The long-awaited medical/dental clinic for the town of Barrón is glimmering with renewed hope. Historically, an objective of the three “Pilot Clinics” that were pioneered by Dr. Bonnie McGuire, Dr. Rod Kassa and Dr. Ben Kaasa was to evaluate the need and desire of the community to have a permanent clinic with a doctor, full time nurse and part-time dentist. The community response was overwhelmingly positive. Friends of Barrón presented the idea of building a permanent clinic to the Ejido president and he invited us to present it to the Ejido general assembly on two occasions. The assembly unanimously voted to donate the land for the clinic. They then appointed a committee of four local women, plus the Ejido president and FOB to move the program forward. Over the last three years, the committee and FOB raised $400,000 pesos for the project.
In March 2018, Barrón solicited the help of the Mazatlan government to build, equip and staff the clinic. The committee and FOB were invited to present the project to the MZT president and his staff. They approved the project and within three months provided plans and budget. Then the president lost the election in July. The committee presented the project to the new administration and they rejected it due to lack of funds. At that point, we thought it was dead. The committee decided that the only option was to solicit Sinaloan state government help. Luckily, the Barrón Ejido president had a good contact in Culiacán who scheduled an audience with the governor’s Chief of Staff and the Secretary of Health and Social Development.
A delegation drove to Culiacán and presented the project. Surprisingly, they approved it and said they had the budget to build, equip and staff the clinic. A week later the Secretary and his entourage of 10 people came to Barron to see the site for the clinic and discuss further details. During the meetings the Secretary of Health was texting the Governor, explaining the project to him. Before the meeting was over, the governor called to approve the project. That was early March.
Three weeks later the Ejido Assembly met and signed over title to the land to the state of Sinaloa. The Medical Clinic project is now in the hands of the State. Friends of Barrón feels that the clinic will be built but, as always in Mexico, we will believe it when we see it. We have their promise, let’s celebrate when they break ground.
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