Hospital Misión Tarahumara

Tarahumara Hospital - Samachique, Chihuahua, Mexico

Hospital Misión Tarahumara – Samachique, Chihuahua, Mexico

Requirements: Intermediate Spanish or better required. Fluent Spanish required for medical students.

Profile: Mexico Medical Missions is a non-denominational Christian organization founded in 1988 by Dr. Michael and Maci Berkeley, with the desire to provide medical and community development services to the people of the Sierra Madre Mountains of Chihuahua, beginning with a crippled children’s clinic in the city of Chihuahua. Ten years later, Dr. Berkeley and his wife decided to transition to full-time service to the Tarahumara Indians and began to research how to build a hospital in order to do so. The Berkeleys were approached by an Amish group that had heard of their desire who offered to build the hospital, and construction commenced in 1999.

Hospital Misión Tarahumara was finished in 2000 and is now a 25-bed hospital with outpatient area, dental suite, pharmacy, X-ray suite, pediatric ward, men’s and women’s wards, birth center, emergency room and a sophisticated surgical area. Every year an estimated 10,000 patients are treated, 100 infants are delivered and 300 operations performed. The patients are cared for, loved and prayed for. There is also a very active Community Health Evangelism program, which works in remote communities delivering healthcare and agricultural assistance, always interlaced with the Gospel.

Time Difference: -1 Hours (EST), U.S.A.

Location: Hospital Misión Tarahumara is located in Samachique, Chihuahua, in the heart of the Sierra Madre Mountains, and is situated at approximately 7,000 feet above sea level.

Language: Spanish is the official language of Mexico, but the residents of the Sierra Madre speak their own dialect–Tarahumara

Religion: Animism is the prevalent religion.

Climate: The hospital is located in a mountainous region. The summer months are the rainy season with a maximum temperature of 85 degrees. Winter is the dry season with likely frost in the morning and temperatures rising to around 65 degrees during the day. It is common to see frost on the ground in the morning during the winter, but this soon melts away. There are a few times during the winter where there is precipitation, and this can turn to snow.

Housing: Volunteers are lodged on the hospital compound. Houses, duplexes, apartments and dormitories are available and volunteers are given lodging depending on if they are traveling/serving in a group, as a family or as a single individual.

Food: From Monday through Friday lunch is a food cooperative in the hospital dining room from 1-2 PM. Volunteers will need to let the kitchen staff know ahead of time if/when lunch is wanted so that the appropriate number of servings can be made. Volunteers are responsible for their own breakfasts, dinners and meals during the weekend. If desired, arrangements can be made to have someone prepare meals for a fee.

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