San Antonio de las Huertas
After we had accepted that the kidney donated to Maricela by her mother three years ago had stopped working, and she had to return to the regular dialysis sessions, thanks to the recommendation of a doctor friend and of the Asociación Ale, we succeeded in having Maricela accepted as a patient at the National Nutrition Institute. We were very impressed with the extraordinary quality—and friendliness—of the service at this prestigious institution, in frank contrast with certain IMSS clinics, where Indigenous people, like our Mazahua friends, instead of receiving treatment often face a grotesque bureaucracy that makes their lives almost impossible. While for the time being Maricela has to attend dialysis sessions three times a week at the IMSS hospital in Toluca, her treatment is being supervised by the doctors from the Nutrition Institute with a view to a new kidney transplant in the future. Meanwhile, the largest problem facing the Sánchez family lies in the excessive transport costs they cannot afford. The three trips per week to the dialysis sessions alone cost 550 pesos each, since Maricela finishes so late in the evening that there is no public transport, meaning she must take a taxi to her village to be able to go to school the following morning. She has to attend school because if she stops studying she loses her right to IMSS treatment. Meanwhile, the IMSS clinic in Atlacomulco, which the Sánchez family are assigned to by where they live, and the clinic in Toluca, where the doctor in charge of Maricela’s treatment is based, have the family trapped in a ridiculous back-and-forth of papers and stamps in order to a) obtain a transport allowance and b) obtain a disability exemption for Maricela. However, each trip to Atlacomulco costs 250 pesos (more than double the promised allowance) and each trip to Toluca costs 150 pesos. Evidently, the family is unable to cover these costs, and the Foundation is supporting them in this.
B) Other activities in San Antonio
Our most important activity in San Antonio last year involved the organization and facilitation of the provision of water tanks and cisterns at a very accessible price. Having established this contact, we offered the town’s families the opportunity to acquire the tanks in exchange for a small deposit. The Foundation covered the cost of the tanks and transport, and the families could pay for it in installments, according to their possibilities. The offer was enthusiastically accepted by 90 families, who are now responsibly paying their installments. A total of 97 water tanks and 6 cisterns with capacities of 1200 liters and 2800 liters respectively were delivered in time to take advantage of the rainy season—which provides very clean water in this remote mountain region—and complement their precarious water supply.
As well as this action, we continue to support the weavers, and the mushroom production, which during the winter season is slower due to the cold at this height.
Chronic Disease Hospital in Tepexpan
Regarding Tepexpan, we can report that four-and-a-half years after the new facilities were completed, in September they were finally occupied by our protégées. The Hospital also has a new director, who not only appears to be an approachable person who is ready to attend to patients’ needs, but is also a specialist in rehabilitative medicine, which will undoubtedly be of benefit to these disabled people.
The Foundation continues to attend to the needs of the group of individuals we have been assisting for many years, taking care of the purchase and repair of wheelchairs and procuring different aids, such as the adaptation of hearing aids for people with hearing difficulties.
Cooperation with Chiautla
As always, we continue to support as much as possible the work of our friends Ramón and Lili in Chiautle. In recent months included the acquisition of an FM device for a seven-year-old girl with a severe hearing impediment, who is now happy to be able to follow her classes at school. We also made available walkers, manual wheelchairs and anti-bedsore mattresses. Meanwhile, we are concerned for the health of Lili herself, who is suffering heart problems, hypertension and thrombosis, and was hospitalized for a period with no clear results. For the time being we have put her in contact with an excellent cardiologist and we hope that thanks to appropriate treatment she will soon regain a decent state of health.