Destination #4 on our Pandemic Virtual Tour of El Salvador: Dulce Nombre de María
|Welcome to the mountains of Chalatenango|
At the time, we were overwhelmed - quite overwhelmed. In our quest to learn as much as we could about the Salvadoran public healthcare system, we traveled every day for a month by car and and by truck, we climbed up volcanoes and trudged through ravines, we were welcomed into exam rooms, pharmacies, labs and lunchrooms in big clinics and small outposts, we weighed babies and comforted elders, we combated zancudos (mosquitoes), and we were blown away by the enormous work load which public health doctors, nurses and health promoters complete, day in and day out.
This story is not about the work we witnessed or the tiny work we did. This story is about a day of fun we had in the midst of the work. And as I think about telling the tale of a misty day spent in a beautiful place named Dulce Nombre de María (Sweet Name of Mary), I cannot proceed without expressing gratitude. Throughout much of our crazy travel, Oscar was our driver. Oscar was our protector, our tour guide off the beaten path, and our history teacher when we were clueless. So, shout out to Oscar!
|Just another day on the road with Oscar.|
Our trek up to Chalatenango was made possible by Pastor Guadalupe and Pastor Lety. I had forgotten, until I pulled out my journal, that they had arranged a visit for us in a public health clinic in Nueva Concepción. We also walked with the pastors in the communities which surround the church (which at that time was a vacant piece of land). As is true at times in most Lutheran Church communities, we could only walk so far due to situations of violence. At the end of our day, Pastor Guadalupe found us a nice little hotel and Pastor Lety accompanied us to a restaurant for dinner. The next morning, they sent us off to a nearby tourist destination: Dulce Nombre de María.
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