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  • Why Aren't These Children in School?

    These Andean children are looking through a window into their schoolhouse. I'm inside; they are not. Seems like it should be the other way around, but this particular day is not a school day. It is an extremely rainy day. Just a few miles from here, the trail ascends to a 15,000 foot pass where it's snowing fiercely. Our guide doesn't want us to cross in those conditions. He negotiated with the small village to let our group of adventure travelers use the one-room schoolhouse until the weather breaks. For the children, this is a novelty.

    I saw a lot of children while hiking in the Peruvian Andes. Most of them were also hiking, but they were hiking to school. Some people live within the bounds of a small village, but many families are isolated, quite distant from the school. The children I saw seemed to enjoy hiking several miles—big wide smiles on their faces. But perhaps they were smiling because I and my companions were an odd-looking group of tall people with hiking sticks, funny hats, and big boots.

    Peru education attendance:

    • Ages 6 - 11: 92% ages 6-11
    • Ages 12-16: 66%
    • Literacy--96% in urban areas, 80% in rural areas.

    What about water? See Peru: Water Isn't for Everyone. A few excerpts . . .

    "Water is not only in short supply in Peru, but it is also poorly distributed in relation to the population. Seventy percent of the people live in the arid strip along the Pacific Ocean, where just 1.8 percent of the country's freshwater supply is found."

    "According to the Oxfam report, more than half of Peru's rivers with highest demand for use are severely polluted: the Chira, Piura, Llaunaco, Santa and Huallaga rivers in the north; the Chillón, Yauli and Mantaro in the central region; and the Chili River in the south."

  • Health Care for Rural Ecuador: Dr. David Gaus

    We in the USA have be debating for decades whether to provide affordable health care to everyone. Really, it has been decades. Lots of talk, no action, and our poorest citizens are still without health care.

    During this time, David Gaus visited Quito, Ecuador and had a life changing experience that caused him to go to Tulane Meidal School . He returned to Ecuador after becoming a physician to dedicate his life to getting healthcare for the poor and rural people of Ecuador.

    Dr. Gaus started Andean Health with a goal of creating a self-sustaining health care facility.

    "Quality, Sustainable Healthcare for the World's Poor."

    Watch this video to learn where his services are and a little bit about the communities he serves.

    Over the next few weeks I'll feature stories of his patients. Most of them never had any hope of getting healthcare locally. Their stories are touching.

    Find out more about Dr. David Gaus and Andean Health

  • Rural Hospital Saves Lives of Premature Twins

    Rural hospitals are sometimes faced with giving care to patients who should be in a major hospital. That's exactly what happened to the Andean Health and Development hospital in Pedro Vicente Maldonado (PVM) when Fabiola arrived in labor with twins, 5 weeks before her due date.

    There was no time for Fabiola to travel from the country to Quito. The lives of her twin babies were in the hands of the PVM rural hosptial. Fabiola's babies were born without any major issues. Each was only 3 pounds. The rural hospital provided comprehensive neonatal care—antibiotics, intravenous fluids, phototherapy, aggressive feeding, and lots of TLC.

    Are you interested in helping the rural poor in Ecuador? Contact Andean Health and Development or donate to them.

  • A Schoolhouse in Peru

    These Andean children are looking through a window into their schoolhouse. I'm inside; they are not. Seems like it should be the other way around, but this particular day is not a school day. It is an extremely rainy day. Just a few miles from here, the trail ascends to a 15,000 foot pass where it's snowing fiercely. Our guide doesn't want us to cross in those conditions. He negotiated with the small village to let our group of adventure travelers use the one-room schoolhouse until the weather breaks. For the children, this is a novelty.

    I saw a lot of children while hiking in the Peruvian Andes. Most of them were also hiking, but they were hiking to school. Some people live within the bounds of a small village, but many families are isolated, quite distant from the school. The children I saw seemed to enjoy hiking several miles—big wide smiles on their faces. But perhaps they were smiling because I and my companions were an odd-looking group of tall people with hiking sticks, funny hats, and big boots.

    Peru education attendance:

    • Ages 6 - 11: 92% ages 6-11
    • Ages 12-16: 66%
    • Literacy--96% in urban areas, 80% in rural areas.