Today we were in the pueblo of San Martin. San Martin is a small village that sits a little ways up the volcano. We travelled through corn fields where the men were harvesting their corn by hand and up into the higher altitude where the coffee plants grow. The people of San Martin were happy to see us and greeted us with smiles and great warmth. Everything is dusty and dirty. It is the dry season and the dust is thick in the air. It was so good to see my team quickly set up our work in the pavilion next to the school. Within minutes we had transformed the space into a clinic with a working pharmacy, an intake desk, 2 provider stations and a nursing station. This team works so efficiently and with great kindness towards one another. We worked with the health care promoter from the pueblo and Jesus Antonio. We were able to see about 35 patients. Some of them were quite sick and in great need of the medicines that we brought. It is a rich blessing to have 2 native Spanish speakers with us on this trip. Ana is from Guatemala City and Gladys is from Paraguay. Our providers are enjoying their quality interpreting. I am also able to relax a little and rely on them for a lot. Kim has been in charge of the blogging and that also has been a great help to me this week, although it has been difficult to find internet in town.
I feel so blessed to be able to walk among the people of Guatemala again. It is great to be back in San Lucas and to be greeted by so many familiar and friendly faces. Fr. Greg is still in the States receiving treatment for his skin cancer and the people here are deeply concerned about his health and also the future of San Lucas. The parish employs 400 people and has many projects from healthcare to coffee production to land reform that it is involved in. They are beginning to look to the future and are hopeful that their connections with the people from the United States will continue.
I am once again struck with awe as I watch the poor. They have so few material items and their lives are so difficult, and yet they walk with great pride and are kind, generous and loving to one another. Family and people are important to them and as I watch them I am inspired to take more time for the important things in my life. I am also saddened that they have to live the way they do. It is a difficult existence which I can only imagine. We hope for a better world ….and do what we can. I am thankful to be able to work with Minnesota Doctors for People and all of its fantastic volunteers and donors. I know that we are making a difference in the lives of the people we see. We are healing the sick and extending our hands to those who are in need. Touching lives and having our lives touched simultaneously forever changed.