|In This Issue:
Managing Diabetes in Santiago Atitlán
Help Us Grow Even Stronger
A Precious Life Saved
Finished! Completo! Xuban!
A Year to Remember
Dreaming on a Bench
Medical Spanish CME
To keep up with our day-to-day activities, be sure to check out the blog by clicking here
Also, find us on Twitter
Every Donation Helps!
Your help ensures that we can continue to offer quality health services to those in need. To donate online to medical services, follow this link
You may also click on the link below to donate via Acceptiva.
Checks can be mailed to:
Amigos Hospitalito Atitlán
PO Box 256
Jonesport, ME 04649
Phone: (207) 598-5964
Important Notice for Medical Volunteers
There are new requirements for all medical personnel to legally volunteer at HA. Please visit this page
on our website for more information.
Special Thanks to Our Most Recent Donors!
Canadian Guitar Festival
Carlin F. and Frances M. Lynch
Cathy & Kevin Carey
of New Jersey
Cranesville Methodist Church
Emily Jeep Klingaman
Fundacion de al Reina Sofia
Jean E. and Ronald F. Way
John and Gail Sampieri
John and Leticia Jacob
John and Rita Nelson
Juan Carlos Serna
Juan Miguel Lee
Lynne and S. R. Abraham
Matthew and Elise Carey
Michael and Deborah Kelly
Posada de Santiago
Robert S. Carlsen
Roberta F Carney
Ruth and Bob Colvin
St. Rita's Church, Fairfax CA
The Stephens Holt
Thomas E. and Anne M. Kelly
University of Pennsylvania
University of Virginia
United Methodist Church
Please Help Bring Hope and Healthcare to Guatemalan Families.
And A Hearty Thanks to Our Recent Volunteers!
We work closely with Rotary Clubs from around the world. If your local chapter may be interested in helping the hospital get much needed medical equipment, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Alexis May Tran
John and Rita Nelson
Sharan Abdul Rahman
Maternal Infant Program
The women pictured below have no resources for prenatal care and are at high risk for complications during their pregnancy. Please consider a sponsorship for just $25 a month.
For more information click here
Managing Diabetes in Santiago Atitlán
Hospitalito is thrilled to receive an $80,000 grant from the World Diabetes Foundation. The grant will allow us to launch Managing Diabetes in Santiago Atitlán, a project that will dramatically improve prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of the disease in and around Santiago Atitlán.
Under this project, Hospitalito plans to launch culturally-appropriate training sessions for local healthcare workers. We will also start a network of local organizations working on diabetes-related issues and we will initiate a series of weekly diabetes clinics, designed to meet the needs of local patients.
We estimate that this project will allow us to provide over 21,000 patient consultations during the initiative’s three-year duration.
There is a strong need for this project. There are currently very few resources in this community for dealing with diabetes, and it is not a government priority. Organizations throughout Santiago Atitlán often have no materials or equipment with which to diagnose or treat their patients.
Meanwhile, the number of people in Santiago Atitlán with the disease is growing rapidly. While there are few statistics about the number of people in this region who currently have diabetes, we estimate that around 10% of the Santiago Atitlán population has the disease. Almost everyone is affected. Either they have it themselves, or someone in their immediate family does.
There are a number of reasons for this. New roads have brought public transport and an influx of cheap empty calories, in the form of soda and candy. Diabetes is presenting itself in younger indigenous women; before the age of 35. Extreme poverty is a contributor to this, and so is lack of education.
The disease is having a direct impact on the region’s development. In a country where the average annual income is just over $5,000, diabetes is exacerbating poverty, presenting a huge medical expense for people who can’t afford to treat it and increasing pressure on the country and region’s limited medical resources. Through this project, we hope to help stem the tide and reverse these trends.
Help Us Grow Even Stronger!
The new hospital stands as a monument to the miracle that results when many put their hearts and minds to a worthwhile goal. We thank you and we look forward to the near future when construction is no longer a part of Hospitalito news.
A Precious Life Saved
Every three years hospitals and clinics must reapply for authorization with the Health Department. This year the authorization process was complicated by the move to another building. Floor plans of every area were needed that included signatures from specialists and licenses for all departments.
To meet governmental requirements HA must equip a blood bank with a blood bank refrigerator, a reagent refrigerator and a blood bank freezer. Additionally, HA is required to have its own ambulance.
We depend on your financial gifts to continue to provide subsidized care, reduce maternal and infant mortality, and create educational programs that help to diminish extreme poverty.
We thank you for your support in 2011 and we depend on your generosity for continued success in 2012.
Please, consider a generous tax-deductible donation to our US partner organization: Amigos Hospitalito Atitlán, PO Box 256, Jonesport, ME 04649, tel. (207) 598-5964, or take care of it online: www.hospitalitoatitlan.org/donate.html
Emilia Guoz Quievac, 33, and Luis Ajcot Choy, 30, from
Cerro de Oro with 29-day-old Juan Carlos Ajcot Guoz.
Emilia Guoz Quievac arrived at Hospitalito on October 9th in early labour with her first baby and staff were worried because the baby was in distress. She was only 1 cm dilated without strong contractions. Volunter obstetrician Dr. Alexis Tran realised the labour was not progressing normally and the baby was in danger. She did an emergency caesarian, and when the little boy was born he was blue and not breathing.
The baby had to be immediately resusitated. He was intubated, chest compressions delivered and adrenaline given. Soon, he started to breathe on his own but was still critically ill.
The bomberos transferred the baby to Guatemala City accompanied by Dr. Ciara, medical student Maggie, and nurse Gregorio. During the trip, the baby deteriorated and stopped breathing. They started resesusitation again and were very worried he would die. The baby survived the journey and was admitted for 25 days, including 14 days in the neonatal intensive care unit on a ventilator.
On November 7th baby and mom came to the clinic for a check-up. Both were found to be safe and well. Dr. Ciara and Maggie were very surprised and emotional to see the baby again. The parents were happy and grateful for the care they received at the hospital.
For less than a dollar a day you can contribute to the well-being of a mother and her baby by providing prenatal and postnatal care, education, and well baby check-ups. You will also receive coorespondence from the mother you sponsor. It's a great way to feel part of the Atitlán community. See this page for details: http://hospitalitoatitlan.org/sponsorship.html
AHA's New President: Larry Finnegan
We are very happy to welcome Larry Finnegan as the new Chair of Amigos Hospitalito Atitlán. We think that his close history as a friend of Hospitalito Atitlán will ensure a great future for the organization.
After retirement from the US Census Bureau, Larry started a plant nursery and then he and his wife Dianne moved to Antigua, Guatemala. They took on several volunteer projects and arrived at the Hospitalito in 2006. Soon after the visit, Larry served two years as a member of the Board of Directors of Pueblo a Pueblo and travelled to Santiago Atitlán for bi-monthly construction commission meetings.
In 2009, Larry joined the Asociación K'aslimaal Board of Directors. He and Dianne have since returned to live in their home in Jonesport, Maine.
We are ever grateful to AHA’s founders and outgoing board members Bonnie O’Neill, Board Chair, and Ulysses and Narda Sherman, Treasurer and Secretary.
Finished! ¡Completo! Xuban!
The second story of the new hospitalito Atitlán is ready
for use. In December, we will have to say goodbye to
Gaspar Mendoza and his great construction crew.
The long process of designing and building a state-of-the-art hospital is coming to an end! Six years after the disaster of tropical storm Stan, Santiago Atitlán now has a hospital to be proud of and that will serve the growing needs of the Tz’utujil community.
One year after HA saw its first patients in the new hospital, the second story will be completed. Administration will move from their temporary office space in the maintenance building, the development office will leave their plywood cabin, and the beautiful new education room will host its first Maternal Infant Program meeting: a Christmas celebration on December 14th.
David Schele’s inspired design for the hospital was donated pro-bono and comments on the beauty of the structure are heard almost daily. The big boost to the project came with the Dollar-for-Dollar Challenge Grant from the Kendeda Fund. Without this grant, we would never have made it to our goal!
The construction process began shortly after the mudslide with the purchase of land, site preparation, and the construction of the ancillary services building. The main hospital building was started in 2008 and nearly three years to the start date, the workers are cleaning up and saying goodbye to Construction Commission members, Dr. Juan Manuel Chuc and Lyn Dickey. All work was completed by a local work force of 36 men led by an Atiteco master builder Gaspar Mendoza. Architectural, Structural, Electrical, Hydraulic and Soil Engineers from Guatemala City provided the expertise. Many others volunteered their time and efforts.
The new hospital infrastructure includes a water purification system, an oxygen generator, a 50 KVA generator and battery back up system and thanks to our friends in the Solar Energy Industry, a very generous donation of Outback Power Inverters for the battery back up system. As you read this, a fabulous donation of a container filled with SunGrid solar panels is crossing the Pacific from Australia, destined for Hospitalito Atitlán. The solar water heaters have consistently provided hot water, even during the cloudiest weeks of the rainy season.
Thanks to all of you who have made this happen, not the least to the Rotarians who have been so generous.
Because of your donations we’ve been able to build the new hospital that is a tribute to the hard work of hundreds and their love of the Tz’utujil Maya.
At last the Board members can focus on programs and fundraising for services, community outreach, and medical equipment. We hope that you will continue to support our efforts for 2012.
A Year to Remember
Dr. Juan Manuel Chuc
Dear Friends of the Hospitalito,
We are nearing the end of our first year in the new Hospitalito Atitlán. While I write, the final stages of construction are being completed; a great accomplishment. But the real success is what happens in the emergency room and clinics. Everyday, staff at the Hospitalito attends complicated deliveries and save lives of mothers and children.
Thanks to the scholarship program Hospitalito employees have graduated and now fill the positions required. It is a great advantage to have Tz’utujil speaking registered nurses and technicians attending patients.
Most unfortunately, problems within the National Hospital system have resulted in employee strikes and the recent closing of more than 20 of the government hospitals due to lack of medicines and supplies. This increases the risks of life for the most vulnerable throughout the country. Rain in October left the national hospital in Sololá completely cut off by mudslides, making transfers all the more difficult and lengthy. Fortunately, Hospitalito remained open through all of this.
We are all happy with this year’s achievements and it would never have been possible without you. We would like to thank all of our friends and supporting organizations for your continued help so that Hospitalito Atitlán is able to sustain the best medical attention to people in the area who otherwise would be without.
We look forward to our future together. Thank you!
Dr. Juan Manuel Chuc
Director, Hospitalito Atitlán
Dreaming on a Bench
Karin Gezelius Bergstresser from Sweden
is a founder of Hospitalito Atitlán
Not until you look at things in hindsight, do you realize what you got yourself into. Like the day back in 2001 when Diego Esquina, then mayor of Santiago Atitlán, told me that what the town needs is a hospital. A first seed was planted.
That fall, while we were still grasping the topic, Francisco Sojuel, nowadays President of the association, and I met every Monday at 7 pm on one of benches that face the municipality park in the center of town. That was our only office. We talked, we dreamed, and ten years later that dream, bigger than either of us could imagine, has come true.
It would take too many pages to mention everyone who has helped realize this dream, so I will not go there. But I hope everyone, who in any way has supported HA, know that without your effort, important cornerstones of the building and organization would not have been in place.
As one of the founders, I have had the honor to serve on the hospital board and have seen it grow from a comité cívico to an association with a complex administration. Programs have been and are still created to meet the needs of our patient population.
The support of national and international organizations and individuals is crucial to fulfill an important part of our mission; to be a health organization that offers curative and preventive medical services accessible to all.
Early next year, a new board will take office. Its member base was chosen carefully, emphasizing social awareness and a commitment to serve those in need. I have chosen to step down as a board member, although I will continue to support the organization in other ways. It is time for new members to help the organization move forward.
I have truly enjoyed the opportunity of working with amazing people who have given me many insights and taught me about the generosity of people from near and far. Hospitalito Atitlán is a great adventure into the best of humanity. I feel confident it will continue to be so, as we now stand on a new strong foundation and are better prepared for the future than ever before.
Thank you for being a part of the adventure!
Secretary, Asociación K´aslimaal
CME: Learn Medical Spanish
The Hospitalito Atitlán Medical Spanish CME is pending
approval through The Perelman School of Medicine
at The University of Pennsylvania
Hospitalito Atitlán will be offering Continuing Medical Education credits for physicians and nurses who want to learn Medical Spanish. Each course will be conducted over one week in beautiful Santiago Atitlán, and physicians and nurses can earn up to 25 CME credits. Ten one week courses will be available in 2012.
The Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians and nurses.
To learn more and to sign up go to: