lunes, junio 16, 2014

The Beehive visits the largest house of healing and knowledge in Venezuela

It had been almost a year since our last visit to Venezuela, and we had the pleasure of returning to the land of the Catatumbo lightning, which surrounds the great Maracaibo lake basin in the state of Zulia. As usual, we enjoyed both getting to know new places as well as reconnecting with long time friends.

On this trip we had several opportunities to share our work at the University Hospital of Maracaibo known as SAHUM, from its Spanish language initials. This house of healing and wisdom is the largest hospital in Venezuela, with almost 6,000 employees, and it is the first site for Service of Attention and Orientation for the Indigenous (SAOI), where they attend to indigenous patients and families from the Wayuu, Añu, Yukpa, Bari, and Japreria Peoples, amongst others. Indigenous peoples make up 50 to 60% of the patients attended at the SAHUM.

Since Doctor Noly Fernández became the General Director of SAHUM in the middle of last year, and as co-founder of the National Directorate for Indigenous Health, Doctor Fernández has created and pushed for intercultural policies in healthcare. SAHUM has incorporated foods from the typical diet of the Wayuu and other indigenous peoples that live in Zulia, including a non fermented chicha de maíz (corn drink), as part of the hospital menu in this area. Besides incorporating traditional food in the hospital menu, they have also achieved using hammocks in the pediatric area for recently born babies, and are educating the Gynecology and Obstetrics staff on the importance of vertical childbirth.

SAHUM now has an Environmental Management Sector, that seeks to work with existing ecological projects in the city of Maracaibo and in the state of Zulia, to strengthen the development of sustainable environmental initiatives that give more life and culture to different spaces in the hospital.

We bees had the opportunity to share the Mesoamérica Resiste graphic in three different spaces at SAHUM, with staff, directors, and community members that support the hospital's efforts. In these spaces we were able to ground the ideas of replacing hydrocarbon mega-projects for generating electricity with solar or wind mega-projects, and talk about how those are not necessarily solving all of the problems related to our current model of energy generation.

It´s really important to distribute energy generation so that it´s not centralized, and SAHUM could be an ideal space for a pilot project for small and medium scale solar and wind power, so that they could generate part of the energy they consume.

Along with energy production, sorting the waste produced by the hospital is another topic that the Environmental Management Sector is bringing up. By separating solid waste, cafeteria and kitchen scraps, along with leaves from the trees, they can make compost or organic fertilizer, which will not only meet the needs of the landscaping staff, but will also strengthen the gardens of medicinal plants that they are growing at the hospital.

In all of the spaces where we were able to share the stories in the Mesoamérica Resiste graphic, we were received with enthusiasm by everyone present, and everyone shared their deep appreciation for the initiatives of the Beehive and the work of Polinizaciones that brings us to so many different spaces, sharing the reality of the world we live in through these drawings.

Photos thanks to the Press Team of SAHUM