Social, Medical, and Spiritual Outreach in the Displaced Community of Cristo Rey Barrio, Nicaragua

Colleen L. Knecht, Munson Medical Center, Traverse City, Michigan

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Abstract: In February 2010, medical professionals and volunteers preformed an outreach for the Cristo Rey barrio outside of Managua, Nicaragua. The outreach provided a health clinic and a building project while supporting social and spiritual need of a displaced community. Two years prior, the government displaced and relocated Cristo Rey leaving them stranded with little besides each other and the land. This February 2011, a group is returning to serve the Cristo Rey community. This second visit will provide an opportunity to not only provide basic care to the community but also to reassess the needs and benefits of continued social, health, and spiritual services. For the 2010 visit, quantitative methods were used to gather and analyze information on patient demographics, primary health concerns, and treatment. The 2011 visit will provide opportunity for qualitative assessment of community wellbeing as well as outreach strengths and weaknesses. In 2010, the outreach volunteers constructed four homes, treated 470 individuals in the medical clinic and 97 in the dental clinic. Common problems noted to plague Cristo Rey included poor sanitation and waste disposal, inconsistent access and availability to fresh water and food, lack of transportation and basic necessities. This report yields quantitative and qualitative information to be used as a background to provide future support to Cristo Rey and other like communities.

About the Presenter: 

Colleen Knecht is a nurse at Munson Medical Center in Traverse City, MI.  She is studying to become a Nurse Practioner  at the University of Michigan-Flint. She has been involved in health-related projects in Kenya, Ecuador and Nicaragua. Her academic pursuits and interests in international health continue to develop with each new experience and from ongoing projects in Kenya and Nicaragua. E-mail:

Presented on: 
April 21, 2011
Symposium 2011
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