Summary of Research

This summer we worked on a variety of issues in the community as we continued to keep the project’s momentum going. This abstract will briefly summarize the majority of the projects we focused on.

With respect to HOMBRE, we successfully laid the foundation for possible HOMBRE-SOMOS future research efforts, established a deeper understanding of the CHC’s organizing role in addressing community needs, and facilitated the communication and collaboration of this research team with the CHC and other members of the community.

In order to reach out to UNAP, the clinic in Mama Tingo, we met with Dra. Turbi, Dr. Alvarez, Dr. Mark, and the CHC at the clinic in Mama Tingo. We discussed the fichas that had not yet arrived, the health promotor’s role as a link between the community, the possibility of programs in the community that would address chronic illness concerns, and the medication that might be provided by the clinic at these meetings. Additionally, we gathered more information about the obstacle posed by lack of insurance/documentation in the community and how that limits what the clinic can do for community members. This might be something to pursue in the future with SeNaSa (nationalized insurance) and other groups.

In order to work with the CHC on its separate projects and general organizational structure, we met several times with members of the CHC and discussed the results of the pilot project, created a census with questions relating to insurance and documentation (which will be carried out by CHC members before January), and began to develop a pattern of more regular meetings and improved internal collaboration.

We conducted a full population Social Network Analysis with all women over the age of 18 in the community. Questions were focused on flooding and health with the new spatial/quantitative dimensions that previous rounds of SNA did not address.

We furthered initiatives to work with the Engineers Without Borders through 1) discussing the outcome of the application and the next steps that will be necessary should the project be adopted, 2) making plans with the community regarding preparations that would need to be made before an EWB representative arrives, and 3) restructuring the EWB committee (combined with the boat committee) with interested members from each block and created a concrete list of goals.

To follow up on the boat project, we discussed the next steps involving the boat within each block group and then at the community level. There were many differing opinions as to what should be done with the boat. For now, the consensus was to hold on to the boat for a few more months with the intention of exploring the boat’s use in case of an emergency. However, in January there is a high likelihood that the community will vote to bring the boat home.

Last, in beginning efforts to explore the possibility of a community center, we discovered that the community is in near-unanimous agreement that a center would be useful for many purposes. Since this is such an important project to the community, it was decided that beginning plans should proceed now so that the project can take place with or without the aid of EWB. The community members formed a committee with members from each block that would be focused on exploring uses for such a center and to discuss maintenance/ownership of the center.