VIDAS Clinic in Coba - May 2005

Photo is of Coba Lagoon with an ancient Maya Ruin in the middle of the background

The village of Coba sits about an hour inland, deep in the jungle along a small lagoon. It is located in the exact same spot as it was when the ancestors of these Mayan villagers lived there long ago in 400 B.C. This small village is known to vacationing day-trippers as just a place to pass through on their way to the ruins of Coba. This is especially evident by the fact that there are only two small hotels here, Club Med and Hotelito Sac-Be.

Village dogs scurried across the roads in between tour buses and playfully chased the local children on their bikes. They were thin, unkempt, and skittish around strangers yet they appeared to be happy with their lot in life.

The VIDAS team was excited about the prospect of doing their first clinic here. For months the previous health minister had been asking us to come and help this community. Upon our arrival things looked bleak as we met with a lot of resistance from some of the local elders. The facility we were to use for three days suddenly and inexplicably became available for only one day. What were we to do?

Refusing to give up, and understanding that education is a key component of our success, we sent Sara Post Lee, Dr Lesli Hick, her son, Bennett and Summer Lane into the schools as our goodwill ambassadors. There they gave lectures on the importance of animal health care to the young people of Coba.

Dr. Lesli Hick and Bennett welcomed by Coba students

Coba school children

Sara Post Lee talks to Coba students

Carolina, our local contact, and Kelly Coladarci, a VIDAS volunteer who had organized this clinic, searched desperately around town to find another location for the remaining two days. In the meantime the rest of the VIDAS team went to work setting up the clinic and helping the animals. Our goal was to do the best we could even if we were only there for one day.

As fate would have it, we secured another location and once again the clinic was on for three days. It was an extremely successful clinic. We helped around 70 animals ranging from dogs, cats, rabbits and a baby Brahma bull. We also gave presentations at the Andres Primeria School and Guadaloupe Secondaria. Despite our initial resistance, the community response was overwhelming.

VIDAS would like to thank the following people for their support: Nicte-Ha for dinner, Pyramid Restaurant for breakfast, La Familia de Santiago for dinner, Dona Mari Chan for lunches, and Club Med and Hotelito Sac-Be for discounting our rooms. And a special thanks to Don Roberto and Diana for coming through with the vacant rooms for us to use. Without their help we would not have been able to finish the clinic. We would also like to thank Pepi, Chepi, Victoria and Conchi for their hospitality and the great meals they provided at their Restaurant on the Coba Road.

Don Roberto and his daughter.

Hotelito Sac Be

Club Med Coba

Nicte Ha Restaurant

Pepi y Chepi's Restaurant, Coba Road

VIDAS group at Pepi y Chepi's

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