Monday, January 6, 2014

January 2nd, 2014

From one of our current travelers, Hans Stumpf:

There is nothing quite like a smooth cup of Guatemalan coffee on a crisp
bright morning. The TJ crew traversed the steep mountain roads to find San
Juan El Mirador, a small community perched high on a cliff. We stood
breathlessly gazing across a lush green valley to the smoking volcano in
the distance. With our health organizer Vicente at the lead, we worked
along side the women of the community to make an economical shampoo of aloe
and escubillo (a local shrub). Branching off the topic of hygiene, the
students gave a presentation on lice eradication. After gifting shampoo,
nit combs, and the knowledge to use them, the nursing students walked the
brick road further up the mountain to the blossoming community of San
Gregorio. Round two of health teaching touched on pneumonia treatment and
prevention. While the mothers were enjoying the presentation, the children
were treated to an extravagant bead-jewelery workshop. To finish off the
production, the woman were taught how to make Vicks vapor rub using
vaseline, eucalyptus, pine, and pieces of ocotea(a local sappy tree). After
sharing our knowledge with others all day, it was finally our turn to learn
about a Guatemalan style of healing. Evangelina, a local curandera(medicine
woman) opened our minds to the possibilities of spiritual and natural
medicine. Before long we were mesmerized by her awe inspiring anecdotes. In
the end there were many goosebumps and just a few tears accompanying our
eternally grateful applause.

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