Many organizations have been involved in the village of Amatitian in Nicaraqua. This third world country is in terrible need of outside help. In 1998, Hurricane Mitch’s extensive rains passed through and destroyed many rural communities from Chacraseca to Amatitian. Hundreds of houses in these communities collapsed within two days under 4 feet of rain. Two million Nicaraguans were directly affected by the hurricane. The situation was further worsened by the total of 75,000 live land mines (left over from the Contra insurgency of 1980) that were uprooted and relocated by the floodwaters. Mudslides left around 800,000 people homeless.
One mission, Project Nicaragua, of Our Lady Queen of Martyrs in Centerport New York, has helped build homes in the region as well as provide building materials and job opportunities to residents. Since the year 2000, 85 homes have been built along with 8 additional homes per year since then. Latrines have also been built in every single one of those homes. Alongside homes, educational, spiritual, and medical help has also been provided.
Most notably, this past February, a team of nurses led a medical mission to the village of Amatitian. Three nurses from Northport NY Veterans Affairs Medical Center volunteered their services to help bring aid as part of Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Parish from Forest Hills, New York. The nurses, Mary Anne Dumas, RN, a family nurse practitioner, along with Kammy McLoughlin, RN, pediatric NP, a faculty member at Stony Brook NY University’s School of Nursing, and Kelly McLoughlin, MD, pediatrician made their way to Nicaragua. They worked as a medical team together, hosting clinics for both children and adults out of a local Catholic church in Amatitian.
Mary Anne Dumas has said the group not only made home visits but saw as many as 117 sick and healthy children, and also 99 sick adults. With the help of translators and nursing students from both Nicaragua and other organizations such as Project Nicaragua, quality and primary care was provided to the villagers.
It is with the help of these amazing organization and caring educated people, that changes for the better are occurring in Nicaragua and in other third world countries as well. Optimistically, these kind-hearted nurses, will continue providing an inspiration to others in the medical field, urging them to take their skills and specialties to another level by volunteering and providing aid to those in need.