Dear TIH family and supporters,
I am super bummed to tell you that the upcoming trip to Panama has been canceled.
Panama's Ministry of Health will not allow us to go down and run our clinic due to a flu and H1N1 outbreak, which they're calling an epidemic. I fought hard for the clinic and pushed back on their decision, as this is why we are there to help - to treat people especially in times of trouble.
The area we serve is in the mountains of the Chiriquí Province, where there has been a long history of gross neglect and racism from the Spanish Panamanians towards the natives, which is why they're in the state that they are in now. My assumption is that the Ministry of Healthy is blocking all medical teams to try to save face in the eyes of the world; this is not about protecting our well-being.
Please keep the Ngöbe people in your hearts and minds, and please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions.
–Benjamin Dearing, RN