El Hatillo, Jinotega*

  • Overview
  • Medical
  • Dental
  • Water
  • Business
  • Public Health

Overview

El Hatillo is located in the mountainous region of central Nicaragua in the department of Jinotega. A typical house is made of bahareque (an earth mixture anchored with rock and sticks). The community has access to a health center in the neighboring community, Llano de la Tejera, 10 km away. Within El Hatillo is a multigrade primary school. 27 students attend the primary school with two teachers and one classroom. The primary school goes up to grade 6, and there is no secondary school located in El Hatillo. Most people in the community work as agricultural laborers.

Global Brigades is currently working with the Medical and Business. Program in El Hatillo. The Medical Program has been partnering with El Hatillo since the first Medical Brigade in March 2013, and the Business Program since the induction of the community bank in September 2017. The Business Program team will continue to work with El Hatillo to monitor the community bank. Additionally, he Public Health Program was completed in December 2014, and the Water Program in June 2017. Before Global Brigades programs were implemented in El Hatillo, the top three needs expressed were: limited access to potable water, limited access to medical attention, and need fro road repairs. El Hatillo is on the waitlist for continuing Holistic Model implementation as part of Global Brigades’ strategic plan in Nicaragua.

Municipality: Jinotega
Department: Jinotega

*Brigades to this community are temporarily suspended at this time

Homes : 37
Population : 134
Water System : Yes
Community Bank : Yes
Electricity : Yes
Health Center : No
Community Health Workers : Yes
% of Homes with Latrines : 95%
Education : Up to 6th Grade
Distance from Lodging Facility : 36 km

Medical

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

HEALTH CARE ACCESS:

Healthcare access in Nicaragua is structured by the Ministry of Health, based in the capital, Managua. From there, each of the fifteen departments has it’s own department hospital, which is overseen by the SILAIS administrations (Sistema Local de Atención Integral en Salud). At a municipality level, there is a health center (Centro de Salud) for every municipality within the department. While they are not hospitals, health centers in the municipality are typically staffed with one doctor, and two nurses, that can attend patients with chronic, communicable, or noncommunicable diseases, as well as pregnancies. They however, do not have the ability to perform surgeries. Lastly, most but not all communities have a Puesto de Salud, a smaller health center. These health centers are usually staffed with only one nurse and a rotating physician. Physicians are staffed in these health centers by Nicaragua’s Social Service. This is an initiative that requires Nicaraguan medical students to do two years of service in rural communities prior to graduating.  The physician density in Nicaragua is approximately 1,099 people for every one doctor.  According to the World Health Organization, there should be a maximum of 435 people per physician to qualify a country as having adequate access to medical attention. This density is significantly lower for the 40.6% of the population that lives in rural areas. It is for this reason that Nicaragua’s Social Service initiative brings medical students to these communities. However, access remains limited since these training physicians may be assigned to up to fifteen communities at a time.  

El Hatillo has access to a health center in the neighboring community, Llano de la Tejera, about 10km away. Even with this access, it is important to note that medications, supplies, and materials are often not available in these health centers and are dependent on government funding. There is no access to private pharmacies. Additionally, as noted above, access to trained medical professionals is limited.

During their initial communications with Global Brigades, the top three illnesses in children that El Hatillo expressed were parasites, diarrhea, and respiratory infections.  For adults, common illnesses are chronic diseases such as hypertension, diarrhea, and joint pain. Without access to trained healthcare professionals and medications, chronic diseases can go unmanaged, leading to further health problems. Acute illnesses can also be severe and affect the quality of life.

 

185

Volunteers

240

Patient Consultations

N/A

Vision Screenings Provided

6

Health Education Workshops

COMMUNITY HEALTH WORKERS

El Hatillo has 2Community Health Workers that are trained by the Ministry of Health monthly. Community Health Workers, or Brigadistas de Salud, work on a volunteer basis as advocates for healthcare within their communities. They are tasked with treating and preventing common illnesses, and some of their responsibilities include first aid, supporting and caring for pregnancies and newborns, and responding to emergency situations. They are also responsible for following up with chronic patients to ensure proper administration of medications and treatments to avoid further complications. Global Brigades is planning to establish a partnership with El Hatillo Community Health Workers and the Ministry of Health, and is looking forward to providing these Community Health Workers with blood pressure cuffs, stethoscopes, glucometers, and first aid kits, to facilitate more impactful work. The presence of these volunteers and their advocacy for health within their community contributes to the sustainability of healthcare supported by Global Brigades’ Medical Program and is one of the most impactful disease prevention strategies in rural communities.

BRIGADE INFORMATION

Medical Brigades in El Hatillo will be in the community school. This location has two rooms and a large backyard for triage, consultation, dentistry and pharmacy stations. 

El Hatillo offers strong support on Medical Brigades from the community volunteers. One way the six Community Health Workers, who serve as volunteers in the mobile clinic, assist is by running intake. Intake is the very first station of the clinic and is where the community volunteers write the patient’s name, date of birth, community, and identification number. Additionally, community volunteers manage clinic organization. They set up tables and chairs in the clinic prior to brigade’s arrival as well as direct patients to the next medical station, once the clinic has opened for the day. Lastly, community volunteers lead adult health education sessions on sanitation and hygiene, chronic diseases, contraception, Women’s health, and water purification. El Hatillo community volunteers are essential the efficiency and effectiveness of Medical Brigades.

AVERAGE PATIENTS ATTENDED PER DAY: 287

NEARBY COMMUNITIES: RINCON LARGO, SITIO VIEJO, OCOTAL ESPESO, LA GALERA, EL CASTILLO, LOS CALPULES, EL TANQUE, EL HORNO, LA LIMA, LAS TRANCAS, MATASANO, SAN JOSE DE HUMURE

 

MEDICAL/DENTAL VOLUNTEERS IN EL HATILLO

Chapter Date # Of Volunteers Chapter Date # Of Volunteers
Pennsylvania State University Medical Brigade March 2013 39 Carnegie Mellon University Medical Brigade March 2013 27
Loyola University Medical Brigade January 2014 33 Syracuse University Medical Brigade January 2014 39
Mississippi State University Medical Brigade May 2015 26 The University of Mississippi Medical Brigade & University of South Florida Medical Brigade December 2017 21

Dental

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

DENTAL CARE ACCESS:

While medical access is low, dental access is even more sparing. Dental services are not available within the community health centers, or even the municipality health centers. Instead, if a patient was needing dental care, they would be required to travel to one of the country’s fifteen department hospitals. This could be up to a 2-3 hour bus ride, with many needing to first walk or horseback ride to the bus stop.

47

Patient Consultations

13

Number of Extractions

40

Fillings Performed

5

Dental Education Workshops

BRIGADE INFORMATION

Working closely with the Medical Program, the Dental Program provides fillings, extractions, and fluoride treatments as a standard part of medical brigades. Community members from El Hatillo attend Dental Brigades in the community school of El Hatillo.

El Hatillo offers strong support on Dental Brigades from the community volunteers. One way the 8-15 community volunteers assist is by running intake. Intake is the very first station of the clinic and is where the community volunteers write down the patient’s name, date of birth, community, and identification number. Additionally, community volunteers manage clinic organization. They set up tables and chairs in the clinic prior to the brigade’s arrival as well as direct patients to the next medical station, once the clinic has opened for the day. Lastly, community volunteers lead adult health education sessions on oral health and hygiene. El Hatillo’s community volunteers are essential the efficiency and effectiveness of Dental Brigades.

AVERAGE PATIENTS ATTENDED: 287

NEARBY COMMUNITIES: RINCON LARGO, SITIO VIEJO, OCOTAL ESPESO, LA GALERA, EL CASTILLO, LOS CALPULES, EL TANQUE, EL HORNO, LA LIMA, LAS TRANCAS, MATASANO, SAN JOSE DE HUMURE

MEDICAL/DENTAL VOLUNTEERS IN EL HATILLO

Chapter Date # Of Volunteers Chapter Date # Of Volunteers
Pennsylvania State University Medical Brigade March 2013 39 Carnegie Mellon University Medical Brigade March 2013 27
Loyola University Medical Brigade January 2014 33 Syracuse University Medical Brigade January 2014 39
Mississippi State University Medical Brigade May 2015 26 The University of Mississippi Medical Brigade & University of South Florida Medical Brigade December 2017 21

Water

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

EL HATILLO’S WATER CHALLENGE:

Prior to Global Brigades involvement, El Hatillo had been using an outdated water system of 21 years in the neighboring community of Rincon Largo. This presented challenges, as Rincon Largo is located at a higher elevation and the system was not built with flow meters. With both of these factors in mind, it was easier for Rincon Largo to have access to water first, and in the amount they desired (without it being measured), while El Hatillo, being located at lower elevation for a gravity system was disadvantaged with only the water that was left over.  Often times there was not enough water between the 70 families in both Rincon Largo and El Hatillo. Because of this, 70% of those in El Hatillo reported having access to water less than 1 to 3 hours a day. In the summer time this access could be even more scarce. At its worst community members reported only having water every two days, for only a half an hour to an hour. When water was not available at the tap, it required  community members, typically women and children, to walk to rivers to receive water. This meant carrying buckets, many times over long distances if there was even water available due to a four-year drought. Additionally, the quality of the water was often not adequate for drinking.

1,506

Volunteers

134

Project Beneficiaries

7

Kilometers of Pipeline Installed

2,642

Storage Tank Volume (gallons)

EL HATILLO’S WATER SOLUTION: 

In May 2017, a partnership between El Hatillo, Global Brigades, the Municipality of Jinotega, and AVODEC was officially formed. In order to plan a water system custom-designed for El Hatillo, the land was first surveyed by a contracted AVODEC technician. 

Since a lack of a water source was the main issue hindering the construction of the system, a solution was for the technican to conduct a hydrogeological survey to find out where the highest likelihood was in the community to drill a well that would contain a sufficient capacity to supply water to the whole community over a minimum period of 20 years. A specialist in this field was hired to do the job using their expertise, national maps, and on-site visits to the community. Then, results were compiled in a formal document which suggested an ideal spot where a well could be drilled.

With the hydrogeological research results in hand, an assembly took place on February 27, 2017 at the community primary school. The goal was to set a plan moving forward and elect a Water Council. The job of those on the Water Counic would be to assist in the assembly of the committee, as well as lead the conversations with the land owner whose land was proposed as being the best drilling location. The community members elected five representatives: President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and a Support Member to offer support during the entire duration of the water project.

Once the drilling land site was set, it was determined that the best fit for El Hatillo would be to build a mixed gravity well with a submersible electric pump, and two storage tanks (one of 14 cubic meters, the other of 4.5). This system is currently being worked on with brigades in Nicaragua, and upon completion will have a distribution network that connects the water storage tanks to 38 families, consisting of 124 individuals, as well as the community health center, primary school, and church.  

Brigades began working on this water system on May 5, 2017

In total, the water system cost $37,200 USD. Of this, the community financially supported with 16% of the funding. Rotary Club contributed the cost of the excavation of the well at approximately 19%. AVODEC supported with 3%, and Global Brigades with 62%. Outside of these funds, the value of labor donated by each family should be recognized.

In the interest of sustainability  five members of the Water Council have been trained on water treatment and system maintenance, administration, and operation, so they can continue adequately managing the water system. El Hatillo  also established a monthly water fee in order to pay the Water Council for water treatment, maintenance costs, and system sustainability.

 

WATER VOLUNTEERS IN EL HATILLO

Chapter Date # Of Volunteers Chapter Date # Of Volunteers
Wright State University Public Health Brigade April 2017 24 Oakland University Medical Brigade April 2017 24
McMaster University Medical Brigade April 2017 40 University of Cincinatti Public Health Brigade May 2017 11
Florida Atlantic University Medical Brigade May 2017 43 University of South Florida Medical Brigade May 2017 25
Pennsylvania State University Medical Brigade May 2017 25 University of Central Florida Medical Brigade May 2017 31
University of Utah Medical Brigade & Ferris State University Medical Brigade May 2017 25 Florida Gulf Coast University Medical Brigade May 2017 35
Indiana University Medical Brigade May 2017 29 Emory University Public Health Brigade May 2017 20
University of Miami Public Health Brigade May 2017 14 Ball State University Medical Brigade May 2017 23
Rutgers University Medical Brigade & Seton Hall Medical Brigade May 2017 26 Middle Tennessee State University Medical Brigade & Bowling Green State University Medical Brigade May 2017 29
Otterbein University Medical Brigade May 2017 34 Temple University Water Brigade & Columbia University Water Brigade May 2017 35
University of Colorado- Colorado Springs Medical Brigade May 2017 51 University of Arizona Medical Brigade May 2017 26
University of Texas San Antonio Medical Brigade May 2017 43 University of Minnesota- Rochester Medical Brigade May 2017 24
University of Kansas Public Health Brigade May 2017 14 University of Missouri Medical Brigade May 2017 30
University of Texas Dallas Medical Brigade May 2017 21 SUNY Stony Brook Public Health Brigade May 2017 18
University of Colorado Boulder Public Health Brigade May 2017 11 University of Minnesota- Twin Cities Medical Brigade & University of Pennsylvania MedicalBrigade May 2017 34
Miami University of Ohio Medical Brigade & Missouri Kansas City Medical Brigade May 2017 24 California State University Bakersfield Medical Brigade May 2017 20
SUNY New Paltz Medical Brigade May 2017 14 Northern Arizona University Medical Brigade May 2017 25
University of Colorado Boulder Medical Brigade May 2017 61 Boston College Medical Brigade May 2017 25
CUNY Brooklyn College Medical Brigade June 2017 21 Thomas Jefferson University Medical Brigade June 2017 37
 CEGEP Marianopolis Medical Brigade June 2017 16 Temple University School of Medicine Medical Brigade June 2017 28
California State University East Bay Medical Brigade June 2017 27 Drexel University Public Health Brigade & University of California Riverside Public Health Brigade June 2017 27
Oregon State University Medical Brigade June 2017 32 University of California Santa Barbara Dental Brigade June 2017 39
University of California Davis Medical Brigade June 2017 26 University of Los Angeles Medical Brigade June 2017 14
University of California Riverside Medical Brigade June 2017 40 Elon University Medical Brigade August 2017 29
San Jose State University Medical Brigade August 2017 27 Regis University Medical Brigade & University of the Pacific Medical Brigade August 2017 24
Cleveland State University Medical Brigade & Southern Methodist University Medical Brigade August 2017 23 Texas A&M University Medical Brigade August 2017 33
University of Texas Rio Grande Valley  Brownsville Medical Brigade August 2017 27 University of Washington Medical Brigade September 2017 32
University of California Irvine Medical Brigade September 2017 30 RWTH University Public Health Brigade & University of Munster Public Health Brigade September 2017 13

Business

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

EL HATILLO BUSINESS CHALLENGE

Prior to Global Brigades involvement, El Hatillo did not have access to any cooperative or community bank. Community members lacked access to financial resources within the community. The majority of community members did not have bank accounts and there were only limited informal forms of credit available. Larger financial institutions did not approve loans to community members without a fixed income, making it difficult for local micro-enterprises to grow and thrive.

For occupation, the majority of the population are agricultural laborers that cultivate corn, beans, and sorghum. Ability to harvest these products has been significantly impacted by drought. The opportunities of employment and sources of income are seasonal and dependent on the agricultural conditions of the season.

*Continued progress has been made through the generous support of the Merkel Foundation.

0*

Volunteers

5

Loans Disbursed

6

Savings Accounts Opened

$283

Capital Invested

EL HATILLO’S MICRO-FINANCE SOLUTION 

The Business Program works to stimulate the local economy by organizing community residents around a community bank, which is entirely owned and operated by its members. Focusing on providing access to low-interest loans credit and savings for the members, its Bank Council members are tasked with growing the community bank and managing the funds. The Business Program provides training and support to help strengthen these community banks and stimulate the flow of capital within the community. These financial services can be used by members for everything from farmers taking out loans to buy their seeds before planting, to a family taking out a loan to cover medical expenses. 

El Hatillo’s  community bank, named El Hatillo, was established March 2017 with the support of Global Brigades. The community bank has 5 female and 1 male shareholders who meet bi-monthly along with a bank council that leads the shareholders and oversees the meetings. In order to pool funds together, increase the capital available to the community bank, and expand the impact of its financial services, each member contributes a monthly share or fee for which they receive a proportional amount of the bank’s dividends at the end of its fiscal year.

Additionally, Global Brigades provides matching capitalizations once these capitalizations meet established benchmarks. Global Brigades also has monthly follow-ups and training with the community bank to strengthen the bank overtime and ensure its sustainability. Global Brigades and El Hatillo’s community bank are working towards being able to disburse loans, increase savings and train individuals on financial management.

EL HATILLO’S MICRO-FINANCE SOLUTION:

El Hatillo’s community bank started in September of 2017. Global Brigades has done several follow ups with the bank since. The bank has had capital disbursed and several of the community members have savings accounts established.

Public Health

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

EL HATILLO’S PUBLIC HEALTH CHALLENGE 

The community faces numerous public health challenges with limited infrastructure in their homes. 88% of homes have concrete floors as opposed to mud or dirt floors. Furthermore, 88% of homes have access to showers. 100%  of homes have traditional stoves, which means that the majority of homes have an over accumulation of smoke. Although 62% of homes have latrines, the community does not have sufficient methods of waste disposal. The river (where people bathe) is contaminated with waste and chemicals.

1,044

Volunteers

34

Sanitary Stations Constructed

136

People Benefited with Public Health Infrastructure

N/A

Hours of Public Health Education

EL HATILLO’S  PUBLIC HEALTH SOLUTION

With the community having large public health needs, each family was given the opportunity to receive a sanitary station (latrine, water storage tank and shower), and concrete floors. The number of projects each family received depended on what the family desired and what they could afford. As part of our development plan, families are required to financially contribute to 10-15% of the cost of the projects to encourage ownership and buy-in.

To ensure the sustainability of the in-home infrastructure projects, the Public Health Program provides continuous follow-up in the community. It also partners with the Basic Sanitation Committee, a community body formed by local leaders which monitors the correct usage and maintenance of the new infrastructure. Clear responsibilities and powers are assigned to each member, making the beneficiaries themselves an even stronger stakeholder in the Public Health projects.

 

 

PUBLIC HEALTH VOLUNTEERS IN EL HATILLO:

 

Chapter Date # Of Volunteers Chapter Date # Of Volunteers
Carroll University Medical Brigade January 2014 37 Marquette University Medical Brigade January 2014 69
Loyola University of Chicago Medical Brigade January 2014 33 Saint Louis University Medical Brigade January 2014 47
University of Dayton Medical Brigade January 2014 43 Vanderbilt University Medical Brigade March 2014 21
Pennsylvania State University Medical Brigade March 2014 51 University of Texas-Austin Public Health Brigade March 2014 28
Grinnell College Medical Brigade March 2014 18 Florida Gulf Coast University Medical Brigade May 2014 22
University of California-Berkeley Medical Brigade & University of Missouri Medical Brigade May 2014 44 Louisiana State University Medical Brigade May 2014 24
University of Colorado-Boulder Medical Brigade & Texas A&M University  Medical Brigade May 2014 66 University of Colorado-Boulder Public Health Brigade May 2014 13
Rutgers University Public Health Brigade May 2014 21 Temple University Public Health Brigade May 2014 12
University of Minnesota-Rochester Medical Brigade May 2014 30 Montclaire University Medical Brigade May 2014 16
Stony Brook University Medical Brigade May 2014 35 University of Pennsylvania Medical Brigade May 2014 19
Brooklyn College Medical Brigade June 2014 28 California State University East Bay Medical Brigade June 2014 44
Oregon State University Medical Brigade June 2014 37 University of San Diego Medical Brigade August 2014 28
University of Washington Medical Brigade September 2014 36 DePaul University Medical Brigade December 2014 16

Local Reference Points

View the map to see the closest volunteer lodging facilities, hospitals, and other relevant points of reference.

  • Feature