For our very last clinical day here in Chitré, we visited Escuela Los Remedios in Ocú, a small town approximately an hour away from Chitré. Upon arriving, we were greeted by the students lined up to greet us with a sweet song. We were surprised to find a small school with only 10 students. However, we could see so much dedication and love from the teachers. Next to the classroom and lunch area, they have a beautiful organic garden that grows everything from tomatoes to papayas, peppers, corn, carrots, cucumbers, and squash to feed the students. According to the teachers, there are only 30 homes in this community, and this can be seen in the eco-map next to the front door of the school. This drawn map shows every home in the area, as well as the school and church. On top of this, the school has won a national contest for best school two years in a row. This school proves that, no matter how small it may be, it can succeed with hard work and determination.
Each of the three clinical groups prepared and presented a brief lesson about the importance of hand washing, oral hygiene, and nutrition. The groups sang songs, gave out small gifts, and colored with the students during these lessons. The students were attentive and excited to have us at their school. The teacher had told us that despite their school’s small size, their hearts were large. We found that to be extraordinarily true!
As we returned to the hotel to pack and prepare to leave Chitré tomorrow, the bitter-sweetness of this day really sunk in. We may be leaving tomorrow, but we will carry the many learning experiences and connections we have made with us always. We are truly grateful to everyone who had a hand in this unforgettable opportunity!
-Julie de Leon and Jessica Korray