The group of 20 health professionals will coordinate with the Ministry of Public Health and Social Assistance of that country. It is composed of specialists in General Comprehensive Medicine, epidemiologists, and nurses, among them, seven Guatemalan women.
Most of the collaborators belonging to the Cuban Medical Brigade (BMC) in the land of the quetzal were recently in nine villages and communities of San Cristóbal Verapaz, Alta Verapaz, seriously affected by the rains of Eta.
Cuba Sends Team of Doctors to Assist Guatemala After Volcano
"This is how we Cubans are. This is how this medical brigade is, which in the early morning of this Thursday leaves with backpacks full of love, solidarity, altruism and with our leader Fidel Castro in front of the caravan," the physician Yunior Moreno published on his social networks, moments before embarking on a 163-kilometer journey to the northwestern region, with more than 70 percent of its population in poverty.
In the days planned, they will intervene in the municipalities of Sacapulas, Nebaj, Cunén, San Bartolomé Jocotenango, San Juan Cotzal, and Santa Cruz del Quiché, Dr. Ernesto Jiménez, head of the BMC, with 22 years of experience here and presence in the most remote places of 16 departments out of a total of 22, told Prensa Latina.
When saying goodbye to the cooperators in this new mission, Jiménez reminded that all of them are the image of Cuba, and he expressed his confidence that they will know how to defend "the principles of solidarity and humanism that characterize our cooperation in the world."
"The Henry Reeve Cuban medical brigade left today for the department of Quiché to attend to communities affected by the destructive passage of the Eta and Iota tropical depressions through Guatemala."
"We are following the route of the first doctors who arrived here in 1998 when Hurricane Mitch devastated this country, and despite a fierce campaign to discredit the work of the BMC, today the new health authorities have a vision of respect for what we do every day and more recently in San Cristóbal Verapaz, Alta Verapaz," he said.
According to data from Cuba's Central Coordination, more than a thousand people were assisted in shelters and in villages isolated by the floods caused by Eta, a situation similar to the one they will face now.
The island's ambassador in Guatemala, Maria del Pilar Fernandez, stressed that "there is no better way to honor the Commander who is always with us (Fidel Castro) than to form a brigade to carry out such humanitarian work and to bring a message of hope to those who have not yet received assistance amid total devastation.
"They have a great responsibility, and we are sure of the success of this mission because they already have previous experience and the consecrated will to serve," said Fernandez.
Next week, a brigade with a similar composition will leave for Izabal, another of the departments hit first by Eta and then by Iota, which left 15,000 families affected and six dead.