After the local hospital was destroyed numerous volunteers came together to construct a temporary medical clinic. It was in building and working in the clinic that Walking Palms was born. Our diverse team of doctors and professionals from Ecuador, United States, India, Peru, Chile, Belgium, Spain, Argentina, Mexico, and Italy worked to provide medical attention to roughly 5,500 individuals and families in need in roughly twenty communities afflicted by the disaster.
Today we continue to run medical brigades in areas that have reduced access to health care. We also provide screenings and education for diabetes and hypertension diseases. With help from our donors at SUNY Upstate Medical University we have created an insulin program that allows us to test, train and educate our patients.
From day one we have provided relief to families in need. We began with our permanent clinic ran in partner with our collaborator La Escuela Sathya Sai. The school provided a sanctuary for 100s of families in need directly after the earthquake. We attended to approximately 50 -100 patients every day in the clinic and eventually began to see the same patients returning. At that time co-founder David Madden asked one of our medical doctors if we should try to help different families. The doctor then pointed out that our space, filled with shade, flowers, water, seating and friendly faces was a refuge. Those simple amenities were helping to sooth our patients stress and fear. It was then that we decided to rethink our goals and started looking to understand the earthquakes impact on mental health.
Our program, harmony & health, is a combination of alternative therapies including music, yoga, art, dance, laugh, and meditation to help reduce stress, anxiety and focus on the practice of mindfulness. We have ran these programs in communities such as Junco, Bellavista, Maria Auxiliadora, Los Arguellos and more.