Yaviza

Overview

The Pan-American highway begins in Alaska and ends in Yaviza where it is intercepted by the Darién forests. The road picks back up in Columbia, continuing south.

The community of Yaviza is a large, rural, Latino community at the end of the Pan-American Highway.  It is the farthest community from Panama City that is accessible by road.  Agriculture, the lumber industry, and cattle farming are the primary sources of income for the distant community. Yaviza is a cross-section of the many different cultures and populations of Panama, including Latino, indigenous, and afro-carribean. The community has expressed motivation to collaborate with Global Brigades.Yaviza is the last town on the Pan-American Highway before the Darién National Forest.  Yaviza was one of the earliest settlements in the Americas; however, it now lacks even the most basic resources.  The Chucunaque River runs through the town; the river serves as a port to the Pacific and small rural towns up the river.

Corregimiento: Yaviza
District: Chepigana

Homes : 650
Population : 2000
Water System : Yes, needs maintenance
Community Bank : Yes
Electricity : Some
Health Center : Yes
Community Health Workers : No
Homes with flushing toilets : 90%
Education in the Community : Up to 12th grade
Distance from Lodging Facility : 2.5 hours

Medical

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

HEALTH CARE ACCESS:

Yaviza does have its own health center; however, it is located across the river from the town.  The bridge across the river only wide enough for walking, which means patients must be able to walk about half a mile (across the bridge and to the center) or to cross the river by boat. There is no emergency access. The next closest health center is about 2 hours away by public bus. Neither health center is well-staffed and often medications run out and are not restocked for long periods of time.

284

Brigade Volunteers

2867

Medical Patient Consultations

15

Adult Health Education Workshops (Approx.)

15

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 Yaviza, 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
Mt. San Jacinto and University of California Irvine June 2012 27 Texas A&M and Loyola University Chicago January 2013 48
Oklahoma State University, Pennsylvania State University, and Cleveland State University May 2014 61 Penn State College of Medicine, Texas A&M March 2015 65
Penn State University March 2016 33

*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 Yaviza 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.

657

Dental Patient Consultations

324

Fluoride Treatments

31

Fillings Performed

15

Dental Education Workshops (Approx.)

DENTAL BRIGADES IN THE COMMUNITY:

Chapter Date # Of Volunteers Chapter Date # Of Volunteers
Texas A&M and Loyola University Chicago January 2013 48 Oklahoma State University, Pennsylvania State University, and Cleveland State University May 2014 61
Penn State College of Medicine, Texas A&M March 2015 65 Penn State University March 2016 33

*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 Yaviza can receive health support and resources consistently without the arrival of brigade volunteers in mobile clinics.

Business

Program Status

  • Planning
  • Active
  • Complete

Global Brigades is working on the implementation of the Holistic Model in Yaviza but has not yet begun with the Business Brigades program.  Now in the planning phase, a market study and the selection of business clients in the community will start as soon as feasible.

Local Reference Points

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

  • Feature