We first became involved back in 2015 when Dennis Gulck alerted us to the needs at Refugio Dulce, Los Amates. Dennis himself played a big part in getting some of the most urgent needs met, from running water to walkers.
Things have changed since then. The home is now privately run and the name changed to The Buen Samaritan but some of the same residents are still there to welcome us each month we are happy to report.
The sand in the palapa ‘day room’ has been concreted, a ‘whirly bird’ vent has been fitted to the ‘outside kitchen’ where the smoke was so thick it made our eyes sting, the inside of the home has been painted and the TV Dennis bought is still there and working.
Often it is two steps forward and one back. The propane stove top was fixed and is now rarely used because the home is given wood. Toilet seats were fitted, disappeared, and are now in the process of being fitted again. The pump to move water from the well to the holding tank is an on going saga.
The great thing is that the moral of the residents is 100% better and the home is brighter and cleaner. Other organisations are taking an interest and contributing including local churches and schools. We all enjoy visiting and visitors are a refreshing break in routine for the residents.
We take newspapers, toilet paper, cleaning materials, the local ‘pan dulce’, reading and sunglasses. At Christmas every resident received a parcel of clothes especially for them in their favorite colour.
In November we started sending voluntary nurses to tend an ulcerated leg, change catheters, encourage exercise and get some of the wheel chair bound residents up walking again after losses in confidence. This has been a huge success. Now we have managed to get the local voluntary emergency services involved too. Also we arranged for a resident to have have his cataracts removed, restoring his sight. He was ecstatic.
In June, 2019, both the fridge and washing machine decided they had worked hard enough and quit. With some help from our friends Pass It On was able to replace both to a huge sigh of relief from the staff.
Imagine up to 30 elderly residents and no washing machine. No, we don’t want to either.