The day began with an hours-long trip in the car, as many days do in Bolivia and other developing countries where Cross Catholic supports projects for the poor in the name of Christ. Many times, the poorest of the poor live in the most remote areas, far away from the eyes of society.
We climbed higher and higher into the mountains outside Cochabamba. The scenery became increasingly more desolate and stark. Mountains jutted into the sky; dust rolled behind our vehicle.
Finally we reached one of two outposts of the Cross Catholic-supported San Lucas Rural Health Project. The clinic, nestled into a remote mountain community, provides surprisingly modern health care: dentistry, prenatal care, immunizations, birthing assistance, emergency response, pharmacy services, diagnosis, and referrals.
We met Noemi and her 5-month-old daughter, Ingrid. Noemi had brought Ingrid to the clinic to participate in their monitoring program. Babies are weighed, measured, and checked for any health problems regularly and their progress is tracked. Any issues, such as malnutrition, are spotted and treated early on.
“I find it very beneficial,” Noemi said. “I hope it brings good health for my daughter.”
For poor families in the mountains, this clinic is a literal life-saver. Other clinics are at minimum an hour away by car (and many hours by foot). With the quality doctors and dentists provided by Cross Catholic and our generous benefactors, the San Lucas Rural Health Project has the trained staff it needs to bring quality care to the poorest of the poor.
Read Part II: A Day at San Lucas Rural Health Project on Thursday to learn about some of the families we visited in their homes—and hear the miraculous stories of how the clinic helped save their lives.