Jennifer Rosario is a veterinary nurse from Delray Beach, Florida. She has worked for several years in the Anesthesia/Surgery department at a large veterinary specialty hospital. This March was her first trip with Veterinarians International to Todos Santos, Guatemala, where she was a key part of the veterinary team, using her extensive skill set to help the people and animals of the community.
“Oh hablas español?” “Que bien!, les quiero agradecer todo lo que hacen para nuestros animales y comunidad.” – Lucia Perez (dog owner)
Those words resonate how thankful the people are. Coming to Todos Santos, Guatemala, I was worried and scared that I wouldn’t be able to help and surely mess up and absolutely regret it. Well, I was wrong…big time.
The people on this project are so dedicated and welcoming. I honestly felt I had a group of people I’ve never met to help me through anything. Every single one of them is special in their own way. I made friends and learned something new every day.
Day 1: The work, the setting-up process was tough, learning what resources you had and what you didn’t. I must’ve gone over the protocols a million times to make sure I would get it right. I’ve always learned that being prepared was half the battle. Setting up tables, organizing your own table as a nurse, not knowing how and what to expect was scary…but I’ll tell ya…I worried for nothing. We all came together and helped put together a successful campaign, an effort to help families and animals alike. Hard work pays off.
It is so important to create awareness for this project. Vaccines, spays, and neuters. These practices have to be done to provide a safe balance between animal and man. It secures a healthy community and environment for all.
The working days: Rhythm is everything, and once I got into my groove I realized that knowing what to do in emergency has prepared me for this very moment: to continue helping families and animals. I speak Spanish so I was privileged in communicating with the people of Todos Santos, who were so incredibly thankful. I never thought they would appreciate us so much but they did. We contributed our time to help, not only doing vaccines and spays and neuters, but also in helping the community. Educating people on their pets- be they work mates or companions. Spending Quetzales and helping families along the way. Helping the town and the people in it.
Through the activities with the kids and family, you get a sense that you’re not there to work but to provide relief, smiling faces…and quite a unique experience. Something we take for granted constantly.
To my teammates…
Thank you for helping me grow and learn and not just be a better nurse, but a better person. Your constant guidance, support and conversation has illuminated my mind for years to come. Helping the animals and definitely healing the planet.
Guatemala!, what an experience and privilege to be able to use my skills to help animals and people in a special place like Todos Santos.