Preparation and Promotora Training

As we new volunteers settle into our roles at SVH, our second week has provided a great insight into the varied work schedule that lies ahead over our six months of volunteering as Community Coordinators! We spent most of the week preparing for our first promotora training, which took place yesterday. At the beginning of the week we shopped for supplies in Cusco, carting rice, oats, and other staple foods back to Ollanta  – all to then be ultimately handed out to our promotoras as incentives after they complete training.

Bags of rice to be given to the promotoras after they complete training
Bags of rice to be given to the promotoras after they complete training

Starting early on Tuesday, we visited promotoras in outlying communities to inform them of the training later in the week. Hiking between homes and back to the office in Ollantaytambo provided us with the perfect opportunity to meet the promotoras, their families (and dogs), and to explore the beautiful countryside in which they live.

Trekking through the greater Ollanta countryside in search of promotoras
Trekking through the greater Ollanta countryside in search of promotoras

The first day of training (in 2013) took place yesterday at Sacred Valley Health’s office in Ollanta. Although only two promotoras were able to attend, we made the most of the relaxed environment and worked collaboratively, successfully reviewing previously taught topics: diarrhea prevention and treatment; CPR; the Heimlich Maneuver; and first aid techniques. Additionally, our nurse Leticia expertly explained about cough and hypothermia, aided by visual demonstrations for treatment from the SVH volunteers. The promotoras discussed their knowledge of traditional, natural teas and treatments, including drinking ‘maté de eucalyptus’ and breathing in its vapors to help clear airways and aid recovery from cough. We hope that this training supported our promotoras’ existing knowledge base, promoting prevention and natural treatment of recoverable ailments… while also teaching us something new!

Promotora training in SVH's Ollanta office
Promotora training in SVH’s Ollanta office
More training exercises
More training exercises

Our second training of 2013 takes place today. More information to come next week!

Written by New Sacred Valley Health Community Coordinator Rose Nichol

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