On the Scene Reports
The 2010 St. Andrew El Salvador Mission
Day 2: April 6th, 2010

On Tuesday, part of the team, Guillermo, Rich and Rick, acting in their capacities for USA New Horizons, visited the Benjamin Bloom Children’s Hospital in San Salvador, the only children’s hospital in the country. It also serves children from Nicaragua and Honduras. They met with Dr. Antonio Bonilla, a plastic surgeon who spends most of his time and efforts treating young burn victims. The team was also able to arrange a meeting with the Hospital’s Director and the Chief Oncologist and Chief Neurologist. They reviewed USA Horizon’s mission of partnering with Med-Share and other organizations to bring much needed medical equipment and supplies into El Salvador. The Hospital, thanks to the generosity of a benefactor from Texas, has a new Burn Unit nearing completion of construction. The team outlined USA New Horizons’ plans to finance a shipment of equipment and supplies to the Hospital, and engaged in some preliminary planning with the Director, Dr. Bonilla and his colleagues as to how that could most benefit the new Burn Unit and the Hospital’s other needs.

Guillermo, Rich and Rick also visited the headquarters of FUSAL, an El Salvador NGO which, among other things, receives and distributes donated medical equipment and supplies throughout the country, and recently initiated a program to address the problem of malnutrition in the country’s infants and children.

A young burn patient being treated in the Hospital. Due to lack of equipment and an adequate facility, the Hospital is currently only able to provide care to burn victims of the nature and type dating back to the early 1900s.

Dr. Bonilla, with one of his assistants, shows Guillermo and Rich the new Hospital’s new Burn Unit which is nearing completion.

Tuesday, Day 2 in El Salvador, was our first day on the job site. With or without the container there is plenty to do in the village so we had no problem staying busy today. Most of the day was spent preparing to lay one final small section of the concrete base the playground is going to sit on. Once we determined exactly where the slab needed to be we dug the holes for the footings and built the form. Below you can see a picture of the job site. On the right-hand side is where we are placing the final piece of concrete.

Victor Hunter and Robert Bernard worked on a drainage system for the area that surrounds the playground. While they were doing that other members of the team were moving gravel and digging holes.

We were treated to lunch today by the village Board of Directors. We had either chicken or beef and a nice side of rice. After we finished eating we went around the table and each member of the board and each member of the St. Andrew team introduced themselves. It was nice to spend some time with some old friends and to get to meet some new ones as well.

Lots of members of the village came to help out today. Lidia, the President of the village Board of Directors was around all day. When she wasn’t coordinating lunch for us she was helping out on the job site.

While our team and a group of the villagers are working on the foundation for the playground, there is a group of villagers that has been hired by the local Mayor’s office to build a retaining wall around the community center property, where the playground will be located. The wall is a tremendous undertaking and we are very thankful and appreciative that the Mayor’s office has volunteered to take on that section of the project.

We returned to Agape in the late afternoon where we had a team meeting to wrap up the day. On our way over to the restaurant for dinner we ran into a group from World Vision that had just arrived at the hotel. We invited them to join us for dinner and really enjoyed meeting a group that was doing similar work in El Salvador.

Our meeting with the pump engineer has been moved to Wednesday and we also have a meeting scheduled with the Mayor of Armenia. In the morning we are going to go on a tour of the village and revisit the school and classroom we built.

Thank you all for your continued support. Hasta mañana.

If you have any questions or comments please feel free to send them to [email protected]. Any comments you send will be shared with the whole team.

Thank you all for your support and we hope you enjoy following along with our journey.