Day of Health in the Banana Fincas

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visitpuertoarmuelles.comIt takes three months to organize this annual one day event held in the remote and impoverished banana fincas of Baru. Day of Health is a collaboration of Puerto’s own Diputado Nacional (National Representative) Carlos Motta, the Senafront (Border Patrol), MINSA (Ministry of Health), and the Red Cross.

I had the opportunity to join Carlos Motta at this year’s Day of Health, which took place on August 20th, 2016. The event was held at the Escuela Finca Lechoza from 8am to 2pm. We had to drive down a muddy dirt road into the remote fincas while passing people walking or riding their bikes, many with families that included small children, on their trek to receive an annual medical check-up, dental care, and other much needed care or supplies.

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Carlos Motta is Puerto’s representative at the “Asamblea Nacional de Panama” and he has a sincere passion for his home town of Puerto Armuelles. His office coordinates the annual charity event, headed up by his assistant, Yarisell Gaitan. Both arrived early and stayed for the entire day, making sure everything ran smoothly and talking with as many of the people attending as they could throughout the day. The event was well organized. There was a check-in line, food & drinks were being passed out, and each of the services that were being offered were well marked with signs next to the classroom doors they were held in.

I was told that about 1200 attendees received various benefits during the day’s event. All services, clothes, food, and products were donated and provided for those who attended at no cost to them. This is quite a feat, when you see the scope of what was offered. It takes many people and months of coordinating to make this day go smoothly. The organizers are already collecting items for next year! If you have anything to donate or would like to get involved as a volunteer, please…

Contact Yarisell at ygaitan@asamblea.gob.pa or call office:770-8014 or Cell:6983-2284.

 

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The free services being offered included:

  • visitpuertoarmuelles.comFarmacia (Pharmacy)
  • Pediatria (Pediatric)
  • Medico General (General Medicine)
  • Enfermeria (Nursing)
  • Ginecologia (Gynecology, including PAP tests)
  • Nutricion (Nutrition classes)
  • Odontologia (Dentistry)
  • Comida (Food & drinks)
  • Clothing of all sizes
  • Vaccinations for Pets
  • Senafront was even giving haircuts!

This outreach program is designed to reach the farthest banana fincas, which were left abandoned by Chiquita Banana Company when they pulled out. Most of the farmers are unemployed and many now live a life of poverty. It seems that most of them find a way to the Day of Health event are are very grateful for the services and care they are given. Please call or email to get involved if there is any way you can help with next year’s event – it’s not too early! Yarisell at 6983-2284

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See more photos by clicking here: Day of Health Photos

 

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