The Villanueva, Nicaragua ministry is a joint partnership between St. Lucy's, All Saints Parish, and our sister community in Villanueva in support of their community network of volunteer healthcare workers (Brigadistas).
Brigadistas are volunteer healthcare workers who act as liaisons between the 56 communities in the rural areas surrounding the town of Villanueva and the Health Clinic.
Brigadistas provide vaccinations, weigh babies to make sure they are developing appropriately, council pregnant women and new mothers, and make sure pregnant women get to the Clinic to give birth in the presence of doctors and nurses.
In the 30+ year history of the Brigadista program, not one woman has died in childbirth!
The connection between Villanueva and Syracuse was formed in the mid-1980s by Frank Woolever of St. Andrew’s Church. Since that time, parishioners from St. Andrews, and now St. Lucy’s and All Saints have made visits to Villanueva and maintained communication with the “Directiva”, the leaders of the Community Health Network.
In 2013, a joint team of travelers from All Saints and St. Lucy’s made a commitment to the “Directiva” that we would provide $12,000 annually to support their work. This sum has now increased to $14,000 and provides resources for the monthly training sessions for the more than 100 Brigadistas (volunteer healthcare workers), provides transportation stipends to the sessions, and allows the Directiva to give the Brigdistas gift baskets in December which include items such as soap, toilet paper, tooth brushes, as well as food items such as rice and beans.
OPPORTUNITIES TO GET INVOLVED
We have made mission trips to Villanueva in 2013, 2015, 2017 and 2019. The political situation and pandemic have prevented us from returning recently, but we plan to resume trips when possible.
People with Spanish language skills can help translate
If you’re interested in joining our Steering Committee, new members are always welcome
We need occasional help with sending thank you letters to donors and helping distribute wreaths after masses in late November and early December at our wreath sale.
ARCHIVES OF OUR NEWSLETTER LOS HERMANOS
For access to current and past newsletters, and for more information in general on the Villanueva ministry, please visit the Villanueva page on the All Saints Parish website: https://www.allsaintssyracuse.org/nicaragua
Eileen Clinton, Co-director