Vermillion store shares a dream New business supports Guatemalan craftsmen By Randy Dockendorf
Yankton Media, Inc. �? When they traveled to Guatemala in June, Dr. Mark Huntington and â�?�?Sharing The Dreamâ�? founder Diane Nesselhuf expected to see the Vermillion organizationâ�?�?s work with indigenous people. �? �? �? Huntington didnâ�?�?t expect to save a childâ�?�?s life. �? �? �? In one of the villages, a mother approached Huntington because she heard a doctor was nearby. She said her 4-year-old daughter was coughing for no apparent reason and asked for the physicianâ�?�?s help. Huntington had no stethoscope, but he could determine the girl showed no sign of pneumonia. �? �? �? â�?�?Mark asked for other symptoms. When the mother said that the little girl was coughing up worms, Mark knew right away that the child was severely malnourished,â�? Nesselhuf said. �? �? �? â�?�?These worms were not being passed, they were moving up (in her system) and trying to get nutrition from her. The little girl would eventually die. Her lungs could be filled with worms, and sometimes the worms come out of the mouth and nose.â�? �? �? �? The worms come from lack of water, latrines and other proper hygiene in the jungle, Nesselhuf said. �? �? �? â�?�?We had a clinic, and Mark found some medicine. He took it out to the little girl, and three days later we checked back and found her running around,â�? Nesselhuf said. �? �? �? â�?�?With the right medical care, a lot of good things can happen. And they become educated on their own health.â�? �? �? �? â�?�?Sharing The Dream In Guatemalaâ�? promotes fair trade with cooperatives and small businesses in Guatemala. Sharing The Dream purchases crafts from low-income Guatemalan artisans, providing fair wages and employment which results in sustainable markets. �? �? �? The goods are sold at the Sharing the Dream store at 10 W. Main in Vermillion, said director Kelsey Collier-Wise. �? �? �? â�?�?Sharing The Dream projects are intended to remain sustainable,â�? she said. â�?�?Itâ�?�?s not a charity. These people want a hand up and not a hand out.â�? �? �? �? Now, Sharing The Dream has begun other work in the Central American nation. The organization is hiring a full-time Guatemalan doctor for the Casa Guatemala orphanage as well as 14 nearby jungle villages. �? �? �? The medical project received a major boost from an anonymous South Dakota donor, who will match up to $100,000 in new funds raised during a year. The matching funds will be used for hiring the doctor and other needs. �? �? �? The organization has plenty of other projects that will benefit from the generous funding, Nesselhuf said. �? �? �? â�?�?Another donation from Dalesburg Lutheran Church will be matched to build a weaving center,â�? she said. â�?�?Sharing the Dream has many projects in Guatemala, and this matching gift will enable us to double our efforts in many areas.â�? �? �? �? Huntington, who practices with Sanford Health in Sioux Falls, is working on the medical project with â�?�?Sharing The Dreamâ�? board members Dr. Vicki Walker, a family physician, and Lana Svien, who chairs the University of South Dakota physical therapy department in Vermillion. �? �? �? Nesselhuf met with medical professionals during a trip to Guatemala last month. �? �? �? Her plans included meeting with officials from the medical school, and to talk about future expectations and the qualities that are needed in the physician that serves the Guatemalan people. She also expected to speak with members of the villages. �? �? �? The Guatemalan doctor will not only speak Spanish and the indigenous language but will also speak English with the anticipated arrival of USD medical students for month-long internships, Nesselhuf said. �? �? �? The USD students will experience a vast cultural change in Guatemala unlike life found back in the Midwest, Nesselhuf said. �? �? �? â�?�?Poverty in Guatemala is different than in the United States,â�? she said. â�?�?In Guatemala, there are no safety nets, no government assistance. Itâ�?�?s a whole different type of poverty.â�? �? �? �? In fact, villagers have little or no health care in the jungle, she said. They have no roads, and must travel hours by boat in an emergency to reach the nearest village. �? �? �? The â�?�?Sharing The Dreamâ�? medical program should save many Guatemalan lives now lost for lack of basic medical care, Collier-Wise said. �? �? �? â�?�?Having a doctor around even once a week would make a difference in peopleâ�?�?s lives,â�? she said. â�?�?When you make comparisons with our life and theirs, you see how privileged we are. Here in the United States, health care can be a difficult issue, but we donâ�?�?t worry that our child will die from a disease that we havenâ�?�?t seen in hundreds of years.â�? �? �? �? The villages also suffer from high maternal death rates, which will hopefully be reduced through education, Nesselhuf said. �? �? �? In addition, â�?�?Sharing The Dreamâ�? benefits the older generation through its elder care program, Collier-Wise said. â�?�?The elders show a little card at the local hospital in the area we are serving,â�? she said. �? �? �? The â�?�?Sharing The Dreamâ�? medical program should make a difference in the daily lives of many Guatemalans, Collier-Wise said. �? �? �? â�?�?You just try to give them a better opportunity for health care,â�? she said. �? �? �? The new medical program will benefit the USD students as much as the Guatemalans, Nesselhuf predicted. �? �? �? â�?�?I would hope, especially for students from South Dakota, they get a broad range of new experiences,â�? she said. â�?�?But it also gives them practice in the things they can do here in South Dakota for rural medicine and also in other countries.â�?
Vermillion was named Large Community of the Year by Gov. Dennis Daugaard on Tuesday evening in Sioux Falls at the … Read Article