Rosa & Luisa were very sad. They told me that the women missed cooking together and had begun to ask if there was going to be a party at all. Rosa had not gotten used to this condition and she knew she could not face the kids…
‘Twas the month before Christmas…
And all through three pueblos parents were concerned that the childrens’ parties would not happen because of issues with the NGO that ordinarily provides them. Rosa & Luisa were very sad. They told me that the women missed cooking together and had begun to ask if there was going to be a party at all. Rosa had not gotten used to this condition and she knew she could not face the kids…
But, then, a MIRACLE HAPPENED.
These Donors made the parties happen!!!!
Linda & Jack Smith
Monica Jordan Linville
Thanks to you, artisan’s, domestic worker’s and tenant farmer’s children got the message that someone cared about them. Over 600 of your youngest friends celebrated the holiday in style..The clowns challenged the kids…They got dizzyand won prizes, Pinatas exploded with sweets, and the Mamas got a day off to eat someone else’s tamales and sweets.
Please, take great pleasure from your gift to these commuities. This year, you made a big difference.
Dr. Joan Boccino The Integrative Health Project is leading a team of Traditional Chinese Medical practitioners and their students to the Mayan Highlands. These 23 generous people will be treating with TCM and training community health providers and first responders in the NADA Protocol. Joan has been donating her talents, here, for almost four years and , now, is developing an auricular protocol for Diabetes. Global Clinic will serve the communities of Panajachel, Panimache, Patanatic and San Antonio Palpolo with the support of several other NGOs and local businesses.
Rosa was going with our friends from the NGO to translate Spanish-Queche Maya..did I want to ride to Penemache to visit?
Once there, I was distracted by the line of traditionally clad, barefoot women waiting in the sharp Winter sun. The light was desperately harsh, even the shadows glared. I had given up on photos, when I saw this gorgeous old woman crossing back into a room.
I had no way to ask if I could take her portrait.
Rosa was too busy.
Then, I heard her cough -raw from 80 years of dust and cooking on open fires…I showed her, with gestures, that I wanted to give her percussion like we do for cystic fibrosis. With my cupped hands I patted her back listening for the most productive areas and asked someone bring water for her. She was breathing a little smoother when I stood up. We smiled, I bowed and put the camera on my shoulder. I pantomimed the request … She agreed.
I look at her face all the time reflecting on the kindness it shows.
Wondering how she survived the thirty year armed conflict fomented by my country and kept this grace and good humor.
The lines were long but calmly moving towards the intake desk on Day Two of Rosa Garcia-G’s giant Jornada -Medical Workshop. The leader from Patanatic knew that her new neighbors needed medical attention and she was getting it done with a little help from her friends.
“Some of these people were very sick” was all she would allow herself to say.
And, Rosa knows because she spent two days translating to and from the Quiche Mayan language that her neighbors speak. (The 26 person medical team from Quetzaltenango speaks only Spaniah.)
She would tell us that it is a “long story” how she discovered that the town needed so much assistance.
“Somehow, the women came down to the Patanatic Feed The Children – Feeding Center
. And, somehow, maybe by miracle, the medical volunteers (the Adar club of Bethel Presbyterian Church) were recommended at the exact right time. And, so it happened…”
On Day One, FTC transported Patanatic’s A-Team up the road to Panimache to deliver the Jornada. Accompanied by eight women from her aldea, Rosa was ready to run the event for the newcomers. (The Panimache group had relocated in the last four years. They settled in a distant territory -that was still traditionally Quiche lands- but had left home and family two hours away.) So, the medical group that introduced themselves by distributing Incaperina and giving a dental hygiene training was very welcome.
Meanwhile, the two chief chefs, Juana Barreno and Petrona Zapeta, made themselves useful by setting up operations in the local gradeschool’s kitchen. When we arrived on the morning of the second day, these two were blithely stirring 20 or so chickens into a massive calderon. The Panimache women kept the cooking wood coming and donated beans and rice to help feed the volunteers.
Once patients were processed they formed tight queues along the windowed walls. Sometime they were nervously glancing at the room numbers in their hands. Eleven doctors and three dentists and their support team delivered care to 230 people in these disciplines: General Medicine, Pediatrics, Gynecology and Dentistry. Treatment spaces were created in classrooms, where sheets divided an examining table from the consulting desk. A field Laboratory – with a gang of techs busy reading blood samples – and the Pharmacy with four people actively culling through the medicines and filling prescriptions where in two other rooms.
Under the school’s high laminate roof, colorfully dressed ladies speaking Quiche waited in their floral or flame stitched guipils. (The traditional blouses displayed the carefully embroidered sun ray collars – a signature of their ancestral home, Chichicastenengo.). They talked quietly and appeared a bit weary. The youngest girls clung tightly to their mothers while their older sisters and grannies stood by. Their murmurers filled the space with fear and stoicism.
On Sunday looking over the photos, Rosa appeared to be proud of her good work. Clearly, the Community had been served.
“The patients left smiling. The volunteers enjoyed our cooking and everyone (Adar, FTC and the cooperative volunteers) participated in the action. Together, we provided two days of healing for Panimache.” she concluded modestly.