We're the Community Health Brigada 43 (Brigada de Salud Comunitaria 43) based in Tixtla, in the state of Guerrero, Mexico.
For over three years now, we've been organizing to make holistic health care eventually available to all in the region of Tixtla. We're a grassroots group primarily made up of Indigenous, campesina women and also of teachers, historians, doctors, paramedics, and others. Our work is based on communitary principles and prioritizes Indigenous cosmovision. Our structure is horizontal and none of the members of the Brigada are paid for their work. We sustain our work mostly through donations and small economic self-sustaining projects. Our work is done independant of all political parties and government institutions.
Over these 3 years, our work has mostly focused on the training of community health constructors so that they can prevent, diagnose and treat the most common illnesses in their communities. We've also organized educational, cultural and sports activities for youth and children. We produce traditional medicine and hygiene products made from curative plants. We believe that true health can only be achieved by constructing strong, loving communities structured on mutual aid, respect, justice, freedom, creativity, happiness and harmony between all living beings.
What is a community paramedic?
For about two years now, besides the regular training workshops for health constructors, we've been organizing advanced first aid workshops for community paramedics - women, men and youth (including children!). In these workshops, we share knowledge and skills necessary to train first responders in very resource limited contexts. The workshops cover medical emergencies that unfortunately are quite common in Tixtla and other regions of Guerrero and Mexico: various types of accidents, dehydration due to poor nutrition and heat exposure, and different kinds of lesions produced by situations of violence. Given the lack of institutional health care services in many of these areas, we believe that it is vital to train those most affected in order to reduce the morbidity and mortality of these medical emergencies.
We've already begun seeing results of the training - various community members and compañeros who have taken the training have been able to meaningfully intervene in different situations requiring first aid. These small changes can be huge in a context where less than fifty percent of the population has access to health care services and where that access is made even more difficult given the lack of medical professionals, diagnostic tools, material, treatment, and discriminatory practices. The accessibility to health care services is also one of the many aspects of every day life that has been affected by the extreme levels of violence in the state in recent years; Guerrero is now listed as the state with the highest number of violent homicides in Mexico.
What is the Manual we’re asking you to help us publish?
In these past years of work in Guerrero, we’ve come up against a real barrier of lack of study and review material for folks in rural communities – centered on their concrete realities and needs. So, we decided to put down in writing, through months of work, all of the material we give during our first aid courses. We combined our experience in Guerrero with updated criteria, protocols and recommendations from various first responder, emergency medicine and trauma courses and adapted it all in accessible language for folks who don’t necessarily have previous health care or emergency training. The manual contains 17 chapters with lots of color, diagrams and pictures and covers everything from basic anatomy and physiology and vital signs to control of hemorrhages to psychological first aid in extreme situations.
How can you help us get this Manual published?
So this is why we’re asking for donations. The manuscript is finished. A team is working on the final edits. The challenge now is putting together the amount needed to print 1000 manuals – a total of 5000 Canadian dollars is needed and our goal is to raise it before June 2018.
We’re asking folks to make at least a 20 dollar donation – with this amount we’ll be happy to include your name (or collective or org’s name) in a list of supporters that will be included in the manual.
Your donations will not only make printing the manual possible – they help us get the book to folks who have already taken the training or will in the future but don’t have the means to pay for material to help them study and review afterwards. We also plan on making the manual available to other grassroots group doing work in Mexico (or elsewhere) to whom the contents can be useful.
DonationsSee top donations
- Jared Will
- John O'Neill
- Patricia Gomez
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