Whom We Serve
Centro Medico primarily serves 12 rural villages. We also care for anyone else in the surrounding 40,000 person area who cannot afford healthcare on their own. We treat patients of all ages and with a wide range of health concerns.
The village of Palacios is closest in proximity to Centro Medico and has worked with the clinic since its opening in 2001. Palacios' population is around 280. Most of the families support themselves by working the surrounding land which is primarily owned by a few families living in the city of Santa Cruz. Families typically live at a subsistence level, earning around $40 per month. Average family size is 4-5 persons and the average home is usually made of mud and reeds and has two rooms and an open air kitchen. Rice, bread, corn and the root vegetable, yucca, are staples of the diet. The typical mode of transportation remains horse and cart.
Each of the 12 main communities served by Centro Medico assumes an active role in its healthcare and has empowered itself by maintaining a Centro Medico clinic support group. The groups meet regularly with clinic nurses to discuss health issues and to coordinate clinic programming. The groups also provide feedback to clinic staff, helping to ensure that we continue to meet the needs of the people we serve. Additionally, the groups make a monthly donation to a community emergency care fund managed by Centro Medico. The clinic support groups have become indispensable to the daily operations of Centro Medico. Each group sends local volunteers to work in clinic reception and intake, cook for the volunteer medical staff, clean the clinic and help organize Centro Medico festivities.