A Memorable Experience

by Ed Bloomer

On our fifth day in Chiapas, Mexico, we got up at 4:30 AM for breakfast and left by van for Alta Mirano in the highlands of Chiapas. This is a hospital run by the Sisters of St. Vincent de Paul and mostly native Mayan Indians come for treatment. In this hospital, the native people are treated with dignity and love. Because they are very poor, they are welcome. Treatment along with medications are given even when they have no money to pay. Sor Maite, the nun in charge, welcomed us and gave us a tour of the hospital. She says there is much need, and that they are very much indebted to the doctors employed there and those who volunteer. We were shown the hospitality house for families who stay near by while a loved one is being treated in the hospital. They travel for long distances to get here and must stay until the patient can go home. The area is a large dormitory where families can spend time and prepare meals, shower and sleep. The native people speak Tzeltal and maybe some Spanish and feel more comfortable here than at the state-run hospital. Also we were able to visit the new hospital being constructed three blocks down the road. It is a solid structure with modern design. It will be a Godsend for the area. After our tour, they prepared lunch for us and we had some good conversation. We then said our good-byes and headed back to San Cristobal. I would like to talk about Habitat for Humanity which has an office in SYJAC Center. This center also houses a daycare center, sewing co-op and Richard Flamer's woodworking shop. With good leadership, grants, and donations, Habitat is able to construct good, solid houses from basically concrete blocks and cement floors. God bless their work and may it really take off for the people in the hills as well as in the cities. My ten days in Chiapas were a revelation to see so many people united as a community struggle each day for a loaf of bread and not able to afford even an aspirin. They are certainly God's chosen people who each passing day try to sneak out of Egypt to the Promised Land of North America. Please, please support SYJAC and all the projects with many, many prayers and money.