The Ana Manganaro Clinic
Almost three hours north outside San Salvador, the capital of El Salvador, a narrow, unkempt road winds its way through the mountains and passes the small, rural town of Guarjila. There you will find a community of survivors.
Their incredible story
The clinic originally started in a small house for basic healthcare after the Salvadorans returned from Honduran refugee camps in October of 1987, despite that the war continued until the Peace Accords were signed on January 16, 1992. With the assistance of Sr. Ana Manganaro and another physician, a system was developed to educate health promoters and midwives. The health promoters originated from the refugee camps and the mountains; 300 were initially trained. In fact, the majority of the current health promoters received their initial hands on training out in the field, during the war. With international donations, Sr. Ana and Fr. Jon Cortina, S.J. (also a civil engineer) designed and built the present clinic, completed in 1990.
The clinic, currently directed by Dr. Dagoberto Menjivar, is truly accessible to all; only a minimal (and waivable) $1 fee is asked for each visit. In fact, willing to travel many miles to receive high-quality and affordable care, some patients come from as far away as Honduras.
The commitment of these health care workers is inspiring; they work hard and serve so many for little monetary compensation. The dedicated clinic staff provides prenatal care and classes for expectant mothers, holds informational sessions throughout the community to discuss disease prevention, makes home visits to inspect drinking water quality, and has implemented a program to provide soy milk to all school children. These are but a few of the ways the clinic engages the population of Guarjila in the formation of a healthy community. And the results are clear: the infant mortality rate in Guarjila is dramatically lower than the national rate, and Guarjila often seems to pass unaffected through national outbreaks of preventable diseases such as malaria and dengue fever.
The Tamarindo Foundation seeks to ensure that the clinic is able to acquire the medications they need, and that the staff members are paid a true living wage. The clinic staff currently pools all salary funds and allocates them based on need. Still, a health promoter may only earn $75/month, which is not enough to support a family.
You can help!
The Tamarindo Foundation is proud to support the Ana Manganaro clinic, and respond to their need. We invite you to partner with us in this effort by making a tax-deductible donation.