What are our promotoras thankful for?

If you’re reading this post from the States, you’ve likely put a full tank in your car, ready for interstate Thanksgiving travel. Maybe you’ve already decided which sweet potato pie recipe you’ll follow. (If your family is anything like mine, the recipe hasn’t changed in the last fifty years.)

And though we’re not basting turkeys here in Ollantaytambo, we’re still observing the meaningful tradition of expressing gratitude.

About a month ago, we invited our promotoras (community health workers) to photograph representations of “health” and “un-health” in their home communities to promote the first ever Global Day for the Right to Health. Many of their photographs illuminate healthcare deficits: polluted water sources and barren land where a health post could stand. Some, however, depict very positive, healthy aspects of the altoandina communities. The promotoras are thankful for these amenities, because they improve the general health of their neighbors by increasing access to services. We’d like to share their photographs with all our readers celebrating Thanksgiving and those that—like us—simply enjoy the act of appreciation. Please keep the promotoras in mind when sharing what you’re thankful for tomorrow!

Kelccanka's schools
Kelccanka’s school buildings

“For me, the school represents good health, because the children are learning and they receive balanced meals.”—Ana Cecilia, from the community of Kelccanka.

Promotora Victoria puts paste on the toothbrushes she distributed to children in her community.
Promotora Victoria puts paste on the toothbrushes she distributed to children in her community.

“Victoria, what do you think improves the health of your community?”
—“Me! When I give community presentations or make house visits I’m improving the health of my neighbors.”—Victoria, from the community of Patacancha.

New gravel road.
New gravel road in Huilloc

“Finally they’ve begun constructing the road! We asked and asked our town’s governing council for many years and they’re finally here. If the project does get completed, it would bring us opportunities for economic development and sanitation. We’d have more freedom to select the food we buy (we could finally bring heavy foods like fruits and vegetables to our homes) and the types of material we use for our homes.”—Teresa, from the community of Huilloc.

Happy Thanksgiving from the team at Sacred Valley Health!

 

Written by Courtney Weintraub

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