Mesa del Ocote*

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

Overview

Mesa del Ocote is located in the mountainous region of central Nicaragua. The community has one primary school with two classrooms and one teacher. There is no secondary school located within the community. Additionally the community’s local health center 5 kilometers away. Most people in the community work as agricultural laborers. Global Brigades has completed a water system in this community. Before the Water program was implemented in Mesa del Ocote, their top three needs expressed were: access to sufficient and potable water, access to latrines suitable during the rainy seasons, and access to concrete floors.

Mesa del Ocote is on the wait-list for continuing the Holistic Model implementation as part of Global Brigades’ strategic plan in Nicaragua.

Municipality: San Rafael del Norte
Department: Jinotega

*Brigades to this community are temporarily suspended at this time

Homes : 23
Population : 126
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 : 59 km

Medical

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

HEALTH CARE ACCESS

Mesa del Ocote is a community located in the municipality of San Rafael del Norte in the mountainous region of Jinotega. They have a local health center located in 5 kilometers. The local health center has medications supplied occasionally. There is no access to private pharmacies.

Based on Global Brigades Rapid Needs Assessment the top illnesses in children are diarrheal diseases and the flu. For adults, common illnesses are chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension, as well as kidney infection. Without access to trained health care 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.

 

17

Volunteers

301

Patient Consultations

N/A

Vision Screenings Provided

5

Health Education Workshops

COMMUNITY HEALTH WORKERS

Mesa del Ocote has 2 Community Health Workers (CHWs) that are trained by the Ministry of Health and supported by Global Brigades to monitor the conditions of chronic patients. In this community, Global Brigades is establishing a partnership with the Ministry of Health and is looking forward to providing these CHWs blood pressure cuffs, stethoscopes, glucometers, and first aid kits, to facilitate more impactful work.

BRIGADE INFORMATION

Medical Brigades in Mesa del Ocote are held in the primary school.  This location has one large room and backyard for triage, consultation, dentistry and pharmacy stations. The average amount of patients seen is 100 patients per day.

Mesa del Ocote offers strong support on Medical Brigades from the community volunteers. One way 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. Mesa del Ocote community volunteers are essential for the efficiency and effectiveness of Medical Brigades.

AVERAGE PATIENTS ATTENDED PER DAY: 382
NEARBY COMMUNITIES: SABANA DE EN MEDIO, SUNI, LA JOYA

MEDICAL/DENTAL VOLUNTEERS IN  MESA DEL OCOTE

Chapter Date # Of Volunteers
Pennsylvania State University Medical Brigade January 2018 17

Dental

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

DENTAL CARE ACCESS

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 dentists within a reasonable distance.

81

Patients Consultations

59

Number of Extractions

49

Fillings Performed

6

Dental Education Workshops

BRIGADE INFORMATION

Dental Brigades use the public school in Mese del Ocote as their brigade site. The public school is suitable for brigades and running mobile clinics. Dental Brigades use space in the large one room of the public school. Dentists spend an average of 12 minutes with each patient and we are able to provide 4-5 educational workshops a day. Each brigade sees an average of 27 patients per day.

Mesa del Ocote offers strong support on Dental Brigades from the community volunteers. One way the 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. Mesa del Ocote’s community volunteers are essential for the efficiency and effectiveness of Dental Brigades.

AVERAGE PATIENTS ATTENDED: 382
NEARBY COMMUNITIES: SABANA DE EN MEDIO, SUNI, LA JOYA

MEDICAL/DENTAL VOLUNTEERS IN  MESA DEL OCOTE

Chapter Date # Of Volunteers
Pennsylvania State University Medical Brigade January 2018 17

Water

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

MESA DEL OCOTE’S WATER CHALLENGE

Previously, one of the only water sources in the community was a river contaminated with waste and agricultural chemicals 2 kilometers away. In the 1990’s the Municipality of San Rafael del Norte identified a mountain spring water source of good quality and quantity to build a water system off of. At the time there were no issues breaking ground on the project since the land had been fully donated by the landowner, Jesus Maria Tinoco Pineda, to the Municipality because Pineda knew the water needs that communities in the surrounding area had. Despite this promising beginning, lack of financing and a budget from the Municipality led to the project’s halt for almost 20 years.

326

Volunteers

921

Project Beneficiaries

16

Kilometers of Pipeline Installed

15,852

Storage Tank Volume (gallons)

MESA DEL OCOTE’S WATER SOLUTION

It was not until this past September 2016 that the project officially re-started after a partnership was formed between Mesa del Ocote and 4 other communities, Global Brigades Nicaragua, the Municipality of San Rafael del Norte, and Water for People. In order to plan a water system custom-designed for the 5 communities, the land was first surveyed by the Municipality of San Rafael del Norte. From this land survey, it was determined that the best fit would be to take water from an available spring source. Households would then be connected to a gravity system with one storage tank. A concrete water catchment was constructed to collect water from the spring mountain source. From there nine kilometers of trenches were dug with pipeline laid. The system was designed to then conduct water by gravity to the storage tank, where it would be held and treated, before flowing through sixteen kilometers of distribution pipeline to every community member’s household. This new water flow will supply the communities of Sabana de en Medio, La Joya, Cuatro Esquinas, Mesa del Ocote and San Gabriel through the projected 20-year lifespan of the project.

In addition to construction, Mesa del Ocote mobilized to form a CAPS (Comité de Agua Potable y Sanitación/ Water and Sanitation Committee). Over the course of eight months of construction, 816 Global Brigades volunteers worked alongside the committee and community members to construct a system that now reaches 221 families and 921 beneficiaries.  Before the project’s completion, a capacity test of the well was completed, and demonstrated an average of 46 gallons per minute.

WATER VOLUNTEERS IN MESA DEL OCOTE

Chapter Date # Of Volunteers Chapter Date # Of Volunteers
Carroll University Medical Brigade January 2017 25 Chicago Brigade Medical Brigade & Texas State University Medical Brigade January 2017 30
University of Virginia Medical Brigade January 2017 22 University of Dayton Medical Brigade January 2017 30
Albion College Medical Brigade January 2017 26 Marquette University Medical Brigade January 2017 78
Caldwell University Medical Brigade January 2017 9 Southern Connecticut State University Public Health Brigade January 2017 13
Columbia University Public Health Brigade & Texas A&M Public Health Brigade January 2017 22 Indiana University of Perdue Medical Brigade & New York University Medical Brigade March 2017 41
Carnegie Mellon University Public Health Brigade March 2017 14 Indiana University Water Brigade & Rutgers University Water Brigade March 2017 16

Business

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

MESA DEL OCOTE’S BUSINESS CHALLENGE

The majority of Mesa del Ocote’s residents are smallholder farmers, working primarily with horticulture, livestock, dairy, and poultry. The dependence on the agricultural sector leaves community members livelihoods vulnerable to variables like weather and disease. Additionally, there are significant physical and institutional barriers that limit access to financial services and representation in local markets.

*No volunteers have been able to support in this program’s work but continued progress has been able to be accomplished through the generous support of the Merkel Foundation.

0*

Volunteers

13

Loans Disbursed

26

Savings Accounts Opened

$553

Capital Invested

MESA DEL OCOTE’S MICROFINANCE SOLUTION

The Business Program works to stimulate the local economy by organizing community volunteers around a community bank, which is entirely owned and operated by its members. Focusing on providing access to credit and savings for their fellow community members, its Bank Council members are tasked with socializing 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 are especially beneficial for subsistence farmers, who can invest more heavily in their production with a loan, pay back the loan after the harvest, and generate an income with any excess.

Mesa del Ocote’s community bank, Milagro de Dios (God’s Miracle), was established in September 2017 with the support of Global Brigades. The community bank has 15 shareholders who meet in the home of the Community Bank Secretary, and a 3-person Bank Council that manages the shareholders and their funds. 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.

Global Brigades and Mesa del Ocote’s community bank are working towards being able to disburse more loans and train individuals on loan management and financial literacy.

 

MESA DEL OCOTE’S BUSINESS SOLUTION:

In addition to working with the community bank, the Business Program provides technical support and consultations to support local entrepreneurs and microenterprises. The goal is to foster the development of efficient and practical business actions, grow enterprise assets, and create local employment opportunities. During this process, interested community members receive training to increase their familiarity with business terminology, develop their business administration skills, and promote innovation and diversification in the types of business ventures they pursue.

The Business Program is preparing to introduce Business Brigades in Mesa del Ocote to study the local market and work with existing microenterprises to create the best plan forward in the community’s economic development.

 

Public Health

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

MESA DEL OCOTE’S PUBLIC HEALTH CHALLENGE

The community faces numerous public health challenges with limited infrastructure in their homes. Only 10% of homes had concrete floors as opposed to mud or dirt floors. Furthermore, 0% of homes had access to showers. 90%  of homes had traditional stoves, which means that the majority of homes have an over accumulation of smoke. Although 100% of homes have latrines, the community does not have sufficient methods of waste disposal and many latrines are in disrepair. The river, where people bathe, is contaminated with waste and chemicals.

208

Volunteers

22

Sanitation Units Installed

108

People Benefited with Public Health Infrastructure

6

Hours of Public Health Education

MESA DEL OCOTE’S PUBLIC HEALTH SOLUTION

Between January 2018 and March 2018, the Public Health Program worked with all interested families to finance and install Sanitary Stations including a shower, latrine, handwashing station, and water storage unit. These projects allow community members to avoid preventable disease and foster improved hygiene and sanitation practices. During their time in {Community name}, Public Health volunteers conducted educational workshops, or charlas, with community members on project maintenance and various public health topics. Additionally, Global Brigades trained a Basic Sanitation Committee, a community body formed by local leaders. The committee advocates for proper hygiene and sanitation practices, monitors maintenance of  completed projects . 

To promote the sustainability of the Public Health Program’s projects, families are required to contribute a portion of the project cost. This instills a sense of ownership and encourages proper maintenance of the projects. Therefore, before the Public Health Program started its projects, the Business Program worked with the community to train an existing community bank that would allow families to finance these contributions through microcredit. Although the Public Health Program has completed all planned projects in Mesa del Ocote, loans remain available through the community bank and local masons who were contracted to complete the projects now hold the skills to perform any necessary repairs or construct new units. 

PUBLIC HEALTH VOLUNTEERS IN MESA DEL OCOTE

Chapter Date # Of Volunteers Chapter Date # Of Volunteers
Virginia Commonwealth University Water Brigade January 2018 18 Rutgers University Medical Brigade January 2018 31
Governors State University Public Health Brigade January 2018 22 Boston University Water January 2018 Brigade 15
Carroll University Medical Brigade & Intercollegiate Medical Brigades of Montreal Medical Brigade January 2018 27 Saint Louis University Medical Brigade January 2018 51
University of Missouri Water Brigade January 2018 11 Wellesley College Medical Brigade January 2018 17
State University of New York – Buffalo Medical Brigade March 2018 16

Local Reference Points

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

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