last update:5/16/08

Health Center in Soloy

Homestay Program

Medo is excited to announce a new homestay program. Thanks to the efforts of Amy Frank and Carolin Hahn, a number of Ngobe families are receiving training on hosting volunteers. We think this will be a great opportunity for volunteers to become better incorporated into the community and gain a deeper understanding of Ngobe culture.

Congratulations to Amanda Gabster, on her $10,000 water lab grant!

Medo volunteer Amanda Gabster, of Montana, wrote and won a $10,000 grant for the building of a water lab at the health center in Soloy. The Health Center has agreed to assume responsibility for its maintenance and care after it will be bulit. The lab will help provide a safe drinking water to the community and also serve for conducting water quality research in the sorrunding communities and villages.

Amy Frank is new Medo secretary and volunteer liason

Amy Frank has completed her Medo volunteering work, for now. But she is still very much involved, and has offered herself to continue corresponding with prospective Medo volunteers.

New Project: Bridge Construction in the Mountains

While Amy Frank was here, she decided to help with a construction of a bridge in the mountain community of Cerro Limon. There is a great interest in the community in this project, for the current bridge that connects to the school, health clinic, and other important resources, is a very poorly constructed wood and bamboo bridge. It is very dangerous to travel in and out of Cerro Limon, so many people keep their children out of school, and put off going to seek health care because of it. The community has shown great interest in building a steel bridge, and are willing to supply labor to get it built. Amy is coordinating help and funding that will be necessary for the brige in order to make it happen. Please feel free to write Amy directly about the project if you want to learn more about it.

New Project: Women's Health and Birthing Center in Cerro Limon

Childbirth is still a very dangerous event in the lives of Ngobe women. For many, they do not have a clean place accessible for childbirth, and this can lead to many complications. For this reason, Amy Frank has initiated a project to build a women's health and birthing center in Cerro Limon. This building will be used by pregnant women and local midwives. The land for this site has already been donated, and a number of locals have volunteered their labor. It now is in need of funding. About $1,000 is what is needed to get this built.

A related project is the construction of a women's empowerment center in Cerro Limon. This facility would house foot-pedaled sewing machines and give women access to fabric to make dresses for themselves and their daughters. It would also serve as a meeting place and a place for seminars on various women's issues.

Researchers from McGill University to study parasite and malnutrition in Soloy

McGill University is conducting a project in Soloy focusing on the interaction between gastrointestinal parasite infection and malnutrition. The study will be a 2 year study that may shed some light on how public health can be improved.

"Medo and the Dragon" animation selected in national round of Campus Movie Fest

Medo volunteer Anna Zaniewski, along with friends Noelle Cole and Alex Canto, recently returned from a trip to New York City to the National Finale of Campus Movie Fest. The short animation, done with paper cutouts, was selected as one of the top 18 movies of thousands submitted. Prizes won for this accomplishment were sold and the proceeds donated to Medo. The funds are going towards hiring a lawyer to get Medo official nonprofit status.


Thanks to all our wonderful volunteers!


Medo and the Dragon animation