The geography that has protected the Q’ero people’s culture and way of life also imposes many hardships. Severe climate, limited food resources, lack of infrastructure, and lack of basic services have a devastating effect. Among these effects is the fact that common ailments like respiratory infections and diarrhea sometimes lead to death due to lack of access to medical services.
This is about to change! Later this year, the Q’ero villages that we partner with will get their first ever regular medical services.
Heart Walk Foundation’s Gourmet Soiree and Auction held on March 4 far exceeded our fundraising goals for the evening. Funds raised by our generous donors will allow us to solve the urgent need in Q’ero villages for medical support.
The evening featured both silent and live auctions of items ranging from works of art and a private concert to Q’ero-created textiles. The highlight of the gathering was the screening of a short documentary, Building Foundations of Health in the Andes by filmmaker Seti Gershberg and Heart Walk Foundation’s Stacy Christensen.
“We’re so touched by the overwhelming success of the evening,” says cofounder Penelope Eicher. “We had hoped to raise funds to pay a Peruvian doctor for 3 months and now we’ll be able to do so much more,” she explained.
The Gourmet Soiree ensured that Heart Walk Foundation can now fund the following:
• A medical doctor FOR AN ENTIRE YEAR to serve thousands of Q’ero villagers.
• A motorcycle to transport the doctor to treat patients in each of the remote villages we serve in the region
• A solar panel, inverter, and batteries to provide light in the clinic for nighttime emergencies
• Three patient beds and blankets for those needing overnight care
The Peruvian doctor that will be attending the villages is qualified to attend complicated labor and delivery to save the lives of mothers and babies. For several years, the elders of every partner village have expressed this as a major priority.
The women and children suffer so much. Please help us with a doctor to alleviate their suffering.
The need for medical services has been a priority for Heart Walk since the first visit in 2004. And it’s been a challenge that until now was hard to solve.
“Every year when we return there are parents grieving death of children from untreated pneumonia,” says Eicher.
The foundation has tried various approaches with limited success until now. In 2011, ailing villagers were carried in open bed trucks down the mountain to be treated by visiting doctors. A Peruvian doctor was also funded to hike into the highlands, but she found it too difficult to return. Sustainable solutions were hard to come by.
With experience and the relationships Heart Walk Foundation has built in Peru, the formula for finally achieving success was designed around the purchase of a motorcycle to aid a physician hired to specifically serve the villages.
In addition to funding the doctor, the board voted on March 27 to redirect some of the 2017 budget priorities to hire a nurse as well.
Further fundraising this year will be applied to build two classrooms for the first ever high school built to serve youth in the Hapu Q’ero tribe.
If you were not able to attend this wonderful event, you may join us on December 2 in spectacular Zion Canyon at La Fave Gallery for another Gourmet Soiree to raise funds for Q’ero medical care. We are now funding services for 2018. Contact us to be added to the invitation list.