The Sacred Valley Health staff want to express our gratitude to the volunteers from SUNY Brockport and SUNY Buffalo for their work earlier this month on 3 one-day health campaigns in Ollantaytambo and surrounding communities.
These campaigns were aimed at developing health knowledge and improving wellbeing among porters who work on the Inca Trail. These men carry items like tents, sleeping bags, and cooking equipment for tourists who are hiking. SVH teamed up with Aptae, an association that represents the porters from the different communities in the Sacred Valley. Together, SVH, Aptae, and the SUNY volunteers hosted health campaigns in Rafka, Pallata, and Ollantaytambo.
Sacred Valley Health’s promotoras (community health workers) served as the instructors. They regularly share their knowledge and skills at their communities’ general assemblies, and by making presentations to small groups, particularly weaving cooperatives and mothers’ clubs. However, this was the first time they had taught porters. Topics included how to treat hypothermia and altitude sickness, and how to set a fractured bone.
The SUNY volunteers supported the promotoras by acting the part of injured victims, and ensuring that the information being shared with the porters was accurate. They provided support and encouragement for the promotoras, who provided vital first aid training to 121 porters and other community members. The volunteer nurses also provided physical exams to the porters, many of whom had never before had one.
The collaboration between the SUNY volunteers, Sacred Valley Health, and Aptae was a great success. We are grateful for everyone’s hard work and the positive impact that it made!