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Mar 8, 2016

Promoting our Teen Peer Counselors

First place winner Jennifer
First place winner Jennifer

In its commitment to educate and inform teens about sexual and reproductive health at Clínica Verde, our team held a contest among members last month to reward not only their knowledge but also their commitment and work with peers in the community. Our first place winner was teen peer counselor Jennifer with 100 points, followed by second place winner Miurel with 99.4 points, and third place winner Eliecer with 98.7 points.

"I'm so happy to have won, thanks to my efforts to study the program and give educational talks and advice to peers in the community," said Jennifer, with tears of joy in her eyes. She said the prize of $50 will go to help her family, who are very poor. Each of the winners come from rural communities and families of very few resources, and the program's acknowledgement is a great source of pride.

We are so proud of our teens!

At Clinica Verde the counseling center and prevention work with adolescents is a priority. We train adolescents in the community and provide them with useful tools for making responsible decisions in their lives, but above all we love to see their efforts to work with other teens in the community. Each step forward redoubles our commitment to make this center a model in the community. 

Clinica Verde and TeenSmart partner in this program thanks to the sponsorship of the Strachan Foundation. Our Counseling Center for Adolescent Sexual Reproductive Health aims to contribute to improving living conditions for the adolescents, young people and their families, through the promotion of sexual and reproductive health, with a focus on life skills and personal development that supports behavioral changes encouraging a healthy life.

As a result of this program:

• 50 young people have been trained in counseling skills and techniques
• The teens have given 97 education talks with 2,247 participants in 2015
• 78 counseling sessions have been provided by the adolescents in the first quarter of 2016

We look forward to seeing this program grow and thrive with your support!

Our TeenSmart winners and team leaders
Our TeenSmart winners and team leaders
Dec 10, 2015

One Volunteer's Experience: Meet Jessica ...

Jessie Wheeler + students from CV's teen program
Jessie Wheeler + students from CV's teen program

One of the great benefits of working at Clinica Verde is that it introduces us to so many generous and wonderful people who are interested in helping out. Jessica Wheeler is one of those special people. We first connected with her after she made an online donation in 2009, when Clinica Verde was just getting started. She wrote then: “The mission of Clinica Verde rings true on so many different levels and my contribution is the least I could do.” Jessica stayed in touch over the years as we brought the vision of Clinica Verde to life. She is now a graduate student at Columbia University in New York City getting her degree as a Nurse Practitioner, specializing in psychiatry. She also works at a startup called FRND, which is like an Uber for RN’s, bringing on-demand nursing care to people’s homes.

This past summer – 6 years after she first reached out – Jessica and her husband Tim volunteered for 5 weeks at Clinica Verde. We asked Jessie to briefly share her experience.

What drew you to working at Clinica Verde?
As an avid surfer, I have visited (and loved!) Nicaragua for over a decade. A few years ago a fellow traveller mentioned the clinic to me, saying they knew someone from California who was starting a clinic for women in the mountains (I wish I could remember who this person was!). In any event, Clinica Verde was just a concept at this point, but I started donating small sums of money for the building of the clinic. When I became a registered nurse, I wanted to give something back to Nicaragua. I thought spending some time working at Clinica Verde would be a good way to do this! In addition, I’m very interested in global health and I knew CV would give me an education that I could never find in a classroom.

What was the most challenging thing about your experience at Clinica Verde?
The language barrier. I am “conversational” in Spanish but did not have enough of a grasp on the language to understand all of the small interactions that occur between doctor and patient.

What was the most uplifting experience?
Oh wow. I’m not sure. All of it? I suppose the most specifically uplifting experience was the TeenSmart Program and our day discussing contraception. I take contraception very seriously and have been a cheerleader for family planning for quite some time! I thoroughly enjoyed imparting this information to the teens in the program. Parts of it seemed to really resonate with them!

Is there one story/patient who really stuck with you? 
I worked with one mother who had a very sick infant. The infant was not feeding properly, losing weight, and spiked a fever. Ultimately this baby needed to be in the ER and have IV fluids, but the process of helping the mother through it was very rewarding. The mother was nervous but appreciative of the care we provided.

We’re so grateful to have Jessica as a part of our Clinica Verde family!

• • •

This past year, we've served over 10,000 patients at Clinica Verde, providing not just clinical care and medical consults, but education talks on nutrition, hygiene, prenatal care and more. We're particularly excited and grateful for our TeenSmart program, which trains teen peer counselors in sexual reproductive health, and our Prenatal Nutrition Program, which provides young mothers a support network and education on the stages of fetal development, the importance of diet and nutrition, and well baby care.

We couldn't have done it without you.

We want to wish all of our awesome donors and volunteers a joy-filled holiday season. You are helping to make a difference in the world through your kindness and compassion. 

With love and gratitude,


Sep 30, 2015

Our Prenatal Nutrition Project

Maribel at Clinica Verde
Maribel at Clinica Verde

Maribel*, 24, came to Clinica Verde in February of 2014 for her first prenatal appointment. She joined the pilot of Grupo de Bienestar Materno Infantil - our Prenatal Nutrition Program, where she worked with obstetrician Dr. Madellein Reyes, our Nutritionist Mary Flores and nurse Yazmina Diaz. 

Maribel worried that she wouldn't be able to come to Clinica Verde because of her lack of resources and the cost of transportation, so the staff supported her by providing transportation. She was an excellent member of our group, maintaining a great attitude throughout and meeting the appointments for all of her prenatal check-ups.

With her integration into the program, her state of health improved. She always arrived on time and carefully followed the suggestions of her medical team. As a single mother, Maribel's participation was challenging and she is extremely grateful for those who supported her so that she could learn to care for herself and her baby to create a foundation for long-term positive health.

On August 24, Maribel gave birth to a beautiful baby girl via cesarean section. The baby weighed 7.8 pounds and demonstrated normal vital signs. On September 4, Maribel visited Clinica Verde for her baby's first checkup. Thank you for supporting Maribel and her daughter, who we will continue to follow and monitor with love and compassion at Clinica Verde!

More about our Prenatal Nutrition Project ...

Clinica Verde's Prenatal Nutrition Project project uses interactive lectures, food-based approaches and socio-behavioral change curriculum to teach pregnant mothers about the stages of fetal development, ways to care for the health of their child in the womb and nutrition during the pre-natal, post-natal periods and the first five years of life. The program has the following goals:

• To reduce childhood malnutrition and nutrient deficiency (Goal: 80% of mothers can identify 3 symptoms of malnutrition or nutrient deficiency and 2 symptoms of over-nutrition

• To increase the rate of exclusive breastfeeding (Goal: 70% of participants to practice exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months post-delivery)

• To increase knowledge of nutrition and bolster diet diversity (Goal: In final project survey, 90% of mothers can identify 3 nutrient-dense vegetables and health benefits, and a way to cook at home)

• To foster pride in pregnancy (Goal: 80% of mothers give correct responses to 2/3 fetal development questions during the final evaluation)

• To create a supportive community of pregnant mothers (Mothers meet together in a group at Clinica Verde weekly for the 10-week program)

• To increase interest in home gardening techniques and the bio-intensive method (Provide seeds to mothers and do home visits to aid and promote home gardening)

Our pilot showed great promise and we are now starting with our second group of mothers.

Many thanks for your continued support as we work to transform the long-term health of the community we serve.

Nurse Celina with Maribel's healthy newborn
Nurse Celina with Maribel's healthy newborn
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