Prather Pediatric and Allergy Center - Ask Doctor Brent

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Category: Allergy Pearls

For the past two years, I have had the privilege of working with doctors, dentists, nurses, and other supportive friends and family on a medical mission in the Yucatan. We work under the direction of a young priest in a town of two thousand called Chacsinkin, Yucatan. Father Juan has an amazing mission team and has inspired us all to join their ten year plan. It is mainly to empower the indigent Mayans to help themselves. The team of one priest and eight college educated support people truly live their mission.

This past June and July, our third medical/dental labor group spent ten full days in and around Chacsinkin. We again treated hundreds of very sick Mayans this year in even more isolated pueblos away from Chacsinkin. We saw lots of challenging infections, parasites, backaches, gastritis, and even cancer. We were able to refer some of our sicker patients to regional centers and treat the milder ones in their pueblo homes. One of our sickest patients this year had typhoid fever but did well. We saw scorpions, rattlesnakes, tarantulas, and iguanas. Despite those scares, no one in our entire group of twenty got hurt or got diarrhea. We ended our ten days very tired but feeling good about our contribution.

As I reflect on the beautiful Mayan people, I think we all can learn a message from their examples. The Mayans do not have clocks and watches in their homes. They rest everyday after lunch for an hour or two. They visit at night in the cool outside of their homes. These visits involve entire families and occasionally teenagers and small children in separate groups. They walk almost everywhere and ride bikes a lot. Their pets and animals can roam the community freely and no one ever bothers them or complains about them. They awaken to the sound of proud roosters crowing and numerous other birds and fall asleep to the sound of crickets and cicadas. Mayan children seem especially caring and gentle to their younger siblings. Make believe play (without toys or Nintendo) is seen everywhere. Smiles seem to be universal. They eat large quantities of fresh fruits and vegetables and seem to have almost no high blood pressure or heart disease. Babies and the elderly are especially revered and treated with amazing gentleness. Almost every baby is breast fed past their first birthday.

Reflecting on these Mayan characteristics, I think we all can learn and benefit from their message. Don't you? If anyone is interested in supporting or joining our Rotary/CCC Mission group, please contact me. We hope to have a fundraiser supper on Jefferson Island this Fall.