Shalom Family Medical Center

Shalom Family Medical Center

Shalom Family Medical Center – Santiago Texacuangos, El Salvador

Mission: Operated by Harvesting In Spanish

Vision: To reach people for Christ and to provide training, resources, and opportunities to serve Him. Through the Shalom Family Medical Clinic, we care for people’s physical needs in Jesus’ Name, while providing training and service opportunities for Christian medical and dental students and professionals.

Specialty Needs: DDS, EM, FM/IM, RN, OBG, PEDS

Requirements: 2 week minimum service time. Intermediate to fluent Spanish preferred, but translators available for hire. Will accept medical students and residents.

Profile: Harvesting in Spanish (HIS) was founded in 1977 in the country of El Salvador by Don and Rose Ann Benner. Don left his executive position at an international corporation. The Benners sold their home, furniture, and vehicles and moved their two children to Costa Rica for a year of language school before being invited to El Salvador to begin a literature ministry – distributing Bibles, Christian books, and Sunday School materials during the time of crisis in the country in the late 1970s.

Since that time, HIS has expanded into three Joshua Christian bookstores, Shalom Children’s Home and school, Oasis Children’s Feeding Ministry, Living Stones Church, and the Shalom Family Medical Clinic.

HIS is an independent, non-profit, interdenominational evangelical mission committed to advancing the Gospel in El Salvador through literature distribution, healthcare, and the investment in young lives by instilling Christian values and hope for a brighter future. The expectation is that these young people will be the agents of change for their nation as they grow up.

Shalom Family Medical Center has six general exam rooms for pediatric and general care, a gyno-obstetric exam room with ultrasound, two dental chairs, an X-ray room, basic pharmacy, clinical laboratory, two trauma/emergency bays, administrative offices, staff lounge, two classrooms, chapel and offices for a psychologist and a social worker, staff kitchen, and regular and handicapped bathrooms on each floor. The next phase of development of the building will allow the center to have an out-patient operating room, patient recovery room, and physical therapy area.

Time Difference: 1 Hour (EST) March through November; -2 Hours (EST) November through March

Location: Shalom Family Medical Center is located in Santiago Texacuangos, approximately 10 miles southeast of the international airport in Sal Salvador. The airport is located at sea level on the coast, and the hospital is approximately 1,700 feet above sea level.

Language: Spanish is the official language and is spoken by virtually all inhabitants. Some indigenous people speak their native tongues, but indigenous Salvadorans who do not identify as mestizo constitute only 1% of the country’s population. However, all of them can speak Spanish.

Spanish is preferred by the hospital, but the degree of knowledge needed depends greatly on the role you will be serving in. Translators are available for hire by volunteers for a fee of $15 per day. This will need to be arranged prior to your departure, so please inform your Placement and/or Logistics Coordinator if you will require this service.

Religion: The majority of the population in El Salvador is Christian. Roman Catholics (47%) and Protestants (33%) are the two major denominations in the country. Those not affiliated with any religious group amount to about 17% of the population. The remaining 3% is made up of Jehovah’s Witnesses, Hare Krishnas, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Latter-day Saints, and those adhering to indigenous religious beliefs. The number of evangelicals in the country is growing rapidly.

Climate: El Salvador has a tropical climate with pronounced wet and dry seasons. Temperatures vary primarily with elevation and show little seasonal change, with the average temperature in Santiago Texacuangos averaging around 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

The rainy season (May through November) is considered the winter, and almost all of the annual rainfall occurs during this period. During this time it rains primarily in the late afternoon and at night, although there are exceptions.

December through April are the summer months and the northeast trade winds control the weather patterns. During these months, by the time the air flowing from the Caribbean reaches El Salvador, it is dry, hot, and hazy. This excludes the northern higher mountain ranges, where temperatures will remain cool.

Housing: All volunteers are housed in apartments at the Shalom Children’s Home. If you would like an apartment with a kitchen in order to prepare your own meals, please notify your Logistics Coordinator so that proper inquiries/arrangements can be made. If the apartment is available during your stay, it will be reserved for you.

Volunteers will need to bring bath towels and/or wash cloths for their use. Some bed linens are provided – you will be notified prior to your departure if you must bring your own. Mosquito nets are not kept in the apartments, but most bedrooms are equipped with AC, and all have fans.

There is a swimming pool and basketball court on the campus, and a net can be set up on the basketball court for volleyball if desired.

Food: Meals are provided at the Children’s Home, the cost of which is included in the daily rate. Specific desired foods can be brought from home or some may be found at the nearby grocery store, including soy and almond milk, as well as some gluten-free products. Food costs are approximately the same as what you would pay in the United States.

Laundry: Washers and dryers are available for use to wash laundry when needed. Detergent is not provided. Please make sure to use only the specified machines for volunteers.

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