Reflecting On The Impact Of The Adelante Mujer Scholarship By Student Ana Verónica Peña

Dear friends and supporters,

I am thrilled to share with you the profound impact that the “Adelante Mujer” scholarship has had on my journey as a student of Intercultural Medicine. From the outset, receiving this scholarship has been a tremendous honor and a game-changer in both my academic and personal life.

Throughout this semester, I’ve had the privilege to engage in a variety of modules and activities that have not only enriched my university experience but have also honed my skills as a future medical professional. One of the most rewarding experiences was participating in vaccination campaigns against diseases like measles, diphtheria, and whooping cough. These campaigns were not just about administering vaccines but were pivotal moments in understanding the importance of preventive medicine and community health.

Equally impactful was my involvement in mosquito control efforts aimed at combating malaria and dengue, diseases that have had a significant impact on our city. These initiatives underscored the critical intersection between public health and community involvement, shaping my understanding of healthcare beyond clinical settings.

Of course, clinical rotations were a cornerstone of this semester. They provided me with firsthand experience in providing care and support to patients facing various illnesses. These rotations have been invaluable in reinforcing my commitment to pursuing excellence in medical practice and serving my community with dedication and empathy.

I want to extend my deepest gratitude to those who made this scholarship possible. Your generosity and belief in my potential have been a constant source of inspiration. I am committed to continuing my academic journey with determination, striving to achieve my goals and make a meaningful contribution to society.

As I look ahead to the next semester, I am excited about the opportunities for growth and learning that lie ahead. I promise to keep you updated on my progress and share more insights into how your support continues to shape my path.

Thank you once again for believing in me and for supporting the “Forward Woman” scholarship. Together, we are making a difference.

Warm regards,

Ana Verónica Peña

(translate from Spanish to English)

Empowering New Futures: Our transformative Journey to Guatemala

Friends,

I am thrilled to share an inspiring journey that I recently embarked on to Guatemala, a trip that was as eye-opening as it was uplifting. Accompanied by Sister Diane, whose enthusiasm and wisdom enriched the experience, we set off to witness firsthand the profound need in a new area of Central America.  We witnessed how your generosity has the power to change lives and opening new doors of opportunity for many deserving young women. Our experiences reaffirmed the importance of our mission and highlighted exciting new possibilities for growth and greater service through Adelante Mujer.

A Heartfelt Journey

Our adventure began on a Sunday, with a flight from Milwaukee to Guatemala City. Upon arrival, we were welcomed by Sandra Corrigan, our translator, and soon met Jayme, our driver, along with Sister Argelina. Sister Argelina, a dedicated member of the School Sisters of St. Francis (SSSF) and the head of The Center for Alternative Programs, guided us to our destination in Santa Apolonia.

The Center for Alternative Programs

The Center is a sanctuary of hope and opportunity, featuring a unique complex where city streets interlace with welcoming apartment-style homes. These homes, each with four bedrooms, a communal living space, and modern amenities, serve as a haven for the residents. The Center also houses a woodworking shop and a shoemaking factory, showcasing the sisters’ commitment to self-sustainability. Until recently, the Center operated as an orphanage, caring for around 50 children. However, due to recent government reforms, the focus has shifted, marking a poignant transition for the sisters.

A New Mission: Empowering Young Women

In response to these changes, Sister Argelina launched a new initiative aimed at supporting young women. Many former orphans, now returned to impoverished family situations, continue to receive financial and emotional support from the Center. The current mission is to provide these young women, aged 18 and above, with housing and a path to higher education. This nurturing environment allows them to pursue their dreams, particularly in fields like nursing, where three of the nine residents are currently focused.

The Impact of Your Support

Meeting these remarkable young women was transformative. Their intelligence, passion, and determination to succeed were evident. They have the potential to become exceptional leaders and contributors to society, thanks to the support they receive. However, the Center’s capacity is limited by funding, and this is where your generosity can make a significant difference. With USD $4000 per year, another young woman can be given the chance to pursue her dreams.

A Glimpse into Lives Transformed

During our visit, we had the privilege to meet Aura Chuluc and Yulissa Chacach, two high school seniors with aspirations of attending San Carlos University’s pre-med program. Despite living in extreme poverty, their academic excellence and resolve are inspiring. While the government covers tuition at this public university, living expenses remain a hurdle. This presents a unique opportunity for Adelante Mujer to extend our support beyond the Center’s current capabilities.

Building a Stronger Future Together

The alignment between the Center’s mission and Adelante Mujer’s vision is profound. This partnership could offer donors a more tangible way to engage, from funding educational pursuits to participating in medical, dental, or physical work projects in Guatemala. The logistics are feasible, and the impact is immeasurable.

As we forge ahead, I am excited about the potential of this collaboration and the lives we can transform together. Your continued support is not just appreciated—it is vital. I look forward to sharing more stories and updates with you and am eager to explore how we can further this incredible mission.

Thank you for being part of this journey. Your generosity is paving the way for brighter futures. Please follow along and continue giving generously!

Onward! Adelante!

Kaitlyn Boscaljon
Executive Director
Adelante Mujer, Inc.

Uraccan University sign on building

Culturally Competent Doctors

During a medical mission trip to Nicaragua in 2013, I was struck by the poverty and lack of access to medical resources in Nicaragua.

Nicaragua is the 2nd poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. The average yearly income for a Nicaraguan is only 1,950 US dollars per year.   In outlying clinics, there was no running water and no labs available.

When I asked for a pregnancy test for a young woman who I thought might be pregnant, I was told by the local nurse, “you just feel” as no test was available. In the Continue reading “Culturally Competent Doctors”

Five New Doctors

On March 15, five Adelante Mujer students took the Hippocratic Oath at the promotion ceremony of URACCAN’s Intercultural Medicine program. We are very proud of our students and all of the hard work they have completed over the past six years. With this class, Adelante Mujer is up to 75 graduates since our beginning.

New Doctors March 2023  New Doctors March 2023

The women will now begin their internship and their two years of service before they can receive their MINSA number (similar to licensing). Please keep Carol, Dora, Janiesca, Slilma, and Xochil in your prayers as they enter the next phase of medical training.
We also accepted ten new students Continue reading “Five New Doctors”

Prospective New Doctors

It’s that time of year again when potential new students in the Adelante Mujer program start the application process. This semester we have ten women who have applied and completed interviews! These women are all in their second year of the Intercultural Medicine program at URACCAN University. While most of these women come from the northeast area of Nicaragua, a few come from further south or west.  But they all come with a passion for helping their people.  

Continue reading “Prospective New Doctors”

A Long Road

We often talk about the six years the women in Adelante Mujer spend in the Intercultural Medicine program at URACCAN University. These women work hard, often beginning their studies in a language that is not native to them. (Women from the remote areas of Nicaragua often speak Miskito or Rama, or another indigenous language. Those who do, will learn Spanish when they start at the university.) These women, most coming right from secondary school, begin studying physiology, anatomy, Continue reading “A Long Road”

Welcome to Our Newest Students

In late July, the students at URACCAN University started a new semester.  Seven of those students are new members of Adelante Mujer.  All seven are second-year students in the Intercultural Medicine program. They range in age from 17 to 23, and all have hopes to specialize in different areas of medicine, from obstetrics and gynecology to neurosurgery.

                     Yaritza, Nora, Elena, Verónica, Ashly, Adjanny, Shaimara

The women were very grateful to learn of their acceptance into the program. Here is a message from one of the students. “Thank you very much. I can’t find words to thank you for this great support that you gave me. I will always give my best at all times, thank you very much and blessings.”

Welcome to Yaritza, Nora, Elena, Verónica, Ashly, Adjanny, and Shaimara! May God bless you, your studies, and the people you will serve.

~~ Karen, September 2022 ~~

A Note from our Outgoing President

Dear Friends of Adelante Mujer,

Over the past eight years, I have had the graced opportunity to assist in the mission of Adelante Mujer as a member of the Board of Directors.

When Sister Ann McKean, CSA, asked me to be part of the board, I hesitated a bit to begin yet another task in another country. However, Ann cheerfully allowed me all the time I needed to make a decision to commit to the mission for Nicaraguan women. After some months, I responded affirmatively because of CSA’s longtime commitment to Nicaragua in the services of education and health care. I did not just commit to Ann’s call but to an inner sense of my own life of ministry to the poor whether in Continue reading “A Note from our Outgoing President”

Standing Strong Through the Pandemic

Though in the US the COVID pandemic is starting to take a back seat to other world events, it is still very real and current for many. It not only impacts individuals and communities through illness, but through economic setbacks as well.

Natasha Mudhar, founder of the social impact organization The World We Want, reports that “Women and girls have absorbed the brunt of the crisis, with the pandemic’s economic impact serving as just one example. Across South Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America, a majority of women work in the informal economy (jobs that are not taxed, monitored or protected by governments), which was the first to be affected by layoffs and pay cuts.” 1  Continue reading “Standing Strong Through the Pandemic”

What Are You Passionate About?

 Passion is a feeling that tells you: this is the right thing to do. Nothing can stand in my way. 
– Wayne Dyer

Passion is a simple word that holds so much meaning. Passion involves intense emotion and persevering at something no matter what obstacles come your way. The women of Adelante Mujer are women of passion.  

We are currently assessing applicants for the program for next semester. As we read their applications and talk with them during the interview process, we get a strong sense of their passion for becoming a doctor. When asked why she wants to be a doctor, one applicant shared, “My desire to be a doctor arises from the needs of all the inhabitants of my beloved Caribbean coast, for all those people who live in distant communities where there is no good medical care, where doctors who understand, and understand their illnesses from their worldview, are needed. My wish is to reach all of them by providing the help they deserve.” Continue reading “What Are You Passionate About?”