In Mexico, A Handful of Students and Professionals Assist a Needy Community – Seventh-day Adventist Church

In Mexico, A Handful of Students and Professionals Assist a Needy Community – Seventh-day Adventist Church

March 29, 2021 | Montemorelos, Nuevo Leon, Mexico | Laura Marrero and Inter-American Division News

For more than six months, dozens of the most-needy low-income families in the Martínez Dominguez Community in Montemorelos, Nuevo Leon, Mexico, have been receiving free medical attention, food baskets and basic items thanks to a group of students and health professionals from Montemorelos University.

Because of the pandemic, millions of families began to face economic difficulties as well as physical and mental health issues, including those in the Martínez Dominguez Community, explained Dr. Roel Cea, director of the Health Promoting University program (Universidad Promotora de la Salud) at Montemorelos University.

A medical professional treats a man’s leg as part of the free medical services offered by students and professionals from Montemorelos University, at the Martínez Dominguez Community in Montemorelos, Nuevo Leon, Mexico, early this month. [Photo: Montemorelos University]

The Martinez Dominguez Community has been receiving help since 2019, but challenges became more difficult during the pandemic, said Cea. Only a handful of health professionals and five students, who were completing their social service in medicine, psychology, physical and rehabilitation therapy, were available to assist the needy community, he explained.

Classes have continued online ever since the university transitioned into virtual learning back in March of 2020.

“Every time we go to [this] community, we see their great needs and that’s why we try to reach more persons every chance we get,” Cea said.

A food bag is handed to a mother with her two children at the Martínez Dominguez Community in Montemorelos. The initiative is part of an ongoing project to assist with food and free medical services in the needy community since August 2020, as pandemic lingers. [Photo: Montemorelos University]

“Many of them have very humble work during normal times, but when the pandemic hit they lost what they had and had very little resources to feed their families, so it just got worse,” said Dr. Arturo King, associate director for the Health Promoting University program at Montemorelos University.  “Students wanted to supply the most urgent needs of the community at the start of the school year in August, and we had the responsibility as a university to not abandon them.”

Persons in the Martínez Dominguez Community received psychological services, general medical consultations and basic physical therapy in the health center and sometimes in their homes, said King. More than 100 persons received medical attention and more than 250 families received food boxes.

“We believe that our mission is, not only as a university, but as Christians, to be the hands of Christ and to be a living sermon, not with mere words but with actions,” said King. “It is the responsibility that God has put in our hands and we should continue accomplishing [that responsibility].”

Students hand food items to a man in his wheel chair after he received physical therapy treatments in his home in the Martínez Dominguez Community earlier this month. [Photo: Montemorelos University]

Since 2017, funding for the Martinez Dominguez Community project has been provided by the Adventist Health White Memorial Medical Center in Los Angeles, California, United States. Logistical expertise and resources have been provided by the Health Promoting University program at Montemorelos University.

The specific project is scheduled to finish in December, said Dr. Cea, while the pandemic still lingers and additional needs are assessed for further focus.

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