If you see a few new faces around in the next few days, it’s liable to be some of the medical staff who are gathering for the third annual free medical clinic, staged by Friends of Barron, over in our neighboring town of Barron.
In order of arrival, we have Eric and Angie, from Portland, Oregon. Eric is Bill and Janes’s son and both he and Angie are nurses. Eric will be running EKGs on Barron residents over 50 and Angie will be triaging and treating patients as well as conducting metabolic data collection.
Arriving tomorrow are Lenny and Barb; nurse Barb is a veteran of former clinics and Lenny is a newcomer. A naturalized citizen, born in Bolivia, Lenny has experience administering the dental arts and is, more importantly, fluent in both English and Spanish. Rounding out the field will be two physicians from Connecticut, Dr. Ong and Dr. Chang. Ong is a osteopod and Chang is an emergency room physician. Their sons, both 16, will have quite an introduction to second world medicine as they assist at the clinic, filing papers and running errands.
Everyone is volunteering their time to attend this three-and-a half day clinic, conducted over a period of four days. The focus of this year’s clinic has shifted, as most things do, to concentrate on advanced metabolic disease and chronic illnesses that are not now being addressed by the health facilities that are available to this truly isolated population.
Barron is the last ejido in Mexico to submit to government regulation and allow federal surveyors access to properly survey the town. Completion of this task will enhance economic development. Why the elders chose to pursue that particular course of protectionist inaction is unknown. But now, most of them have died and their sons have a different outlook, a progressive outlook.
Barron now has one of only four high schools in rural Sinaloa with internet access, thanks to the efforts of people like Joe and Berenice, Dale and Lynda and Dick McGuire. This is also due, in part, to the dedication of a selection of EDM residents who have supported students in their academic careers. (They are recognized by name on the website, FOBNews.org). While it’s true, not everyone in the program succeeds, our sucess rate has increased drastically over the past two years. Today, most of our graduating high school scholarship students go on to universities or advanced vocational training. Friends of Barron and the good people of EDM have allowed these kids to dream for the first time in family history.
What Friends of Barron has done is awaken the youth of Barron to the existence of a portal out of the Barron subculture that has here-to-for trapped even its best and brightest. The kids coming up now can grab the glimmer of hope that ignites a future that does not involve picking chilies.
So be proud of what Estrella del Mar, its residents and FOB management have done to open the eyes of the newly emerging Barron. A sincere thank you must go out to all involved, and you know who you are. But, there remains much work to be done. The Mexican government will contribute only in-kind to the effort to build a medical clinic on barton; Barron must come up with the other part. FOB intends to help Barron meet this obligation. They aren’t shouldering the whole load, just a piece of it in the effort to alleviate the dire medical needs of the community that is our closest neighbor.
In this effort, they need your help. The funds raised by the recent EDM Charity Golf tournament went towards equipping the high school with a computer lab. Friends of Barron now intends to equip the medical clinic with appropriate technology, consistent with its proximity to existing medical facilities. And this task will take money.
To serve this end, Friends of Barron is planning two upcoming events that are intended to knock your socks off (or your wallet free). Preferably both. Watch this space. And have a great summer.