Membrillo Centro de Pajonal

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


Membrillo Centro de Pajonal is located in the biodiverse region of Panama and celebrated its transition With Global Brigades in February 2021. People in Membrillo Centro de Pajonal are primarily dedicated to agriculture, fishing, and handicrafts. The houses are often made of cement blocks and bricks with concrete flooring.

The community has access to a Community Bank, which will support continued investment in local businesses and home improvement projects for families within the community. The top need expressed by community members when Global Brigades began working with Membrillo Centro de Pajonal was medical aid since the population in the community is large, they need more doctors, medicine, and medical equipment.  

Global Brigades is currently working with Medical and Dental brigades in Membrillo Centro de Pajonal and the community is on the wait-list for eventual Holistic Model implementation as part of Global Brigades’ strategic plan in Panama.

Corregimiento: Penonomé
District: Coclé

Homes : 800
Population : 3000
Water System : Yes
Community Bank : Yes
Electricity : Yes
Health Center : Yes (Health Post)
% of Homes with Latrines : 75%
Education in the Community : Up to middle school
Distance from Lodging Facility : 20 KM


Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete


The community of Membrillo Centro Pajonal has a health post (Puesto de Salud) that provides attention to the community members however, most of the time, the waiting period is long since the health post is unable to cope with the number of patients. The community also hasve 2 CHWs that provide medical care to those in need within their possibilities.




Patient Consultations


Health Education Workshops

Distance from Nearest Health Center : 1 KM
Community Health Workers : Yes
Common Illnesses in Children : Diarrhea, Respiratory Infection, Fever
Common Illnesses in Adults : Hypertension, Diabetes, Fever, Kidney Diseases


A group of CHWs from East Panama, trained in 2019

Membrillo Centro Pajonal has 2 Community Health workers, but they were not trained by Global Brigades. This program will start as soon as possible in the community. Community Health Workers, or Agentes Comunitarios en Salud (ACeS), work on a volunteer basis as advocates for healthcare within their communities. Their primary responsibilities include: educating community members to prevent common illnesses, providing emergency first aid, supporting pregnant mothers and newborns, and following up with chronic patients. 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.


Chapter Date # Of Volunteers
Guelph University May 2022 28
Southwestern Oklahoma State University & Indiana University Medical Brigade May 2023 33


Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete


In working closely with the Medical Program, the Dental Program provides fillings, extractions, and fluoride treatments as a standard part of Medical Brigades. Most community members do not have regular access to dental care due to the lack of dentist within a reasonable distance.


Patient Consultations


Number of Extractions


Fillings Performed


Fluoride Treatments


Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

Global Brigades is working on the implementation of the Holistic Model in Membrillo Centro de Pajonal but has not yet begun with the Water Brigades program. Now in the planning phase, the installation and/or improvement of the water system and connectivity will start as soon as feasible.

Water System : Yes
Type of Water System : Gravity Aqueduct
% of Homes with Access to water : 124
Water Council : Yes


Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete


Membrillo Centro de Pajonal‘s community members lack access to financial resources within the community. The majority of community members do not have bank accounts and there are only limited informal forms of credit available. Usually, larger financial institutions, do not approve loans to community members without a fixed income, making it difficult for local micro-enterprises to grow and thrive. Furthermore, these financial institutions require members to pay monthly fees that are usually high.


The Global Brigades Business and Microfinance Team trained a new Community Bank in February 2021. This encouraged the opening of more savings accounts and the growth of seed capital. Currently, they have 10 members actively working on the Community Bank. 

Upon the completion of six months of executive board training, the Community Bank began giving out loans to bank members to spur economic growth and home improvement projects.

Local Businesses : Kiosks, vegetable and fruit shops
Economic Activities : Agriculture, fishing, cultivation
Community Bank : Yes
% of families with Savings Accounts at a Financial Institution : N/A

Public Health

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

Global Brigades is working on the implementation of the Holistic Model in Membrillo Centro de Pajonal but has not yet begun with the Public Health Brigades program. Now in the planning phase, the delivery and installation of household health products will start as soon as feasible.

% of homes with flushing toilets : 60%
% of homes with latrines : 75%
% of homes with water storage units : 2%
% of homes with bath/shower : 106%
% of homes with water filters : 0%
Materials used to build houses : Bricks / cement blocks

Local Reference Points

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

  • Feature