Comunidad’s goal is simple: to improve the lives and living conditions of the Nativos of northern Mexico. We accomplish these goals through our core programs: Salud (Health), Escuela, and Infrastructura.
Health education and prevention are at the foundation of Salud. Our goal is to educate the children and adults of the tribal communities in the areas critical to their particular health needs. We also offer periodic medical service trips and quarterly dental clinics through a partnership with the One Thousand Smiles Clinic in Ensenada, Mexico. We document our work in both pre- and post-studies and in medical and dental charts for each patient. Our philosophy of ‘symptom to source’ translates into treating severe cases first, looking at contributing infrastructure factors, such as contaminated water systems, and working with local authorities and the tribes to address these factors. The focus of our medical services is as follows:
Education to encourage healthy lifestyles & prevent chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes & hypertension
Clinics on women’s healthcare, drug abuse, neonatal care and basic dental hygiene
Screening to identify those with chronic diseases and track their progress
Supplemental services (tools and supplies) to manage these diseasesSpecialist treatment for acute cases
Preventive care and education
Basic treatment and restorative care
The Escuela program has a dual focus: to provide the means for tribal children to pursue their education past the sixth grade and to foster relationships between tribal and Bay Area schools.
Our Beca (scholarship) program helps tribal children pay the additional expenses of their schooling. The Mexican government provides education only through the sixth grade, with factory or field work (or pregnancy) often the only alternative. Students who want to attend Middle School (Secundaria) or High School (Preparatoria) must travel long distances (often having to board with a relative), pay tuition expenses and buy school supplies as well. Comunidad is committed to providing all tribal children who have the desire to finish school with the financial support to meet their educational goals. We conduct an annual health fair in Ensenada where students and families come to participate in a viariey of specialized workshops including nutrition, substance abuse, first aid, bullying, wellness, dental hygene. Sponsors of students receive a letter and picture click here from each child they sponsor. Become a sponsor now! click here
Cultural exchange: Bay Area schools can enhance their social studies, foreign language, and community involvement curricula by establishing a cultural exchange program with a tribal school. This exchange might include trading letters or videos with tribal classrooms; conducting fundraising programs to supplement tribal educational materials and classroom equipment; participating in tribal school upgrade trips to Baja; promoting tribal arts and crafts at school fairs; exchanging Spanish-English language materials; or setting up an Internet cultural exchange project.
At Comunidad, our interpretation of ‘community’ extends to the limited infrastructure that hampers the well-being and future of the Nativos, especially the children. It could be the lack of potable water that causes repeated illness in children. Or the absence of medical and dental databases, including health and dental records for each patient. Or the lack of a ‘Secundaria’ program, forcing children into the fields and factories at the age of 12. When we encounter these problems, we dedicate a medical or facilities team to determine the most cost-effective and lasting solution to the issue. We then collaborate with local agencies and organizations with expertise in these areas to address them, using as much tribal labor as possible in the process.
School upgrades: The school facilities of the tribal settlements are often in dismal condition. Children attend classes in rooms with no heat in the winter, broken windows, poor lighting, leaking roofs, and insufficient supplies. Most schools cannot provide functioning restrooms and often the only thing available is an outhouse. Comunidad’s goal is to repair and upgrade school buildings to improve the learning environment for tribal children. Bay Area schools and individual donors can help this effort through monetary and in-kind contributions for construction materials, or by volunteering construction expertise on building projects. Comunidad will provide the construction expertise and materials while each tribe provides volunteer workers to help with the labor.