Robin(my wife) and I(Bob) have been supporters of Esperanca for twenty years. Now we have the opportunity to see Esperanca’s contributions up close. For the next ten days I will join one of their most experienced surgical teams and the local community advocates that have devoted themselves to transforming lives in the important district of Jinotega, Nicaragua. I will also see community development projects funded by Esperanca’s donors that bring people clean water and improved sanitation. This important district encompasses dozens of rural communities and covers 250 square miles, producing 80% of the coffee in the country’s agricultural economy.
A few days after returning from this mission we will join Esperanca staff in Phoenix for a session of SSL (Salud con Sabor Latino) which addresses the most pressing health issues of our underserved communities. As a pharmacist I know only too well the enormous cost that unhealthy behaviors and products place on individuals, families, businesses, and public health resources. The burden in human suffering and financial cost has been growing exponentially in the US, even becoming a measurable drag on productivity and economic growth. Rather than trying to “boil the ocean”, Esperanca targets our community where the need is most acute, and where transformation has the greatest payoff.
Esperanca embodies the best attributes of a nonprofit organization in the public health sphere. Its local and international programs are driven by committed volunteers, deeply experienced staff, and a legion of long-term donors, supporters, and health care suppliers that know their contributions go directly where they are needed most. Esperanca’s goals are realistic, measurable, sustainable, and proven. Like many donors before me, I will get to see how it all happens!