Last month, myself and veteran doctors Robyn and Brian Jennings along with their 3 children took a trip out to a new site in Mexico, in the state of Chiapas, to survey a Catholic hospital serving local indigenous populations in Mexico. We were warmly received by Sor. Jose, one of the sisters who has worked in the hospital for many years now, in San Cristobal, Chiapas. After a lovely breakfast with Sor Jose and one of the hospital ambulance drivers, we took the 3-hour car ride through the mountains to Hospital San Carlos in Altamirano, Chiapas, Mexico.
The hospital director, Dr. Gerardo, showed us around Hospital San Carlos, explaining that though there are government hospitals throughout the region, Hospital San Carlos is the only hospital in the area to have nurses that are able to translate from local indigenous languages to Spanish Therefore, indigenous folks sometimes come as far as 10 hours away in order to access the services they provide at Hospital San Carlos.
We spent several days in Altamirano, getting to know the general flow of the hospital and the pueblo as well. We attended daily mass at Parroquia de San Carlos Borromeo with the sisters from the hospital, and ate our meals with the rest of the hospital staff at the hospital cafeteria. We were shown so much hospitality from the sisters, and even met their pet dog, named Nichim, which means flower in Tzotzil, one of the local indigenous languages. At the end of our visit, we spent an afternoon exploring San Cristobal, the nearest city to both Altamirano and the Tuxtla-Guiterrez airport, before flying back to the United States.
We were so excited to witness the wonderful work the doctors, nurses, and administrators do every day at Hospital San Carlos, and feel very excited to announce it as a site that Mission Doctors Association will be continuing to partner with to send both long and short-term doctors.