AMATENANGO DEL VALLE
CHIAPAS, MEXICO PHASE 2
THE POWER OF GRASS ROOTS INITIATIVES AND A STRONG SENSE OF COMMUNITY WERE MANIFESTED IN THIS PROJECT
To complete the training, Phase II in Chiapas,
6 days of class and clinic.
The Wu Project Team
Maria Romero AP and Alicia Villamarin PhD AP
None for the Wu Team but the Amatenango del Valle’s women’s community organized a rotation of volunteers that provided housing and meals for the participants.
The Local Team in San Cristobal de las Casas
The training was relocated to Amatenango del Valle, (a rural indigenous community located about 1 hour by car from San Cristobal de las Casas) coordinated and arranged by our student health promoter and social worker Maria Bautista.
They helped with the local logistics of the training: invited the students and arranged for the venue where the classes were being held, housed and provided all the meals for all the students and teachers.
Acumarket, LhasaOm and Acutonics.
We also received a small amount of money donations. For this mission, we did not carry out a full fund rising campaign but relied on personal connections to raise the funds.
We expected to have almost all of the 25 students back for phase 2 plus 2 students from the Guatemala training. But only 10 returned the first 2 days plus 3 more joined us the last few days. The organizers had a hard time contacting the participants in a timely fashion. Unfortunately, local politics got in the way preventing 3 of the students from attending the training.
We taught the second part of the curriculum: review of the Phase I, continuation with the 8 extraordinary vessels, introduction of Korean Hand Acupuncture KHT and conducted an open to the public student clinic. We started the class by asking the students to present case studies and to tell us all about their experience using what they learned.
To our delight, ALL but 2 of them had been using their new skills frequently and with great success. They related very interesting, well presented, well thought out and well diagnosed cases. We used those presentations to initiate discussions about different topics related to the teachings, to deepen the knowledge. The discussions were lively with intelligent and deep reasoning.
The student clinic was well attended and the flow of patients worked well. The students showed us their skills in time management, diagnosis and application of the therapies. Their bedside manners, respect and compassion for the patients were superb.
The trainers, Maria Romero and Alicia Villamarin, feel that the mission was a success. We found the students thoroughly involved with the teachings, highly motivated and grateful for our efforts. Our relationship with them deepened and moved to a personal level. We admired the dedication and the efforts they had made to treat their neighbors, family and friends. They treat them free of charge and after they have had a full day of work. These students are hard working farmers, construction workers, community activists, some are health workers and they are successfully integrating the teachings in their work. We talked at length about establishing community clinics and ways to make their practice sustainable and how to avoid burnout.
A beautiful result of the class is the close relationships that developed among the students. From these relationships projects and ideas develop. For instance, one of the projects that came out of the class was the set up of a free clinic in a reception center for immigrants traveling from Guatemala (the area is close to the border with Guatemala). Another project is to make a “traditional local herbal recipe book”, most of the students have some knowledge of traditional herbal therapy and we will put it all together in a book.
We are looking forward to continuing our relationship with this community and to collaborate with them in future projects.