Currently, the diabetes program of Finca Las Nubes Centro de Nutricion Comunitaria, involves sessions that are held weekly. These sessions include monitoring blood sugar, blood pressure, weight and assistance with diabetic medications. The groups vary in size from 10 to 20 or more and each group comes either once or twice a month for the services which last all morning. The participants come in fasting (no breakfast) and we check their blood sugars and then everyone gets a sandwich and fruit juice (organic and without sugar, of course). Blood pressure, weight, and foot inspections are done as well.

The heart of the program is the charla which is an educational talk. The subjects covered include dietary advice, the importance of daily physical activity and information about diabetes. Dr. Montenegro uses humor and her knowledge about her culture to deliver clear and positive messages about health and nutrition to the groups. She believes strongly that the program must have a family focus so that everyone in the family strives toward better health.

The sessions close with stretching and strengthening exercises including some basic yoga poses. Everyone really enjoys that part!

What is next? Help of any kind is much appreciated.

Starting in early 2010, Finca Las Nubes Centro de Nutricion Comunitario is planning to expand its diabetes program by providing screenings in neighboring rural villages. We can identify those people with diabetes and those at risk and intervene with periodic education and clinical monitoring.

These programs have been well received by the community and the hard work of Dr. Montenegro and Alden Willard have been appreciated. The contributions in time and assistance of local health officials, as well as volunteers, have been inestimable.

As we expand our program into neighboring areas and do more screenings, we are going to find more cases and more people at risk for diabetes. This will lead to more services being provided. We will need your help in order to do this.

Your contributions, whether they be medical supplies, donations, or the time and assistance as a volunteer, are essential for the success of our center. For further information or if interested in helping us to expand services for the diabetic community of southern Nicaragua, please contact us at:

Email at fcruzu@gmail.com or aldenawillard@gmail.com

More information can be obtained from our sponsoring agency in Tacoma, Wa, at the Pierce County Medical Society. Sue Asher is the executive director and can be contacted at sue@pcmswa.org

Any donations to our program are tax deductible as we have incorporated as a 501c-3 non-profit corporation in Washington state. We are called “The Nicaraguan Health Project”.

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