Saturday, June 24, 2017

Coletas Voluntarias de Don Sergio

Local Volunteers for Don Sergio

The following is an interview with Edith and Anita given by Ethan. They are local volunteers and come most evenings when they can, Don Sergio trusts them and they trust him. They work together quietly saying very little as everyone knows their place; it's zen-like.

Interviewing Don Sergio's Volunteers - Ethan Hartman
In the great body of every healthcare setting, nurses are the backbones and hearts that keep it running. In the case of Edith and Anita, this is no exception. Both of these young women are coletas, or locals to San Cristobal de las Casas. Together with Don Sergio Castro, they have treated hundreds of wounds, burns, and ulcers of the indigenous and marginalized Mexican people of Chiapas. They have seen numerous people living with pain, needing treatment, dealing with loss, and experiencing recovery.

Anita Torres, Enfermera

Anita: Registered Nurse
Languages spoken: Spanish, Tzeltal, Chol. Learning: English.
Age: 29
Years of school: 3 years of school and one year of service.
Years in practice: 4
Ethan: What inspired you to become a nurse?
Anita: Well, I felt a need to help people, attend to people who need it the most, and provide the appropriate care.
E: What changes have you seen here in the clinic of Don Sergio?
A: It’s difficult to say. There have been so many changes since we started. I’ve been doing this for four years, and I’ve learned so much.
E: What have you learned?
A: Almost everything I know--we know-- (looks towards Edith) we have learned from Don Sergio. School taught us enough, but Sergio taught us the things that are most useful.
E: Wow. So, what are your plans for the future.  
A: Well, I hope to one day work in surgical obstetrics and gynecology.
E: That takes such dedication, I really admire that drive. I could never handle those hours.
A: Of course! You really have to love it or else it’s not worth the time commitment. Me, I just love to clean and debride wounds.

Edith Jimenez, estudiante de enfermera.
Edith: Student of nursing
Languages spoken: Spanish. Learning: English.
Age: 21
Current year: Second year.
Expected graduation date: July 2020  
Ethan: What inspired you to get into medicine?
Edith: Well, I would have to say the same as Anita. I just wanted to help people. I saw a lot of people who needed help. You know, out in the communities there are not many doctors and the people who live in those communities are the ones that need the most help. I would like to work in those areas that really have nothing, so I can make a difference.
Ethan: How long have you been working with Sergio and what have you learned?
Edith: I’ve been working with him about 3 years. Just like Anita, I’d say I learned most of what I know from him.
Ethan: You had told me that you wanted to go into surgery as well. Were you thinking of general surgery?
Edith: Yes! ….well no… (everyone laughs)…actually I am really interested in Cardiology. I may actually go back to medical school eventually for that.
Ethan: That is outstanding.
Edith: Thank you! So what do you want to specialize in? General medicine?
Ethan: Emergency medicine.

From there we discuss the proper pronunciation of “Emergency room” in both English and Spanish, and we laugh at each other’s’ accents throughout the rest of the evening.

As I think back to the times I have come to San Cris, I am always impressed with these young women. These women have strong minds and even stronger hearts that are capable of overflowing with compassion for other people. As I meditate on the future of this long-term project, I can see that these girls are going to carry the torch of change they wish to see in the world.  

Ethan Hartman

Ethan Hartman is my nephew who was accepted to University of Central Florida Medical School in Orlando Florida, he will be starting this August. This is his 3rd trip here and he usually stays a week or two longer after I leave.  Being their contemporary (they are all in their 20s) they all enjoy each other's company and learn from each other. It is my hope they continue to build a bridge that benefits them, Don Sergio and especially the people of the Highlands of Chiapas.

Posted by Patricia Ferrer.

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