*UPDATE* News from Tarahumara - Fr. Guillermo Estrada, S.J.

Submitted by Fr. Guillermo Estrada, S.J. - March 2014

The beginning of lent for us is always a “dry season”. The dusty winds and the lack of water announce that spring is near. This year we began drilling a new well on the side of the hospital, since the current one was so deteriorated and in need of repair. So far we’ve been involved in this for more than three weeks, mainly because of the difficulty we’ve had in finding the parts and material needed to substitute the old well; but we are confident that this one will serve us well for many more years to come. Remember, the problem of water in Creel has always been a severe one (to which Fr. Verplancken devoted so much of his time and energy in trying to solve). Our water well project, without a doubt, is so vital to the Hospital and the services we provide.


       Infant Patient at the Clinica                Nurse attending to Infant Patient        Good weather and water for farming

Our school in Rejogochi is always searching for ways to improve its educational standards, and so we’ve been focusing more on the area of agroecology and sustainable food. The children now reinforce their education by learning about how to deal with the very adverse climatic conditions that affect this region. Besides our traditional crops of corn and beans, we’ve have expanded the garden area to include garlic and other vegetables. We have also added on a computer room, thanks to a generous donation we received of used computers.


  Construction of the Playground to be completed mid-2014                  Working on a water well in the local community

These winter months have also brought with them an increase in outpatient and inpatient care at the Hospital. Frequently the beds would be full, sometimes with more adults than ever, primarily due to respiratory problems brought on by the harsh winter cold and the extreme poverty that so many families have to deal with. Fortunately, the cold has subsided a little and the snow we did get will help moisten the ground for future planting. However, the dust and wind, along with the cold brought with them cases of pneumonia and gastrointestinal complications. We have also had some difficulties in establishing a more stable medical team, but we are doing well enough to continue to provide the services that people require. The lack of security in this region, as reported and exaggerated so much in the press, is one of the major factors in dissuading professional medical personnel from coming here. But we are on top of the situation.  The construction of the playground area was on and off during the winter because of the cold weather. We hope to inaugurate it this spring and enjoy seeing the children recreate in a way so important to their physical recovery.

For these and many other things we have accomplished this winter we are grateful, to God and to all of our friends who collaborate with us and generously support us.

Fr. Guillermo Estrada, S.J. - Director

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