Our team visited the remote, rural community of El Socorro. Our Communications Coordinator, Pedro Cortez, shares his personal reflection below.
Discovering the path of community development in the mountains of Nicaragua.
“I have always thought that getting to know a person takes more than just a glance. Observing someone requires patience and empathy to discover how life has treated them and why they walk, talk, and see others in a certain way.
Last week, we went to El Socorro, located in northern Nicaragua, about 6 hours from the AMOS office in Managua in a vehicle. Although I was excited to see the mountains, talk to the people in the community and have a steaming cup of coffee, I never imagined how much I would learn from the efforts of the families in El Socorro and the warmth they welcomed me with in every kind word and handshake.
While I was visiting the community, I experienced how inequities often prevent people from dreaming or living a healthy life because of all the challenges they face starting at birth just to meet their basic needs: mothers carrying their babies through impassable roads, crossing entire communities –sometimes through rivers and climbing steep hills– to get needed medicines, children helping in the field because their families can’t afford to send them to high school in another community, families drinking from unsafe water sources, and getting ready to sleep just when the sun is about to set because there is no electricity.
Despite everything, I could see hope everywhere. The community members have organized their lives to focus on building a better community. That’s why they have people ready to take action when an emergency occurs. Also, as I met 2-year-old Selson and his family, who welcomed us with open arms in one of the highest parts of the mountains, I learned how important it is for every child to have good health, so they can dream and grow; and how women organize themselves to work at home and in the field to provide for their families and help others when possible.
In Isaac’s smile I found what motivates him to serve. Spending the whole week with him allowed me to see beyond the health promoter I find in facebook posts. He is a man dedicated to his family and community, who walks for hours to care for vulnerable patients and who has become a key leader for the benefit of El Socorro.
Issac and the health committee know that it is almost impossible to stop everything threatening their community’s wellbeing, but they develop strategies to address them. That is why, although not always everything goes well, they persevere. They are the kind of people who give you life lessons through their stories and making hope happen in the mountains, building roads of love and care and materializing their hope for the near future in fewer maternal deaths, more consultations for children and the elderly, and a community bridge built with the effort of everyone in the community, to make sure the river does not stop patients from getting emergency care when needed.”
~ Pedro Cortez, AMOS Communications Coordinator