In preparation for the launch, Dr. Rico from Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara’s PMC (Community Medicine Program) and I conducted a needs assessment for the villages in the Ojuelos Municipality. There is one small clinic in La Granja which serves 6-8 communities. This clinic is only open one day a month and is staffed by a medic.
Each of the communities has anywhere from 300-800 people, so this clinic is quite busy when it is open. Dr. Rico and I have decided to train about 10 promotoras to begin with, in the villages of La Granja, Salitrillo and Los Morenitos. Since there is a problem with malnutrition among the children, we will be establishing school and community gardens her
We were fortunate enough to travel with two people who know this area very well. One was Eva who is the adult education coordinator for the area. It is her job to give opportunities to the adults in the communities to complete primary and secondary school. She also trains the teachers at the schools so they are knowledgeable on how to teach adults. The other friend was Carmen, who lives nearby in La Presa. She will likely be our Supervising Promotora. She grew up and continues to live in the area and knows most of the people and their needs. We are very fortunate to have the benefit of their local expertise!
This is the first of many Notes from the Field. Dr. Rico and I visited a number of communities in the Ojuelos Municipality (like a county in the U.S.). We settled on three closely cluster communities: La Granja (The Farm), Los Morenitos, and Salitrillos. These villages are remotely situated in the Altos of Jalisco. Altos are the foothills or mountains of the State of Jalisco, in the far northeastern part of the state. From Guadalajara, it was about a four to five hour drive. The last hour of the drive was slow going on bumpy roads. We left Guadalajara quite early in the morning in order to have enough time to do our Needs Assessment of the villages.
The area used to employ many people in copper, gold and silver mines, but most of the mines have panned out. Most of the men have left for work in the U.S., while their wives take care of the families and try their hand at farming. They grow corn and beans and raise goats, pigs and chickens. The land is very rocky and arid, so productive farming is difficult here. Some of the pictures below give a good idea why it is so hard to farm. I will be posting more from this trip soon, so check back!
Here is a little information about Ojuelos, Jalisco.
ASU Magazine’s latest issue featured an article, “On Their Way to the Top: Young Alumni Showcase Talent, Promise“. The article highlighted Laura Libman as one of the talented alumni.
Here is a map of Jalisco and its location in Mexico. It will help you orient yourself on where our current projects are.
The communities of El Reparo and Tamaliagua are located near Sayula, Jalisco . On the Google Earth satellite map below, you will see Sayula. These two communities are in near the mountains next to Sayula
Our next set of communities will be near Ojuelos, Jalisco, the red area on the map. The Google Earth image below shows the town of Ojuelos. The next launch will be in the villages outside of the town, near the mountains.