October 2014 Trip Report


We began our season with a successful Lopez Mateos clinic, but with some question whether there would be one clinic, two clinics or no clinics at all.  At one point, the no clinic option seemed possible, courtesy of the weather.  Hurricane Odile had the potential to make runways unusable, but our Lopez strip survived and the damage to the clinic was patched sufficiently to make it the great facility it always is.  The question left from Odile was whether Hotel Serenidad, Mulege, would be a fit place to land and stay, but more about that later.  Just slightly more than a week before clinic, there continued to be heavy rains at Lopez Mateos induced by tropical storms and a question whether the runway and the ground around the clinic would be dried enough to be useable.  Fortunately the rain stop in time and the runway and clinic area were both very functional.

On to the two clinic scenario- Laguna San Ignacio (LSI) is scheduled every other month starting in November.  Hurricane Odile cut LSI’s only access road and deprived them of many things, including their normal medical support.  LSI is primarily a dental clinic, but we were ready to offer a small October medical clinic if needed.  We canceled that clinic because we learned, just the weekend before, that normal medical services were restored.  A dental clinic would have been useful, but not possible, because there was no propane to run the generator and perhaps not enough fresh water.   There is no local supply since there desalinization plant broke down, so all fresh water is brought in over the access road.

As you will see from Alicia’s blog,  http://samaritansmovil.blogspot.com/  the Lopez Mateos clinic was a great success.  If you’ve not looked before, you will also see pictures of the Odile damage and get an appreciation for the hard work required to get the facility back in shape.  Once again we had a generous and much appreciated contribution from the Santa Barbara Aeromedicos and thank them for their continued support.  We were able to partially return the favor by treating several patients that were driven in from Cadeje.  (Recall access to their Cadeje clinic is currently blocked because of runway issues.)  A new development - going forward we should have a local psychologist/social worker join us at our Lopez Mateos clinic.  Her focus is primarily women and children, but she will work with all, and has access to local resources for issues that require follow up.   I’m guessing some of you have encounter patients that need this support, including, sadly, abused spouses, so I hope this works out.

Our stay at Serenidad was pleasant and not as ‘rustic’ as I feared it might be.  They suffered heavy flood damage during Odile, but had done an excellent job restoring the hotel and they were ability to offer good service to their guests.  The only thing we encountered was some lack of a consistent hot water supply to the rooms. The runway was in decent shape except very near the pad on the far end where the planes make the turnaround before takeoff.  It made it harder to make the turn, but it worked out OK.  We were glad to give them some business after they got hit so hard and also glad to see other guests and planes there that were not part of our group or the Aeromedicos. 

Our next clinic is scheduled for November 14-16 and we are planning both a Lopez Mateos and an LSI clinic.  Also, please support the December Lopez Mateos clinic, December 19-21.  I know, it’s close to Christmas, but staying consistent with the third Saturday of the month really helps our patients know when to make their way to clinic. Consider it a golden opportunity to take a break from the holiday madness, including that holiday event you’d avoid, if only you had a noble excuse!  See you soon!


¡ Viva las clínicas !