Villa Darién

Overview

Villa Darién is in the Darién province of East Panama, between our lodging facility Pro Niños and the town of Metetí.  The community is also known by “Anayansi” and neighbors the community Punuloso.  Community members in Villa Darién must travel to Metetí to seek medical care. Villa Darién is home to about 1000 people and has about 200 homes, with an average of 5-6 inhabitants per home.  The community is primarily Latino, but there are a few indigenous communities nearby.  Close to 10% of the community’s homes do not yet have cement floors.

Corregimiento: Metetí
District: Pinogana

Homes : 200
Population : 1000
Water System : Yes
Community Bank : Yes
Electricity : Yes
Health Center : No, nearest is in Metetí
Community Health Workers : No
Homes with Latrines : 90%
Education in the Community : Up to 6th grade
Distance from Lodging Facility : 5 minutes

Medical

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

HEALTH CARE ACCESS:

The community of Villa Darién does not have its own health facilities. Community members with health needs must travel to Metetí, the nearest town with a full health center where doctors and occasionally dentists are on staff.  The trip is only around 10 minutes by bus, but visitors to the health center can expect long wait times given the limited staff and resources to meet the demand from all neighboring communities. The most commonly reported illnesses are the common cold, diarrhea, and skin allergies.

119

Brigade Volunteers

793

Medical Patient Consultations

6

Adult Health Education Workshops (Approx.)

6

Children Education Workshops (Approx.)

COMMUNITY HEALTH WORKERS:

GB Panama’s Medical Dental team started the Agentes Comunitarios en Salud or ACeS program in 2016. “Agentes” from 10 communities in East Panama and Darien were Panama’s first community health workers. Once GB recruits an ACeS worker for Villa Darién, he or she will go through a series of trainings and start visiting community members with health needs.

Some of the ACeS worker’s primary responsibilities include:

  • Promoting healthy practices and maintaining contact with GB staff about their progress
  • Performing First Aid in the case of an emergency
  • Managing the Patient Referral cases of the community
  • Promoting involvement with other GB programs such as Human Rights, Public Health and Microfinance workshops
  • Recording and monitoring members of their respective communities who:
    • Are pregnant
    • Have a chronic disease
    • Are children under five
      years old.

MEDICAL BRIGADES IN THE COMMUNITY:

Chapter Date # Of Volunteers Chapter Date # Of Volunteers
Rutgers University May 2013 37 University of California San Diego June 2014 50
Central Michigan University March 2015 32

*Starting in August 2017 Global Brigades Medical Program will be transitioning to a local partnership model and strengthening the Community Health Worker program (ACeS) so that communities like Villa Darién can receive health support and resources consistently without the arrival of brigade volunteers in mobile clinics.

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 dentist within a reasonable distance.

295

Dental Patient Consultations

116

Fluoride Treatments

31

Fillings Performed

4

Dental Education Workshops

DENTAL BRIGADES IN THE COMMUNITY:

Chapter Date # Of Volunteers Chapter Date # Of Volunteers
UC Berkley January 2014 41 University of San Diego December 2014 25
UC Berkley January 2014 41 UC Berkley January 2014 41
UC Berkley January 2014 41 UC Berkley January 2014 41
UC Berkley January 2014 41 UC Berkley January 2014 41

*Starting in August 2017 Global Brigades Medical Program will be transitioning to a local partnership model and strengthening the Community Health Worker program (ACeS) so that communities like XX can receive health support and resources consistently without the arrival of brigade volunteers in mobile clinics.

Business

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

VILLA DARIÉN’S ECONOMIC CHALLENGE

Community members in Vills Darién 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.  For example, a person could obtain ‘credit’ at a local store by buying something now and paying later, simply adding it to their ‘tab,’ but there would be no formalized credit transaction.  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. Most community members cite the distance to the nearest bank as the main discouragement to having a personal savings account. Even if individuals wish to travel the distance, not all community members can become members of these financial institutions–cooperatives require monthly membership fees, savings accounts often require a fixed income, and the cost of travel provides an additional barrier.

15

Loans Administered

$789.00

Capital Investment

13

Saving Accounts Opened

VILLA DARIÉN’S MICROFINANCE SOLUTION

The Global Brigades Business and Microfinance Team trained a new Community Bank in 2016. The next stage is to bring Microfinance and Business brigades in order to strengthen both the knowledge and trust in the Community Bank. This will encourage the opening of more savings accounts, growth of seed capital. Additionally, the small Community Bank’s executive board has finished six months of training so it is now able to begin giving out loans to bank members to spur economic growth and home improvement projects.

VILLA DARIÉN’S BUSINESS SOLUTION

In addition to the Community Bank, Global Brigades supports established and start-up micro-enterprises. This project is currently in the planning phase for Villa Darién and will begin as soon as feasible.

 

 

Local Reference Points

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

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