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Aug 22, 2019

To Be a "Light of Hope" in the World

David
David

In 2012 Clinica Verde opened its doors to serve the rural poor in Boaco, Nicaragua and in 2013 we hired David to be our first Administrator – a critical support role for our Director and General Manager. David is often the first to arrive and the last to leave our clinic health hub. He's a class act, a dedicated worker, and a supremely decent human being. Here, David shares with you in his own words what the work means to him.

By David Narvaez

On the most personal level, Clinica Verde has represented a rebirth in my life, providing me the opportunity to work for my city and for my people. But on a larger level, Clinica Verde has also meant hope.

When I look at the past and where I was in 2013, knowing each of the members of our work team, I realize that Clinica Verde has represented the biggest challenge in my professional life because it has meant constant struggle, dedicated teamwork, union of purpose and a resurgence of personal meaning in my life.

Clinica Verde became our lives. Being part of this organization made me grow little by little – not only as a human being, but as a professional and as a member of a team. As the years progressed we have watched the baby that was a dream grow step by step, through challenges and difficult times that we always overcame together.

Getting to where we are today has meant a long road full of stones, of fighting for what we believe in, of undertaking new ideas, of supporting the ideas of our colleagues, of attracting attention throughout the country and abroad, of attending to those who call us to serve, to persevere, and to focus always on working for those in need.

There is nothing better than to see the satisfaction of the team when we have completed a job and when that job represents the well-being of a patient, of giving hope in a moment of distress. To be a light of hope has meant to open Anacleta's eyes for the first time, to see the fifth and last pregnancy of Doña Dina and the first steps of her little Jordan, to meet Maicol and his family as his vision was restored, to see every woman who has been a part of our Prenatal Nutrition Program, every teenager that we have reached through our Teen Club, knowing that we have surely marked others deeply and will be remembered as a clinic that has given the opportunities of a good life.

To talk about Clinica Verde is also to think of the young people who have graduated from university with their heads full of optimism and their hearts full of vitality to serve – like Olman, Juan Miguel, Celina, and Sugey; it's to face the diseases of our colleagues Alba and Catherin as a team; it's to accept and support the departures of excellent doctors like Dr. Miranda and Dr. Varela so they can undertake new projects; it is to see Dr. Paredes arrive with a renewal of ideas; to see Rafael Morales share with the team; and to see the children of each of us grow, and watch as many have become adolescents over the past years that we have spent working at Clinica Verde together.  

And for my community of Boaco it has been the opportunity for social and economic development, as Clinica Verde has provided a place of dignity and quality to care for people who come to us in search of answers. Little by little, we have gained the trust and recognition of the people we serve, and we have earned the empathy and admiration of other organizations that have sought alliances with us so that we can continue to grow, reaching more people in more communities – including some that had never before seen a doctor or received professional medical attention.

Clínica Verde was the dream of its Founder and Board of Directors, but that dream has taken root and materialized in each of the team members who work here each day for our community. Thank you to our supporters for making this work possible, for providing opportunity and hope for so many who would otherwise not have it. You have changed lives.

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May 28, 2019

Dr. Leal traveled by mule, across rocky terrain

After an approximately 12 kilometer walk, the Clinica Verde team arrived to provide medical and optometry services to the remote community of Mombachito in the municipality of Camoapa, Nicaragua. Mombachito is one of the rural communities in the department of Boaco that is totally deprived of basic services. Clínica Verde had identified two groups of especially vulnerable populations in this community: The first group is the elderly – those over 60 years of age – and the second group is children under 14 years of age. We are focusing our efforts in this region on these two important populations. 

During the community consultations, the villagers express deep appreciation for the efforts of the clinic team, who on foot or on mule manage to transport the medicine and supplies needed to the region. If not for Clinica Verde, community members would have to walk themselves to reach the nearest health center, sometimes with the person who is ill loaded on a hammock.

This is how difficult it can be for rural, impoverished populations to simply access care. Often, the only and best solution is to bring the care to them. We're so grateful for the support of you, our awesome donors, who make this service possible.

 

Why Clinica Verde?


We asked our Executive Director, Yolanda Paredes-Gaitan. Here's what she said.

We treat people with dignity.

We do not discriminate based on political party, religion, sexual orientation, age or precedence.

We respect human rights.

We offer excellent quality healthcare in a space that communicates respect and hope.

We reach the underserved.

We understand the community needs.

We do not judge our patients, we understand them.

 

Thank you to all of our supporters for making this possible.

Links:

Mar 1, 2019

Leading with Love + Compassion

Yolanda Paredes-Gaitan has been working at Clinica Verde in Nicaragua since 2016 as its executive director. With Yolanda’s guidance, Clinica Verde has made momentous strides providing affordable health care options to the local community. We interviewed Yolanda on the progress, challenges, and future of Clinica Verde. 
 
What are you most proud of about the work being done by Clinica Verde?
I am most proud of our unique institution that prioritizes compassionate care and how we incorporate this philosophy into our daily activities. We are the only institution in the region that has an infrastructure to offer the best quality service to our clients. In addition, I take pride in the fact that we exemplify that primary health services can be provided with dignity and high quality. We do all this while keeping in mind the three main goals of sustainable development: social, economic, and environmental. We demonstrate transparent work with respect, ethics, and fulfillment of the law and through this we can achieve many objectives. We feel confident that our work is making a positive difference and that we are advancing the development of Nicaragua. Lastly, I am proud of my team that is committed to helping others.

What initiatives that Clinica Verde is involve in do you think hold the most hope for transforming the health of communities – and why? 
I totally believe that health promotion and prevention are the keys for a healthy and developed country. Policies created around these main public health components have proven to decrease the number of persons affected with chronic diseases. Some of examples of this at Clinica Verde are our Prenatal Nutrition Groups and our Teen Club that teaches teens in sexual reproductive health. We also do hands-on training around health and nutrition education that is highly impactful. Health promotion and prevention are components of Clinica Verde’s daily activities and I believe these measures hold the most hope for transforming the health of our communities.
 
What is your greatest need as you continue your efforts in providing healthcare for the community? What are some of the largest health obstacle you are seeing? 
We have big issues with chronic disease and limited access to medicine to control them. We can offer many services in regard to promotion, prevention, diagnosis and control, but treatment is something we cannot always afford with our patients. We are also seeing an increase in emotional and mental health problems resulting from the current social crisis and poverty with very few means to help these individuals. Lastly, Boaco (the city we work in) does not offer rehabilitation services for persons with different capabilities (speech therapy, physical therapy, etc.). I would also like to see us improve in data collection and analysis. We can always be better.
 
What has been the hardest obstacle to overcome in providing care to the community? 
There is a great difficulty in accessing communities due to the lack of roads. In addition, the majority of our patients are living in extreme poverty and this presents many challenges. Poverty coupled with low levels of educational attainment makes our mission more challenging. We are so honored and inspired by the work we do each day for this population.
 
Taylor Moss is currently in her third year at UC Davis majoring in Global Disease Biology with a minor in International Relations. She’s been interested in pursuing a health care career ever since she volunteered in Nicaragua with Clinica Verde as a sophomore in high school. Taylor recently completed a public health internship in India and helped an NGO in Nepal start a program with an emphasis on women’s health. She continues to support the work of Clinica Verde.

 
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