Chincha Medical & Educational Center
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On August 15, 2007, at 6:34pm, an earthquake measuring 8.0 on the Richter scale struck the central coast of Peru in the Department of Ica. The epicenter was 25 miles west-northwest of Chincha and 90 miles south-southeast of Lima, where buildings and the ground swayed. According to the Peruvian Government, 103 hospitals were affected and 14 were destroyed. The towns of Chincha and Pisco were especially hard-hit. Health care delivery was severely disrupted, since many of the medical facilities were destroyed.
PAMS Members responded to an email solicitation with an outpouring of financial assistance. Within two weeks more than $150,000 had been donated and the total quickly climbed to over $300,000. “How are we going to help?” was the question facing then PAMS President, Dr. Anibal Zambrano. Within a month, PAMS leadership, Medical Mission’s Directors, architect Orlando Loli, the Houston Consulate, and other PAMS members and friends traveled to Peru, toured the area and determined to build a Medical and Community center for preventive medicine and education. They also met with leaders of CONFIEP, Empresarios por la Educación, Compañía Minera Retamas, Unión de Cervecerías Backus y Johnston, Pacífico Seguros and avicultores de Chincha to request support for the project. Over $800 000 was generously donated and, with the support of the Chincha community, land was obtained. Under the leadership of the next two Presidents, Dr. Pro and Dr. Coquis, the center was built according to the seismically engineered architectural plans drawn and donated by Orlando Loli.
On March 5th, 2011 the center began providing care. The goal is to have a Permanent Mission in which PAMS Members will work in cooperation with local doctors and the University of Cayetano Heredia to provide care and teach.
In August 2009, even though the center was not complete, a Mission took place at the Chincha Regional Hospital, which had been partially destroyed by the earthquake. Many medical and surgical procedures were performed.
The CASA program, organized by PAMS Auxiliary, is also in Chincha. This program seeks to provide higher vocational or professional education to orphans who are willing to enter into an agreement to “give back” once they have received the benefit of the education. A computer center has already been established at one of the Orphanages.