Craig Blackwell, MD

Santa Cruz, CA
Diplomate: American Board of Ophthalmology
Fellow: American Academy of Ophthalmology

Welcome to the Website of Craig Blackwell, MD

An Ophthalmology Practice in Santa Cruz, CA

Guatemala Clinic Intro Part Four

April 22nd, 2008

Line outside clinic on a sunny morning.

Clinic starts Monday morning at eight. There is a long waiting line on the benches both inside and outside the building. People who were seen at the end of the last trip, six months previously, and deemed to need surgery are seen first and sent directly to surgery.

Vision testing outside the clinic building.

In the clinic we rely on the regular clinic staff to make everything run. Most of the patients are of Mayan descent and speak one of the Mayan languages, K’Iche, and maybe some Spanish. Besides translating my limited Spanish into Mayan and back, my clinic helpers make the patients feel more comfortable by explaining medical issues in K’Iche and in culturally appropriate terms. I could not get much done without my longtime helpers Manuel and Miguel. And there is no getting along without our Spanish translators, Rosie Camp or Reynalda Flatte, for those times when patients launch into long narrative stories.

Reynalda Flatte and Sister Mary. Translators and facilitators.