Chiapas 2015 Team Information Page
Welcome to the information page for our 2015 Austere Medicine Skills-Training Initiative and Surgical Mission to Chiapas, Mexico. See below for basic itinerary and full team roster. Your personalized flight arrangements and confirmation numbers have been sent to you by email. Please print flight and insurance information and carry it with you as you travel.
Training programs in maternal health, rural ER skills and physical therapy will be run during our first week by Marty Kim, Sara May, Sierra Bourne, Sara Morra and Mike Gable. Our surgical team (Week Two) will consist of two specialties — OB-Gyn and General Surgery — led by Dr. Marty Kim and Dr. Fru Bahiraei respectively. Operations will be run by David Page and Scott McGuire. Ramona Delmas is our point person for Rotary International.
This project has been made possible by a generous Vocational Team Training grant ($71,833) from Rotary International and the Rotary Clubs of Bishop, California, as well as by the member fees you’ve paid or raised and a number of significant in-kind donations. Partner organizations include Rotary Club of Bishop Sunrise, Rotary Club of Bishop, Rotary Club of Tuxtla Gutierrez, Secretaria de Salud del Estado de Chiapas, DIF Regional de Chiapas, Universidad Intercultural de Chiapas (UNICH), Universidad Autónoma de Chiapas (UNACH), Secretaria de Protección Civil del Estado de Chiapas, Mammoth Hospital, Northern Inyo Hospital, Direct Relief International, InterpretAmerica, Sonosite and Sigvaris.
The following elements of your trip are paid for: roundtrip airfare to Tuxtla Gutierrez (TGZ), excess baggage fees for medical supplies and equipment, roundtrip ground transportation from TGZ to San Andrés Larraínzar, camping gear (excluding sleeping bag and pad), all meals during work days (meals and drinks in San Cristobal on your own pesos), travel insurance (see below), administrative and membership fees, a tee shirt, plus two nights’ shared hotel accommodations and a closing night dinner in San Cristobal de las Casas. See below for currency exchange suggestions for incidentals, souvenirs, etc.
If you’re interested in building an individual online fundraising page, or helping another team member with his/her’s, there’s still time! Go to MMM’s Chiapas 15 Crowdrise Funding Page. Members raising $600 or more will have the option to make a tax-deductible donation of their original $600 payment to MMM or to have this amount reimbursed.
Travel insurance has been arranged and paid for by Rotary International. You have been sent a copy of your individual policy by email with your flight information.
If you would like to supplement this policy, Dr. Bahiraei recommends GeoBlue. Also try TravelGuard. You should be able to get a fairly comprehensive single-trip plan with international medevac for between $16 and $45. Let us know if you find a great deal or have trouble.
CLINIC AND MISSION ACCOMMODATIONS:
We will be camping and working at the Hospital Básico Comunitario San Andrés Larráinzar, a small but modern rural clinic run by the Secretary of Health of the State of Chiapas, serving approximately 10,000 people (mostly indigenous Mayan). The village of San Andrés Larráinzar is located approximately 30-40 minutes’ drive above San Cristóbal de las Casas. We will have the run of a small three-room casita adjoining the clinic for eating and living and storing our personal belongings. Food (3 meals a day during working days) will be provided and prepared for us by local Rotarians. Brief showers with limited hot water will be available on the premises.
There is not much to spend money on in the village San Andrés Larráinzar but you will want some Mexican pesos in hand for incidentals, local crafts, souvenirs and such — especially for our day off at the end of the mission in San Cristóbal de las Casas. There is no bank or exchange desk in Larráinzar. Money can be exchanged in the Mexico City airport or upon arrival in Tuxtla through one of our local Rotary representatives. For our final night/day off, extra pesos can also be withdrawn at current exchange rates at a variety of ATM machines throughout downtown San Cristóbal. Many restaurants, bars and tourist shops in San Cristóbal accept Visa and Mastercard. Not many accept American Express.
COMMUNICATIONS & ELECTRONICS:
Do not count on access to wi-fi or Internet at the clinic. There is however limited cell phone reception in and around San Andrés Larráinzar. Check your cell service provider’s international rates or, during your layover in Mexico City, hustle outside security to purchase a cheap ($30) pre-paid Mexican SIM card for your unlocked smart phone (this will give you ample and affordable Internet access on your phone with a local phone number). We do have a satallite-based InReach device for emergencies, spot tracking, and occasional status updates. Encourage your friends and family to follow MMM’s Facebook Page for access to these updates.
There is electricity at the clinic and personal devices can be charged using the same plugs as in the U.S.
CONDUCT/MEDIA POLICY/CDC RECOMMENDATIONS:
Team members are responsible for their own health. Click here for CDC recommendations for travel to Mexico.
MISSION ITINERARY (Subject to final confirmation and flight availability)
May 3: Training Team Travel LAX-TGZ
May 4-8 (Week One): MMM/Rotary International Medical Skills-Training Initiative
May 9: Mass Casualty/Disaster Medicine Seminar (May/Kim/Page/Bourne) w/ Sec. de Protección Civil (Tuxtla)
May 10: Surgical Team Travel LAX-TGZ; Training Team Return TGZ-LAX
May 11-15 (Week Two): Routine/Elective Surgical Segment
May 11: Triage
May 12-14: Procedures
May 15: Post-Op Rounds
May 15: Transfer to San Cristobal
Calle Ma. Adelina Flores #27
Barrio de Guadalupe
San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas
+35 (386) 415 4751
+35 (386) 415 1288
Fax: +35 (386) 415 4587
May 16: San Cristobal Day and Official Clausura Dinner
May 17: Team Travel/Return
Training Initiative, May 4-8 (San Andrés Larráinzar)
Teaching modules: Rural Obstetrics (Kim/Dinsay/May/Bourne), ER Skills (May/Bourne), PT (Chavez/Gable), Mass Casualty/Disaster Medicine (May/Kim/Page/Bourne)
Disaster Medicine Teaching Team (May 9, School of Civil Protection, Tuxtla): May, Bourne, Kim, Page
Surgery Segment, May 11-15 (San Andrés Larráinzar)
PERSONAL PACKING ITEMS
NOTE: The weather in the highlands of Chiapas in early May, at more than 6,000 feet of elevation, is often cool and wet.
MMM will provide a 60-62 liter backpack for those leaving from Mammoth, as well as tent, headlamp, and water filtration for all team members. Hammocks also available on request. For ease of transport/travel, and to allow for extra supply bags, please limit personal items to carry-on size. Each team member may also be required to carry and check 1-2 medical bags.
We suggest you bring:
Lightweight sleeping bag
Earplugs (for roommates and midnight roosters)
Personal water bottle
Pack towel, soap, shampoo, hand sanitizer
Practical walking shoes
Closed-toe shoes for O.R.
Eye protection (for surgeries and instrument cleaning)
Flip-flops or shower shoes
Light rain jacket/packable umbrella
Sweatshirt/jacket for cool evenings
Informal attire for closing cocktail/dinner in San Cristobal