History of NWB-Rocky Point
The NWB-SCNM Chapter took its first trip to volunteer in Puerto Peñasco (Rocky Point), Mexico in 2006 with a pediatric physical therapy clinic. Puerto Peñasco is a shrimp and fishing village with a population of over 30,000 people located on the Sea of Cortez (65 miles from the southern border of Arizona). In 2010, NWB began to work with the New Birth Mexican Mission (established 1991) and we have fostered this collaboration ever since. Clinics have been held in Puerto Peñasco by NWB monthly since 2007.
Our monthly primary care clinic has seen thousands of patients for a variety of conditions including diabetes, hypertension, pain, skin conditions, respiratory infections, developmental issues in children and more. The care provided at this clinic as well as all Naturopathic treatments is free to all patients. The vast majority of clinic visits are conducted in Spanish with the use of interpreters by an advanced medical student who works closely with a supervising physician. Treatment modalities include nutritional counseling, herbal medicine, supplementation, hydrotherapy, homeopathy, acupuncture, physical medicine and medications. We generally see 30-40 patients per day, most of whom are impoverished because of the struggling tourism industry in Puerto Peñasco. NWB provides the only medical care most of these patients receive. We have formed many important relationships with the local community to provide the best care we can to our patients. NWB partners with a local medical doctor who provides labs, imaging and continuing care for our patients at a reduced rate. Several community members volunteer their time to serve as interpreters during visits and to check patients in when they arrive for the day.
Each month NWB conducts health education classes, handouts and workshops for the patients in our waiting area. The intention of these classes is to expand on the individualized health education provided to each patient. Classes are taught by students and physicians and are recorded whenever possible to be replayed at future clinics.
Community Health Worker (Promotore)
NWB seeks to hire a Community Health Worker who lives in the community of Puerto Peñasco to bridge the gap in health-care between visits. This individual would monitor patients and communicate with NWB physicians to update them on the patient’s progress and discuss any necessary changes to the treatment plan. The health worker would also ensure patients are following the treatment plan as prescribed and can teach health education classes to duplicate our efforts in spreading the wisdom of Naturopathic Medicine while engaging the community.
Many patients in Puerto Peñasco are food insecure (they do not get enough to eat or do not have access to nutritious food). Gardening projects could help to fill in this gap. NWB is currently exploring community gardens, aquaponics systems and/or individual family gardens as solutions. Challenges to this include a place to install the garden, gardeners to travel to Puerto Peñasco to teach interested individuals about gardening, individuals to manage and monitor the garden.
I can’t even begin to describe the experience that I have gained by volunteering down in Rocky Point. From getting a greater appreciation and understanding of the Mexican culture, language and people, to the endless amount of clinical experience, volunteering with NWB in invaluable. Seeing our patient’s health improve, ensuring they get the care that they need and deserve, and the joy that it brings to the individual and their families is simply remarkable. Come and experience it yourself!
-Tanya Morin, NWB-SCNM Vice President
NWB-Rocky Point Resources
Naturopaths Without Borders is excited to announce that the second annual Heal. Empower. Sustain. Benefit will take place on Saturday, November 14th, 2015, in Phoenix, AZ. All proceeds from the event will benefit NWB and our work empowering low-resource communities through education, sustainable resources and Naturopathic healthcare.