When the people found out the Sisters were staying, many said, Su presencia nos da experanza. Your presence is a sign of hope.
It was 1965 when Priests in one of the poorest communities in South America called for help. “We need to do something” they cried, dismayed at the number of babies, near death, brought to their door to be baptized. The Dominican Sisters ~ Grand Rapids responded by sending two Sisters certified in nursing and midwifery. Though humble in its beginnings, today a maternity hospital, pre-natal education, and well baby clinic are integral to this collaborative healthcare ministry. To date, more than 96,000 babies have been delivered with the compassionate assistance and care from the professional midwives and nurses at the Maternidad.
In an impoverished region where diseases like hepatitis, tuberculosis, typhoid fever, and meningitis are prevalent; where earthquakes and natural disasters are devastating; where military unrest and political corruption and violence are constant, the presence of a social and health ministry compound is a blessing beyond measure. The compound, Centro de Obras Sociales, consists of the maternity hospital, as well as a medical clinic, clinical laboratory, physical therapy, an orphanage and a convent. Local women and men, some born at Maternidad de Maria, now staff most of the service areas. Our Sisters care for children in the orphanage.