Sr. Pamela Marie Buganski
“God is always talking to me when I am in Guatemala.”
Yesterday, Isabel de Bosch, along with Miriam de Contenti, my teacher (Janet) and I went to visit two places that are dear to the heart of Isabel and the foundations with which she is involved.
First the four of us visited a newly constructed building that will become a women´s hospital and clinic in Santa Catarina Polopo near Guatemala City. This new building is located next door to another smaller clinic named Healing Hands. (In case you look it up on google, you will know the difference. I am unsure if and how these two organizations will work together.)
An article was written about our clinic and you can read it at http://www.natmedglobalhealth.org/our-projects/clinic The group that wrote this article wanted to begin working in the new building by January 2012. For a reason that I do not remember, they were unable to actually do this. When Isabel began looking to build a hospital for women, this unfinished building was recommended so that she would not have to start from scratch. She gladly took this opportunity.
The fully constructed building is lovely. It has plenty of electrical outlets and ceiling lights; running water from a clean source; windows; many sinks, toilets and showers; several private exam rooms as well as an operating room; and, places for nurses and doctors to work. I inquired about a kitchen and laundry, but the conversation was interrupted before I got an answer. There is no room for a garden near the hospital at this time. In United States of America, we might take for granted that windows would be a part of a hospital (as well as clean water, bathrooms, etc). In other countries, such as Guatemala, such luxuries cannot be taken for granted.
The building consists of three floors with an elevator and ramps. The first floor is a clinic. The second floor has the operating room and rooms for patients to stay in the hospital as well as places for the medical personnel to work and plan. The rooms for the patients will hold 3 or 4 persons. The third floor is a HUGE open room. The plan is to use this room for education of women and youth regarding health and other topics. I believe that they will find other uses for this room as well.
The building is clean and newly painted but empty. The next phase is to get computers, medical equipment, trained professionals and everything else that would be needed inside the walls to make this project work. A director and a team have been hired to put the hospital together. Isabel and a new foundation are responsible for raising funds to get this to happen. The hope is that the building will be in operation by November 2012. That seemed like a heavy timeline, but the desire to get this going is great and the need to do so is greater. I cannot wait to see the hospital and clinic up and running! I think that this will be a good place for SewHope to send a surgery team in the future.
In case you are confused on people, names and places, this is not the clinic that Dr. Coral Matus and her team are working to build in the Peten with SewHope. Isabel is a friend of SewHope but her projects are separate from those of SewHope at this time. We do, however, work as partners and assist one another as we can.
Sr. Pam Buganski
Sr. Pam joined SewHope as our first American Project Coordinator in 2012