Each year the Casa Franciscana Mission provides a “portable” medical mission to the rural communities outside of Guaymas, MX. The undertaking is a joint effort of Casa Franciscana staff, the Franciscan friars from the Province of Santa Barbara who are medical professionals, local volunteer physicians and dentist, countless other volunteers, the local Public Health Department and more. Besides the CFO, the Franciscan Missionary Union (FMU) helps to fund this huge undertaking.
The group traveled to the village of Triunfo de Santa Rosa and the Yaqui village of Guásimas. The people in that area remember well and give thanks for the loving ministry of Fr. Camillus Cavagnero. Over four days in January, the mission provided primary care, basic dental services and health education to 1,118 people. All of this was done without running water or electricity!!
The appreciation of the people served, especially the mothers, was, at times, overwhelming. Imagine seeing your child in pain with no care available?! Imagine yourself having an unrelieved toothache?! We saw untreated injuries, skin diseases, diabetics and other chronic patients with no medication. In some cases, a higher level of treatment could be arranged. In the midst of the work, the pain, and in some cases tears, there were moments of laughter. The poor seem to have an amazing capacity to muster a sense of humor. The love of both the givers and the receivers permeated the air.
An exciting component of the trip was offering prevention with immunizations and teaching such as dental care and diet changes. In areas of poverty, toothpaste is a luxury. The cheapest available foods are not necessarily nutritious. Good health is a challenge. Despite the obstacles, the friars and the CFO continue to work to comfort the pains of the impoverished. Thank you to all who served on the medical mission. God bless you.