Colombia: Bogota church hosts medical brigade clinic for the poor

Posted Jul 15, 2013

ens_071513_bogota1[Episcopal Diocese of Colombia] The Divine Savior Episcopal Church in Bogota, located in one of the poorest sections of the city, recently hosted a medical (brigade) clinic on a Saturday. Clinic services included an opportunity to visit with a doctor or nurse, receive physical or respiratory therapy, or receive dental care.

For a fee of COP$1,000, or a little over 50 US cents, visitors could gain access to the lower floor and take advantage of any of the medical services. A pharmacy also was available to pick up any recommended medication.

In addition to the clinic, a used clothing store was set up. For a fee of COP$1,000, visitors could shop for jackets, pants, shirts, dresses, shoes, children’s clothing, and more. And on the first floor, located in the chapel, haircuts were being offered.

Since the poor often face legal challenges that can be daunting, a lawyer also was available in the sanctuary for free consultations.

ens_071513_bogota2When departing, all attendees received a gift bag with a bar of soap and a tube of toothpaste.

All of the professional staff members were volunteers. They served a total of 90 people over a period of 6 hours.

The fees, while basic and insufficient for covering the actual cost of the services, provided the participants with a sense of dignity, knowing that they had contributed something for the services they received.

Founded in 1963, the Diocese of Colombia is the youngest diocese in the Episcopal Church and one of seven Province IX dioceses spread across the Caribbean and Central and northern South America.