Training in Tehuantepec and Salina Cruz
In 2013, the Global Acupuncture Project (GAP) was invited by Dr. Irma Cruz and Doctors for Global Health to expand its work into Mexico. This partnership was possible due to our common philosophies: accompaniment, community empowerment, and working together to help meet the needs of the local community. Both GAP and DGH believe that "health" encompasses a lot more than the absence of disease. Our shared vision is to empower communities to strengthen their own wellbeing, to put "la salud en manos del pueblo."GAP responded to the invitation by bringing three volunteer acupuncturists from the United States to train an initial group of practitioners using the model developed by GAP in Uganda. Thus, Proyecto de Acupuntura del Pueblo (PAP) was born in Tehuantepec, Oaxaca.
To support the initial group of Trainees, Gap returned in May 2013 and in June 2014. In 2015, GAP returned to Salina Cruz and Tehuantepec three times to train additional health promoters and to offer support and more advanced information to those already trained. GAP once again returned in December 2016 to bring together the Trainees for a refresher course and to inaugurate the new clinic. The project has evolved to be independently run by the Trainees and the locals who support the project.
Now entering its next phase, in January 2017, PAP Oaxaca will open a clinic in Salina Cruz. The clinic will be staffed by the practitioners trained by GAP who will serve their local community by offering affordable community-style acupuncture. The clinic will also serve as a training center where additional health promoters will be trained. Over time, the clinic will be a hub from which satellite clinics develop in the surrounding communities.
There will be opportunities in the future for more Trainers to go to Oaxaca to support those already practicing as well as to train others who are interested in learning acupuncture. Please contact GAP for ways to help.
GAP is grateful for the many people who have supported this project: Dr. Linda Sharp, Dr. Irma Cruz, and the Doctors for Global Health team who have been so very supportive of our work. Also, Padre Leo and those at the CCC, Eduardo Vazquez Peralta, and Alicia Espinoza. Of course, none of our many successes would have been possible without the many practitioners who have volunteered, some multiple times, to be Trainers, and those in Salina Cruz and Tehuantepec who took the step to embark on this journey with GAP and el Proyecto Acupuntura del Pueblo.