Missionaries of health make a visit to Cabécar Reserve

Mayela Herrera Garcia is an indigenous woman of the community of Roca Quemada, located in the mountains of Turrialba, Cartago.

She is one of the Indians who annually attend Tsipirí, an invitation that makes the Indian Association for Quircó, is an organization that seeks to improve the quality of life for this population.

During the last visit of Quircó, was held on 21 and on 22 July, Herrera waited in line to see a dentist and doctors cured her baby’s flu.

Tsipirí is located on the Indian Reservation Chirripó Cabécar, which can only be accessed from, Grano de Oro de Turrialba.

When Quircó Association is in the area, it is usual to observe hundreds of tents belonging to visitors, also called sikuas (“non-Indians”, in Cabecar) where their volunteers were installed near the communal lounge of Tsipirí.

Doctors, dentists, veterinarians, students and staff to the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) are part of the 150 volunteers. About five times a year, are encouraged to bring medicine, food and other products to the Indian territory.

The exuberant vegetation contrasts with the monotonous banana crops. Here medical consultation is limited and access is the main problem.

For this problem, a group of doctors decided to venture into the mountains, to help those who have any condition.

40 years ago was born the Association for Indigenous Quircó.

“According to statistics, this is the poorest people around the country. Before we entered all Indian reservations: Talamanca, Valle de la Estrella, and others. But, seeing that we are from Cartago and the need is here, we give emphasis to Turrialba “said Jorge Fernandez Calderon, president of the organization.

Around 50 Indian line up, with their horses and dogs, waiting for veterinarians and students to examine them.

Parasites are more common evil beasts of burden.

The visit of these specialists volunteers, is the only opportunity for the Indians to cure sick animals. Medicines Association Quircó get them through donations.

“The Association provides comprehensive care: bring medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, veterinary and all specialties that may be obtained. Also, bring clothes, boots and more, said Rodolfo Villalobos, Quircó member and officer of the TSE.

He explains that Tsipirí is a community for its location makes residents of these communities can receive their document.

The certificate is not the only thing that can be processed here. Declaration of births of children who are born in the mountains, acknowledgments of paternity and other procedures may be carried in the Civil Registry since the Supreme Electoral Tribunal installed inside the community hall, built by Quircó.

Preparation for each tour takes at least two months. Volunteers go in their own vehicles, and Gerardina Martinez, a resident of Cartago, who cooks for all volunteers.

About 16 medical students from the University Hispanoamericana validate visits indigenous territory and communal work.

Meanwhile, students in the career of Dentistry ULACIT.

Money is tight and Quircó Association seeks payment as they can. The 4×4 Club Cartago is one of the foundations that support them.

Medicines are funded by private donations through annual activity 4×4 Club, where admission is charged and sold food.

The visits are shared clothing, rubber boots, machetes, all donated to the Association.