Primeros Pasos is focused on implementing programs that align with the sustainable development goals. Our programs primarily focus on providing the communities of the Palajunoj Valley access to medical and dental services, as well as education on healthy and safe nutritional and hygiene practices. Primeros Pasos is determined to find sustainable solutions and help remove the social and economic barriers that indigenous communities within the Palajunoj Valley are confronted with.
Primeros Pasos Clinic
Our Medical and Dental Program aims to provide reliable and affordable local health care to all adults and children in the Palajunoj Valley through a walk-in clinic open every weekday. These programs are focused on promoting a new perspective on healthcare and is aimed at decreasing the amount of illnesses within the Palajunoj Valley. Primeros Pasos understands the inequalities of access to proper health care for the indigenous groups in rural regions. Primeros Pasos offers medical, nutritional and pharmaceutical services, and is the only dental provider in the entire region. On average, our primary care clinic attends to 4,000 walk-in patients annually, and most commonly treats patients with respiratory illnesses, intestinal infections and parasites, malnutrition, dermatological issues, and hypertension. The medical team assist and monitors women with their maternal health through ultrasounds, providing family planning and contraceptives, and giving midwife assistance.
Community Outreach Programs
The Outreach Programs target four key rural communities of the Palajunoj Valley – Las Majadas, Bella Vista, Chuicavioc, and Tierra Colorada Alta. These are the highest need communities of the Valley that lack of access to necessary resources such as potable water and healthcare services. The Community Outreach programs are driven to addressing these issues and providing access to basic health necessities. The programs’ main objectives are to improve quality of life through educational empowerment and community involvement.
The Community Outreach programs consistently aim to recruit women, their children under the age of 2, and pregnant women, in order to target the first 1,000 days of a child’s life—the crucial window of opportunity for development beginning from pregnancy to a child’s second birthday. Because this unique period provides the essential building blocks for brain development, healthy growth and a strong immune system across a lifespan, it is vital that both mother and baby have proper nutrition during this critical period. In order to increase the audience, the program also accepts mothers with children under age 5 and any other adult community members wishing to participate. The outreach program intends to equip parents with the knowledge and skills they need to provide the best start in life for their children.
The aim of the Open Nutrition Group is to educate community members on preventive health practices and provide parents with the practical knowledge and tools to maintain healthy, hygienic homes. Discussions, led by Monica, cover topics including: school snacks, hygiene and food handling, hand washing and teeth brushing, breastfeeding, importance of vaccination and supplementation, diabetes, and family planning. The health education is tailored specifically to the rural communities of the Valley and addresses infrastructural obstacles to healthy living such as lack of nutritious food, unreliable transportation, and poor water quality
Multiple times a year we put together a ‘mobile clinic’ and set up in each of the four communities so that community members have access to our services right in their town centers or schools. Through Mobile Clinics we strive to bring medical and dental services to the communities, ensuring that healthcare is equitably delivered throughout the Palajunoj Valley through interdisciplinary methods.