her a house later this summer and offer her a safe and comfortable place for her and her three boys to sleep and live.    

Maria and her boys

Our team is also coordinating care – identifying, diagnosing, treating and following up… even in these remote mountain villages!


In our visit delivering food supplies and blankets to a family, we encountered Evarista, a frail, thin, fragile woman of about 60 years, with legs that had swollen to three or four times their normal size.  She expressed pain, rubbing her legs gently, and quietly asked for our help.  I assessed her…and assured her we would be back.  Later that day we drove the 25 minutes back up the mountain with Joel, our physician.  He assessed her condition and noted that she had a rapid heart rate and an elevated blood pressure.  She had advanced heart failure….and maybe 2-3 months to live without treatment.  Joel provided education and let her know we would be back with medication.  

Joel examining Evarista

The following day, the crew returned to her home… providing her with medications and comprehensive education to her and her family (only one member could “read” the instructions on the medication label).  As an additional measure to ensure that Evarista would be in good care, Camotan Clinic staff worked with the local nurse in the mountain village, alerting them of her condition, treatment recommendations and requests to follow up.  Likewise, our nurse will follow up and work with Joel to monitor and evaluate sweet Evarista.  

Gathering water by the well

Lastly, we were fortunate to have Barry and Whitney Mayhew with us on this trip. They are representatives of Living Waters of the World and they assessed each villages water system. They were and will be a part of our clinic and our endeavors for years to come. Water is so vital to everyone in these rural mountain villages and almost all of it is contaminated. We will have more on their work in the future.

Also, here are a few of my favorite pictures from the week. Thanks for reading!

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