Vicki and Barry take a suitcase to Belize

Thank you to Vicki and Barry for taking a suitcase to Belize! [NJT Toronto]

“Thank you so much for your email with the certificate and for allowing us to take the suitcase of supplies with us to Belize.

I can’t emphasize enough how grateful Dr. Daniel Gonzales of the Ambergris Hopes Clinic in San Pedro, Belize, was to receive the suitcase of medical supplies. His clinic is always extremely busywith patients lined up every day. Dr. Gonzales has specialties in obs/gyn, tropical diseases and diving related medical issues. In fact, he treated me for an ear infection last year. Needless to say, he puts in very long days.

Because the clinic is on an island, it is very difficult to obtain the necessary medical supplies to serve his patient population so everything in the suitcase was truly welcome. We did not run into any issues with the customs people upon our arrival in Belize and Westjet was generous enough not to charge us for an extra bag.

The Palancar Reef and scuba diving are what drew us initially to Belize where we have been going for 15 years. 

The clinic is quite small but had one exam room, another room if a patient needed to remain for observation, a small reception area with a line of chairs – all occupied waiting to see the doctor and one person that acted as receptionist who would take payment, dispense drugs or send people to the Hopes Pharmacy that Dr. Gonzales opened just down the street.

Having been visiting San Pedro for several years, we have received medical treatment on more that one occasion and have seen first hand the paucity of drugs and medical supplies there, yet the tremendous care that Dr. Golzales gives each of his patients. On most days, the clinic has a line up of patients waiting to see the doctor that stretches outside the door. 

We have two daughters that are physicians in Toronto and never have to worry about access to supplies, however, one of them worked for a period in a hospital in Katmandu which gave her a true insight into third world medicine. Hearing her stories convinced us that we wanted to do anything we could to assist Dr. Gonzales in Belize as we saw many of the challenges my daughter described in Nepal mirrored in San Pedro.

We hope to continue to assist the clinic whenever possible and are going back there at the end of March. if there is any possibility that we could take another suitcase in March, I know that it would be welcomed with open arms.

Again, our thanks for entrusting us to deliver the suitcase. 

All the best for a very Happy Holiday Season and a Happy and Healthy 2018.”

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