La Corneta*

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

Overview

La Corneta is located in the mountainous region of central Nicaragua, in the department of Matagalpa.  A typical house is made of mud brick. The community has access to a health center within the community, as well as a multigrade primary school. 60 students attend the primary school with three teachers and two classrooms. The primary school goes up to grade six, and there is no secondary school located in La Corneta. Most people in the community work as agricultural laborers.

Global Brigades is currently working with the Business and Medical Program in La Corneta. The community bank was established within the Business Program in August 2017. Local Global Brigades staff will continue to work with La Corneta on bookkeeping and financial literacy within the bank. Medical Brigades have been received since January 2017. Completed programs include the Water and Public Health Program, completed in June 2016 and January 2018 respectively. Before the Public Health and Water program were implemented in La Corneta, the top three needs expressed were: lack of latrines or properly functioning latrines, limited access to potable water, and reduced agricultural activity due to lack of water. La Corneta is on the wait-list for continuing Holistic Model implementation as part of Global Brigades’ strategic plan in Nicaragua.

Municipality: Sébaco
Department: Matagalpa

*Brigades to this community are temporarily suspended at this time

Homes : 128
Population : 394
Water System : Yes
Community Bank : Yes
Electricity : Yes
Health Center : Yes
Community Health Workers : Yes
% of Homes with Latrines : 96%
Education : Up to 6th Grade
Distance from Lodging Facility : 16 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.  

La Corneta has access to a health center within their community. 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 illnesses in children that La Corneta expressed were parasites and diarrhea, acute respiratory infections, and poor nutrition For adults, common illnesses are chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension, nutrition, parasites, and fever. 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.

101

Volunteers

1,974

Patient Consultations

150

Vision Screenings Provided

45

Health Education Workshops

COMMUNITY HEALTH WORKERS

La Corneta has 2 Community 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 La Corneta 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 La Corneta will be in the community health center and one room of the community house. This location has four small rooms, and two large for triage, consultation, dentistry and pharmacy stations.

La Corneta offers strong support on Medical 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 sanitation and hygiene, chronic diseases, contraception, Women’s health, and water purification. La Corneta’s community volunteers are essential the efficiency and effectiveness of Medical Brigades.

AVERAGE PATIENTS ATTENDED PER DAY: 701
NEARBY COMMUNITIES: EL SALTO, CHILAMATE, LLANO REDONDO, EL CHAGUITE, SAN JOSE DE UMURE, LAS MESAS

MEDICAL/DENTAL VOLUNTEERS IN LA CORNETA:

Chapter Date # Of Volunteers Chapter Date # Of Volunteers
University of Dayton Medical Brigade January 2017 32 Ball State University Medical Brigade & Colorado State University Medical Brigade May 2017 36
University of San Diego Medical Brigade January 2018 33

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.

280

Patient Consultations

146

Number of Extractions

205

Fillings Performed

42

Dental Education Workshops

BRIGADE INFORMATION

Dental Brigades use the community health center as their brigade site. The health center is suitable for brigades and running mobile clinics. Dental Brigades use of one room in the health center. Dentists send an average of 15 minutes with each patient and we are able to provide 4-5 educational workshops a day.

La Corneta 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. La Corneta’s community volunteers are essential to the efficiency and effectiveness of Dental Brigades.

AVERAGE PATIENTS ATTENDED: 701
NEARBY COMMUNITIES: EL SALTO, CHILAMATE, LLANO REDONDO, EL CHAGUITE, SAN JOSE DE UMURE, LAS MESAS

MEDICAL/DENTAL VOLUNTEERS IN LA CORNETA

Chapter Date # Of Volunteers Chapter Date # Of Volunteers
University of Dayton Medical Brigade January 2017 32 Ball State University Medical Brigade & Colorado State University Medical Brigade May 2017 36
University of San Diego Medical Brigade January 2018 33

Water

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

LA CORNETA’S WATER CHALLENGE

Prior to Global Brigades involvement, La Corneta had two main public wells being used by community members. One well required community members, typically women and children, to walk to receive water. This meant carrying buckets, many times over long distances to have water daily. Additionally, the quality of the water was often not adequate for drinking.

Later in 2013, the local municipality added a distribution line and a storage tank to one of the wells to bring water directly to community members homes. However, three months after completing the project, problems related to the water flow to most of the houses occurred due to improper location of the well, and the onset of drought. Ultimately the water flow was not strong enough to reach approximately 65% of the homes.

855

Volunteers

415

Project Beneficiaries

1

Kilometers of Piping Installed

10,832

Storage Tank Volume (gallons)

LA CORNETA’S WATER SOLUTION: 

In February 2016, a partnership between La Corneta, Global Brigades Nicaragua, the Municipality of Sebaco, and AVODEC was officially formed. In order to plan a water system custom-designed for La Corneta, the land was first surveyed by a contracted AVODEC technician. When the technician asked La Corneta community members about other potentially usable water sources, members of the community pointed to another well dug twenty years ago that by accident, had been obstructed by a rock, leaving the community members without further use.

With this and the land survey in mind, it was determined that the best fit for La Corneta would be to first clear the well of the obstruction and then build off of it a submersible electric pump and storage tank. The submersible electric pump was deemed necessary to pump water to houses at higher elevations, however, La Corneta did not have electricity at the time. Instead of letting that stop La Corneta from receiving water, Adela Altamirano Gutierrez (featured above) marched to the mayor’s office and negotiated for electricity to be brought to La Corneta, in order to install the electric portion of the water system. The system was then connected to the distribution network of the original system constructed by the municipal government back in 2013. In total, the construction of La Corneta’s new water system cost $28,000 USD. Of this, the community financially supported with 12% of the funding, the Municipality of Sebaco with 11%, AVODEC with 13%, and Global Brigades with 61%. Outside of these funds, it should be recognized that the approximate value of the land that was donated by two community members for the storage tank and water source is $4,000 USD. Additionally, the cost of labor donated by each family has a total value of $2,604 USD.

In addition to construction, La Corneta mobilized to form a CAPS (Comité de Agua Potable y Sanitación/ Water and Sanitation Committee). Over the course of four months of construction, 994 Global Brigades volunteers worked alongside the committee and community members to construct a system that now reaches 83 families and 415 beneficiaries. Before the project’s completion, a capacity test of the well was completed and demonstrated an average of 29.3 gallons per minute.The celebration of this system’s water inauguration was September 13th, 2016.

In the interest of sustainability, the five members of the CAPS were trained on water treatment and system maintenance, administration, and operation, so they can continue adequately managing the water system. La Corneta has also established a monthly water fee in order to pay the CAPS for water treatment, maintenance costs, and system sustainability.

WATER VOLUNTEERS  LA CORNETA

Chapter Date # Of Volunteers Chapter Date # Of Volunteers
Oakland University Medical Brigade May 2016 21 Florida Gulf Coast University Medical Brigade May 2016 33
Western University Medical Brigade May 2016 21 University of Cincinnati Public Health Brigade May 2016 22
University of South Florida Public Health Brigade May 2016 12 Temple University Water Brigade Medical Brigade May 2016 26
University of North Carolina at Wilmington Public Health Brigade May 2016 7 Oklahoma State University Medical Brigade May 2016 47
University of Colorado Boulder Public Health Brigade May 2016 11 University of Colorado Boulder Medical Brigade May 2016 53
The University of Arizona Medical Brigade May 2016 2 Oglethorpe University Medical Brigade May 2016 11
Colorado State University Medical Brigade May 2016 15 University of Pennsylvania Medical Brigade May 2016 14
University of Connecticut Medical Brigade May 2016 33 University of Puget Sound Public Health Brigade May 2016 4
Louisiana State University Public Health Brigade May 2016 5 Case Western Reserve University Medical Brigade May 2016 27
Rutgers University-New Brunswick Public Health Brigade May 2016 24 University of Missouri–Kansas City Medical Brigade May 2016 16
Davidson College Medical Brigade May 2016 4 University of California Berkeley Medical Brigade May 2016 7
Stony Brook University Medical Brigade May 2016 32 University of Houston Medical Brigade May 2016 42
Boston College Medical Brigade May 2016 34 Oakton Community College Medical Brigade May 2016 31
Chapman University Medical Brigade May 2016 40 University of Virginia Medical Brigade June 2016 22
San Jose State University Medical Brigade May 2016 30 Temple University School of Medicine Medical Brigade June 2016 25
San Diego State University Water Brigade June 2016 10 CUNY Brooklyn College Medical Brigade June 2016 21
Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine Medical Brigade June 2016 14 Brooklyn College Medical Brigade June 2016 21
University of Washington Public Health Brigade June 2016 29 CSU Bakersfield Medical Brigade June 2016 16
University of California Los Angeles Medical Brigade June 2016 23 University of California San Diego Medical Brigade June 2016 37
University of California-Riverside Medical Brigade June 2016 42

Business

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

LA CORNETA’S MICROFINANCE CHALLENGE

A major challenge that the community faces is that the community is located in the dry corridor of Nicaragua, which means that people can be affected by the drought, as it has happened in the recent past. Families mainly harvest beans and corn for subsistence and harvest coffee seasonally in other communities.

N/A

Volunteers

34

Loans Disbursed

33

Savings Accounts Opened

$1,840

Capital Invested

LA CORNETA’S MICROFINANCE SOLUTION

A microfinance solution currently in place is the effort to promote the community banks and the initiation of financial literacy work.

The idea is to promote savings and to grow the community bank in order to have an alternative for financial economic activities and local businesses.

 

 

 

Public Health

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

LA CORNETA PUBLIC HEALTH CHALLENGE:

The community faces numerous public health challenges with limited infrastructure in their homes. Only 11% of homes have concrete floors as opposed to mud or dirt floors. Furthermore, 40% of homes do not have access to showers. 96% of homes have traditional stoves, which means that the majority of homes have an overaccumulation of smoke. Although 80% of homes have latrines, only 20% of those latrines are functioning. Additionally, the community does not have sufficient methods of waste disposal. The river (where people bathe) is contaminated with waste and agricultural chemicals.

987

Volunteers

105

Sanitary Stations Constructed

12

Eco-Stoves Constructed

980

Meters Squared of Concrete Floors

LA CORNETA  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), concrete floors and an eco-stove. The number of projects each family will receive depends on which the family desires and what they can afford. As part of our development plan, families are required to financially contribute to 15-33% of the cost of the projects to encourage ownership and buy-in. For a sanitary unit this equals approximately $67 USD, eco-stoves $40 USD, and for concrete floors, $1.5 USD per square meter.

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 BRIGADES IN THE COMMUNITY:

Chapter Date # Of Volunteers Chapter Date # Of Volunteers
Temple University Water/ Columbia University Water Brigade May 2017 34 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
SUNY Stony Brook Public Health Brigade May 2017 18 University of Colorado Boulder / Puget Sound Public Health Brigade May 2017 11
University of Missouri Kansas City Medical Brigade May 2017 11 SUNY Stony Brook Medical Brigade May 2017 29
Northern Arizona University Medical Brigade May 2017 25 University of Colorado Boulder Medical Brigade May 2017 61
University of Virginia/ SUNY Albany Medical Brigade May 2017 23 CUNY Brooklyn College Medical Brigade June 2017 21
CEGEP Marianopolis Medical Brigade June 2017 21 Drexel University/ University of California Riverside Public Health Brigade June 2017 27
Oregon State University Medical Brigade June 2017 32 University of California Santa Barbara Medical/ Dental Brigade June 2017 39
University of California Davis Medical Brigade June 2017 26 University of California Riverside Medical Brigade June 2017 40
Elon University Medical Brigade August 2017 29 University of Birmingham Medical Brigade August 2017 24
San Jose University Medical Brigade August 2017 27 Rutgers University/ Kings College London Medical Brigade August 2017 30
Texas A&M University Medical/ Dental Brigade August 2017 33 Rutgers University Medical Brigade August 2017 24
University of Washington Medical Brigade September 2017 32 Munster/RWTH Aachen Public Health Brigade September 2017 13
DePaul University Public Health Brigade December 2017 20 Albion College Medical Brigade December 2017 40
University of South Florida Medical Brigade December 2017 10 Rice University Public Health Brigade December 2017 21
Emory University Public Health Brigade December 2017 16 Oakland University Medical Brigade December 2017 31
Marquette University / Texas A&M University Public Health Brigade January 2018 32 Governors State University Public Health Brigade January 2018 22
University of Dayton Medical Brigade January 2018 61

Local Reference Points

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

  • Feature