San Felipe is a small aldea about 1 mile from Antigua. My teacher and her husband live in San Felipe. The aldea has 5 streets in total.
My teacher and I took the chicken bus to San Felipe and got off at the hospital. It is a national hospital that is about 15 years old. I could not believe how much closer were to the
mountains after this short bus ride. The market is important. It is here that the families buy supplies for the patients in the hospital. It is located opposite the front entrance
of the hospital. I did not take pictures inside the hospital. The next picture is taken from outside as we looked through the window of the clinic at the waiting area.
We were able to visit the clinic area that is open to anyone at no cost. Basically it would be like showing up at the only doctor's office within a large area but without having an appointment.
It could take the only money the family has to take the bus to get to the hospital and chances are that because there are literally 200 people quietly waiting ahead of you, you may be sent home only to
try to start over the next day hoping that you will be closer to the front of the line. There were two clinic waiting rooms. Both were quiet, well organized.... and very sad to see.
Walking further back through the emergency gate (see picture above), is another entrance. This is for persons who hope to be admitted to the hospital or for persons brought via
ambulance. Notice that the window for the paperwork is located outside the building. There were just a few persons present here and there was a pediatric area.
I could see that there was great effort toward cleanliness, orderliness, good care, teaching about health care, privacy and friendliness....in what appeared to be an impossible situation.
As we slowly walked through the streets, my teacher greeted many people. In the small place, everyone knew everyone. These three pictures show the school in San Felipe.
The outside is not much to look at. But from the sounds of things, there was lots going on inside. The soccer field which is located next to the school is perhaps the most
important part of every school. I think of it as the place where every kid learns what he/she needs to know to get through life... kind of like kindergarten. With
perhaps little else to do, older kids can play soccer and stay out of trouble. We did not get inside the school at this time.
This is the Catholic Church of San Felipe. If you look closely at the 2nd picture, you can see a man and a woman in the central aisle. They are walking backwards from the main
altar very slowly as they continue to face the altar (as it is rude to turn your back to Jesus). They are holding unlit vigil lights. Their lips are moving and their hands are making
gestures of prayer. To me it was an expression of a charismatic faith. When the young couple reached the back of the church, they got down on their knees and began inching their way forward all the
way to the front on their knees continuing with the gestures and prayers. After a time of prayer at the altar, they lit their candles. Later,we saw this same couple running hand in hand to catch the bus.
They left their concerns with Jesus and went on. These are bricks containing names of persons who received answers to prayers-miracles-at this church. There are walls full.