Building Dreams Together,
Brick by Brick
Hospitalito Atitlán; second story awaiting funds for completion.
$100,000 remains of the $750,000 Kendeda Challenge Grant that must be claimed by July 15th of 2011. We hope to receive donations in order to claim the entire amount. This is a chance to double your money
. and make your donation go twice as far!
Only weeks after the 2005 mudslide that destroyed the newly opened Hospitalito Atitlán, a strategic planning session was held to plan for our future. Five years later, we are nearing the goal created in that meeting. It has been a tremendous amount of work. Thank you to all who have made this dream a reality.
At this time, workmen are finishing the walls in the inpatient area. The 16 beds will be ready for the babies and children recovering from cleft lip surgeries planned for the week of May 7th to 14th. Windows and doors have been ordered, and purchases will soon be made to apply the finishing touches. It will be wonderful to have the first floor complete.
Completed areas on the second floor; the laundry, kitchen and medical library are an island of staff activity surrounded by unfinished steel and concrete for the future education room, laboratory, blood bank, physician on call rooms, nurses dressing rooms and administrative offices. It is fun to imagine what they will be like, but seeing these rooms under construction will be exciting.
Please donate to construction at:
AND if you pledge a monthly or annual donation over three years the entire pledge amount will be matched when their pledge card is signed. Contact us about this option at firstname.lastname@example.org
From the Desk of Dr. Rob Meyer
I knew I was home when I saw the towering form of Volcan San Pedro looming ahead. I had been here 4 months ago for the dedication of the new Hospitalito, had marveled at the size of it, the newness of it, but now I had returned to work.
This is my fourth year volunteering as a pediatrician in Santiago Atitlán; each time, I have marveled at the dedication of the Hospitalito staff and the resilience of the community that they serve, both of whom have transcended time and again misfortunes both natural and political. The new Hospitalito is amazing; both staff and patients appreciate its clean, spacious facilities, and both take enormous pride in the effort and energy which it took to build it.
If you are reading this because youve been here before, you know the magic of this place; if you have not, I urge you to discover the Hospitalito and Santiago Atitlán: it will change your life. And please continue to support our efforts with your generosity; we are most appreciative.
Rob Meyer, MD
March 29, 2011
Baby Manuel is schedule for cleft lip surgery on May 9 at Hospitalito in a surgical jornada with Smile Network International.
Cerro de Oro Family Overcomes
Magdalena Pacay Guoz
and her new baby boy.
Magdalena Pacay Guoz, a 34 year old woman, was only two months pregnant with her first child when her husband passed away. After this hardship, the young widow returned to live with her parents in Cerro de Oro, a Tz’utujil village five miles from Santiago Atitlán.
On March 8th, Magdalena faced yet another challenge. She was brought to the emergency room at Hospitalito in the final stage of her labor with complications. Magdalena was dehydrated, anemic, weak and pale. Her blood pressure was very high and she was quickly diagnosed by our doctors with pre-eclampsia.
Thanks to the quick work of the OB’s and staff, Magdalena’s baby boy was born healthy and strong with an 8,9 Apgar score. She was treated for high blood pressure and other complications.
When Mom and baby returned six days later for a check-up, Magdalena’s 76-year old father enthusiastically thanked the staff for the excellent care received and for saving the life of his daughter and grandson.
Best Friends Give On-going Support
Amigos Hospitalito Atitlán Trustee.
Dear Friends of Hospitalito Atitlán,
Friday, November 19, 2010 was historic in Santiago Atitlán. A brand new, fully equipped and beautiful Hospitalito Atitlán was dedicated and is now up and running. For those of us who saw the old hospital buried in mud after Hurricane Stan in 2005, this is a dream come true. It was a pleasure to share this with every one of you who was there with us for the ribbon cutting, marking the rebirth of "the little hospital that refused to die."
Imagine the difference this new facility will make in the lives of the hard working Mayan families of Lake Atitlán. Know it would never have happened without your generosity. Some of you volunteered on the building site, some shared your medical, engineering, architectural and fund raising skills. Some sent donations. Some sent prayers. All of us together turned the dream into a reality. We all have much to be proud of and, as a trustee of Amigos Hospitalito Atitlán and a longtime supporter of the hospital, I wish to express my heartfelt thanks.
We face yet a new challenge now that the dedication festivities are over and we have begun accepting patients. As you know, the hospital receives no governmental support, strives to keep fees very low and affordable and never turns away any patient in need, regardless of ability to pay. Thus, continued annual donations are essential. I and several Hospitalito supporters have started a monthly "Best Friends of Hospitalito" gift club and we invite you to join us. It is easy to set up. You decide whatever amount you wish to designate, every size donation is welcomed
and that amount will be debited automatically from your bank account or credit card every month. You will immediately receive an email thanking you and a receipt for your tax deductible donation. Please refer to our website for all details: http://www.hospitalitoatitlan.org/donate.html
Our hope is that many will give donations monthly and together we will ensure continued success for Hospitalito Atitlán and the Mayan families it serves.
With deep gratitude for your generosity,
William F. Cuneo
Trustee, Amigos Hospitalito Atitlán
A PBS Special: Maternal-Infant Health in Guatemala
The PBS Newshour Crew and Hospitalito’s Karina Bergstresser, Lyn Dickey, Diego Chichóm
and family pose for a picture.
On February 10th, Hospitalito Atitlán welcomed some very special visitors: the PBS news crew from its world-known Newshour. The team, led by reporter Ray Suarez, set out to produce a special about the health of women and children, inspired by the new funds that will be made available by the Obama Administration. The PBS team selected three sites in Guatemala to conduct its research and film, as Guatemala is a country with high population growth that will benefit from the allocation of funds to developing countries. They focused on maternal-infant mortality, family planning, violence against females, and malnutrition.
As the PBS special highlights, Hospitalito sees many maternal-infant health problems, as well as many cultural barriers that lead to these issues. Due to religious beliefs as well as distrust in birth control, family planning is not commonly practiced. K’aslimaal Board member Diego Chichóm, his wife Concepción and daughter Dolores were featured in the film, giving voice to the deeply felt fears of birth control methods and beliefs that many children are a gift from God to be welcomed.
For cultural reasons, there are many families with high numbers of children and minimal resources for these large families, resulting in high-risk pregnancies for the mothers. Dr. Mark Lepore appeared in the PBS special as he examined a malnourished child from a very poor Cerro de Oro family.
Compounding the problem is machismo; that men usually make the decisions regarding the reproductive health of their wives.
Through the work of PBS we are reminded of this desperate situation in Guatemala, especially in the rural area of Santiago Atitlán. However, many both helpful and successful programs already exist, including HA’s Maternal-Infant Sponsorship Program, through which mothers of minimal resources receive free prenatal care, delivery services, and health education including building self esteem and family spacing and planning. http://www.hospitalitoAtitlan.org/sponsorship.html
HA also provides caesareans for high-risk patients and electively, tubal ligations, birth control, and family planning education. We work closely with the traditional midwives training them to recognize signs of danger and to bring women to the hospital before it is too late.
You can watch the Newshour Special by clicking here