EL Salvador Mission of Healing

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2/25/2019 Deb & Bob Adams  2019 Family Wellness Fair/Mission of Healing 

(MARCH 2018)
Dear French River Friends,
We are back and recovering/getting organized after 2 great weeks in El Salvador.  There will be a daily summary report coming, but for now we can tell you about what we each did during the Misión de Sanación/Ferias de Bienestar Familiars (Mission of Healing/Family Wellness Fairs).  We had fun and fellowship!  This are what those of us who are FRLC friends did:
Jenny Buckley was the teacher of the charla about healthy moms and babies.  It focused on nutrition when you’re pregnant, the importance of keeping clinic visits and delivering in the hospital and the benefits of breast feeding.  She also addressed some of the myths around pregnancy and post-partum.  The premio at her charla was prenatal vitamins, something lacking in nearly all the public health clinics in El Salvador.
Jenny Buckley taught a charla about healthy moms and babies during pregnancy and nursing.  It included some myths that are common in ES and why they’re not best practice.  The premio at her charla was prenatal vitamins, which are not commonly available at Salvadoran clinics.
Deb Adams, RN, FNP led a charla about breast health.  She covered some very basic information about breast cancer and focused on breast self-exam (BSE), an important component of early detection.  The importance of annual mammograms or ultrasounds was also stressed.  A practice breast provided by the Pink Ribbon Boutique in Chippewa Falls was very popular.  The premio was a card with review photos of how to perform BSE and an exam for those requesting one.
Of course, we also distributed Days for Girls kits as part of a  menstruation charla.  We estimate about 300 were distributed and 63 left for the micro-enterprise at Los       Héroes to use.
The above charlas were all part of the Women’s Area of the fair.  Men were discouraged from attending as much as space allowed.   Other charlas in this area were: Menopause, and HIV/STI prevention.                         
Bob Adams taught a charla about men’s health, which was new this year.  Most of the health care system in El Salvador focuses on maternal/child health.  He covered benign prostatic hypertrophy and prostate cancer.  The men were amazed that the symptoms they were experiencing were not only common but normal in many cases.  The premios were bandanas and pens.  The other charla in the Men’s Health area was HIV/STI prevention. 
We thank you for your support, prayers and love for the people of El Salvador!  ¡La Paz sea con ustedes!
Bob and Deb Adams, Jenny Buckley

Areas of Healing Available in 2017

  1. Welcome and Registration Table:  Passports and red bags given, offering received.
  2. Spiritual Healing, 3 charlas: Prayer, hand massage, reflexology
  3. Healing and the Arts, 3 charlas: Music, crafts/coloring for children and adults
  4. Mental Health, 3 charlas: Psycho-social care, stress management activity, adult games (chess, checkers, dominoes)
  5. Healing Plants: Plants and education by local residents
  6. My Beautiful Body, 3 charlas: Height & weight, Hand-washing, beauty salon if available.  Parasite treatment given when appropriate.
  7. Breast health
  8. Sexual and Reproductive Health, 6 charlas: Menstruation facts, Mom and Baby (prenatal vitamins given when appropriate), Baby diarrhea, Menopause, STI/HIV prevention (condoms given), Mosquito-borne illness prevention.
  9. Diabetes
  10. Cardiovascular health
  11. Mouth Health: tooth brushes given
  12. Reading Glasses
  13. Lab: blood glucose, urinalysis and urine pregnancy
  14. Migration
  15. Educational materials station and wheel game
  16. First Aid: band aids given.
  17. Care by members of local health department depending on availability
  18. Final table: Proper use of medications, acetaminophen for adults and children.
US Participants in the 2017 Mission of Healing
Name Role
Adams, Bob Mouth Health Charla
Adams, Deb, NP Breast Health Charla
Holty, Susan Reflexology (working with Sonia and Pastor Francisco, training others)
Juedes, Amanda Children’s Area (working with a couple of local youth)
Klink, Chris, RPh Mesa Final/ med teaching
Koss, Diane, med tech Lab
Mohr, Carol, RN Heart Charla (Julie translating)
Moore, Linda, RN Hands & Hygiene Charla (flexible – working with health dept)
Muth, Linda Menopause Charla
Muth, Tim Mesa Final
Singers, Richella, RN Mom and Baby Charla (working with Lídixe’s friend who is doing a baby diarrhea talk)
Winter, Loren Stress Craft, Music(also floater for games & music)
Winter, Louise, DNP Diabetes Charla
Summary: Mission of Healing/Feria de Bienestar Familiar Northern Micro-Region
1 – 15 February, 2017

 1 Feb:       The advance team, Bob & Deb Adams, Susan Holty, Diane Koss, arrived and was met by Linda Muth, who was already in ES.  We checked in to Hotel Villa Real and unpacked and organized the supplies we had brought and the ones that were stored in the bodega at Concordia.  Our first delicious Salvadoran dinner was at Concordia. 

 2 Feb:       In the AM we met at Concordia with the Salvadoran pastors and assistants in whose communities the fairs would be held.  They were very well organized with plans for their communities and had enlisted much help from the local health departments as well as the local mayor’s offices.  Linda and Deb went with Pastor Martina to visit Spirit of Joy Lutheran Church in Brises de Valle to see the location for that fair.  The other 3 advance team members worked at the hotel organizing and assembling supplies.  We had dinner and did more work at the hotel.
3 Feb:         More organizing and discarding of things that were no longer useful.  We made a kit for each pastor in the North of items that could be used for Sunday School activities (photo). In the afternoon we visited the art museum which was very nice.  On the same grounds is the national theater where they were preparing for a big event.  Dinner was at Las Fajitas Restaurant.  We did more assembly of Days for Girls kits and bagged the prenatal vitamins after dinner.  Tim Muth was part of the team, also.  

 4 Feb:         Linda went to the airport to meet the incoming team members while the rest of us did some preparations for our sister parish visit the next day and then did some shopping at the near-by mall.  After the group arrived, we did some unpacking and reorganizing of the suitcases they brought; then went to Las Planes for pupusas and great views of the city of San Salvador.

5 Feb:         Sister parish visits were made in the AM to Héroes en la Fe and Manantiales del Desierto, the two churches who had team members that are partners.  We had time for a short walk in the community before lunch with our partners.  In the afternoon we returned to the hotel to finish organizing ourselves and our supplies for the fairs starting the next day.

6 Feb:             Our mini-feria day at Fe y Esperanza.  US team members did our charlas (small teaching sessions) and demonstrations for the Salvadoran team members.  The goals were to teach them from our areas of expertise and demonstrate how to hold a fair as well as learn from them how we could improve.   After the charlas were finished, Bob and Richella did demonstrations on how to sew the shields and liners for the Days for Girls kits.*  About 40 people attended the mini-feria.  After lunch we returned to the hotel to prepare for the 3 days of bigger fairs.  Each fair day started with opening worship/devotions led by a pastor.  A list of the charlas we had available some or all days follows this report.

7 Feb:             Spirit of Joy Lutheran Church in Brises de Valle.  Our first full day of Feria de Bienestar Familiar went very well!  We had charlas in the sanctuary, 2 rooms behind the sanctuary, under canopies outside, and on the covered cancha (soccer field).  There was a lot of participation by the Unidad de Salud in Guazapa, the Cruz Roja and the mayor’s office.  They helped with many of the charlas and did some that were unique to this day due to the large number of helpers that were sent (explanation of pelvic exams and importance of Pap smears for example).  Nearly every charla included a premio or small gift to put in the red bags. The various charlas were well received by the people attending, and they had a good time, making it seem like a real fair! 

8 Feb: Chacalcoyol, Chaletenango.  We left San Salvador very early to travel north to Chaletenango and arrived in Chacalcoyol about 9 AM.  There were canopies set up on the cancha to provide shade. Some of us were able to move during the day to try and take advantage of the shade, as it was hot there.  The Unidad de Salud in Nueva Concepción sent people to help, including at least two doctors, who were able to provide on-site consultations for some people with new or ongoing diagnoses.  Once again, people were very receptive to the information they received.  The Days for Girls kits were very popular everywhere!  At the end of the fair, we checked into the Hotel Villa Flor in Nueva Concepción & walked to Los Primos, a near-by restaurant, for dinner.
 9 Feb:             Las Minas, Chaletenango.  Our last fair was done at the school in Las Minas, which didn’t have school that day in celebration of our visit.  There were 2 separate buildings of classrooms to use and shady outdoor space as well.  This made for excellent spacing of the charlas to avoid too much noise in each area.  Nearly the entire small community turned out for the fair and seemed to enjoy it.  It should be noted that we were fed very well each day and that there was plenty of security provided by the local civil and/or military police.  Natural medicine was a popular charla. We served about 450 people in the 3 full days of fairs, judging from the number who registered and received passport cards and red bags for their premios.  Some people registered as families, so the actual number attending may have been higher.  We returned to the Hotel Villa Flor for the night.
10 Feb:           We traveled to La Palma in the AM for our “tourist” day in the birthplace of the La Palma style art developed by Fernando Llort.  We left our luggage at the Hotel La Palma and walked to Semilla de Dios, the artisan coop using Llort designs.  We had a tour of the workshop, which sends its work all over the world.  There was a large order of nesting tables destined for Canada.                      
We had lunch and time to walk around the town square and, of course, to shop at the market before returning to the hotel to check in and board our bus to go farther north toward the border with Honduras.  We stopped in the town squares and visited the churches in Citalá and San Ignacio and also stopped at the Rio Lempa not far from its source which is in Honduras. Villa Café in San Ignacio was a stop for refreshing coffee and fruit drinks. Dinner was at Las Pilas de San Ignacio, a campground with a swimming pool owned by a friend of our driver, Rafael. He was also the one who led the tour toward Honduras for us.  After we returned to the hotel, we had a brief evaluation session.  Notes from that and other input are in a separate report. 

11 Feb:           We spent the morning in La Palma and then returned to San Salvador to our “home away from home”, Hotel Villa Real, stopping in El Paisnal for a visit to the Rutilio Grande Memorial and burial site.  We sorted left-over supplies and designated them either for donations to local clinics or to Northern Micro-region pastors, or to be stored in the bodega for next year.   
 12 Feb:           The main group left for home in the AM, leaving 6 of us as post-team.  Our first stop was the new Monument to Reconciliation, celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Peace Accords which ended the Civil War. It is amazing!  (See the picture, above.) Then we traveled to the Cerro Verde Volcano Park where we took a walking tour of the forest that has grown in the caldera of the volcano.  It was cool and refreshing as well as interesting.  Our guide Josué was very knowledgeable.  Cerro Verde is the middle of 3 volcanoes with Izalco and Santa Ana on either side.  From the volcano were beautiful views of Lake Coatepeque, and that’s where we went from the park.  We traveled down a bumpy dirt road to reach the restaurant Las Palmeras where we had dinner overlooking the lake.  The property on the lake belongs to the wealthy who are not anxious to have outside visitors – at least the poor road gives that impression.
13 Feb:           Lake Ilopongo.  We had a wonderful, calm boat ride on Lake Ilopongo from the lakeside community Apulo around the lake to the former Lutheran Church refugee camp.  The brothers, Pablo and Ruben welcomed us.  They have been living in and caring for the property since the war.  We saw the new guest house that will soon be ready for guests (bathrooms in progress) and the new casita for the men who live there.  After a hike up the rough trail to a beautiful vista of the lake, the men sang for us.  They wrote the songs themselves based on reading the Bible, and one even included the chapter and verse references.  We returned to Apulo for lunch in one of the new restaurants; then to the hotel late in the afternoon
 14 Feb:           El día del San Valentín – Valentine’s Day.  While Loren and Louise went with a driver to see sites in San Salvador, Bob, Linda, Deb & Pr. Gloria visited the health departments where we’ll have fairs next year to share some small gifts and tell them about the Days for Girls kits we’ll be bringing. They were happy to work with us next year and excited about the DFG kits! Bob, Deb, Loren and Louise had dinner Valentine’s night at Clavo y Canela, one of our favorite restaurants near the hotel.  Loren and Louise left the next morning to return to the US, and the 2017 Misiones de Sanación/Ferias de Bienestar Familiar were officially over.  Time to start planning for 2018!


Distritio Italia