The last Saturday in September Dave and I went with friends to a great Venezuelan "Pan Fry" Dinner in support of Fundamigos H.L.P. a local group that makes surgery possible for children born with facial deformities. The support from the marina was just great with hundreds of dollars being raised for the children. The treat of the night was Latino music, which of course, everyone loved.
Fundamigos was started in 1989 at the Razetti Hospital, Barcelona. The local group has a small army of people helping to make the children's trip to the hospital easier logistically and operationally. They have provided some 184 volunteers to assist with everything from translating, cooking, and entertaining children bored and frightened by the wait for surgery.
Fundamigos is the creation of the host physician Dr. Ana Velasquez de Manyon. The day to day operations are run by a Errol Benn, Executive Vice President of Fundamigos, whose homeland of Guyana shows through his thick accent as he greets the Operation Rainbow team. Volunteers from our marina Bahia Redondo - represent some 10 nationalities.
The purpose of the program is to provide plastic surgery service in this hospital for the cleft lip and cleft palate children. This is the only location that Operation Rainbow, the parent organization, has traveled that there is as much local support of the indigent care hospitals. Our organization has facilitated every aspect of the mission except for patient care.
Fundamigos are here not only to facilitate Operation Rainbow but also to help the families and the children during the week they are at the hospital. In most countries, the parents have to bring their food with them. In Barcalona Fundamigos provides them with food, a place to sleep and a toothbrush. Lots of the cruisers at the marina help out in the Operating Room, rolling bandages, etc. I am really proud to be a part of a marina with this type of social consciousness.
THE EVENT WAS HELD AT THE RESTAURANT AT OUR
MARINA - BAHIA REDONDO MARINA IN PUERTO LA CRUZ/
IT IS LOCATED IN THE ARCHES AT THE REAR OF THE POOL.
All At Sea - The Caribbean's Waterfront Magazine
Nancy Terrell -- December 2006 Issue
Giving to Children - The Holiday Spirit of the Cruising Community
In Venezuela, the true spirit of giving has come through the cruising community in a project named Fundamigos, led by Ellen Sanpere of Cayenne III from St. Croix and Elaine Conklin on Manana. The project involves funding, assisting and providing family help for children born with congenital and acquired facial deformities. Several fundraising events for Fundamigos were organized at the Bahia Redonda Marina in Puerto la Cruz. Venezuela. The support from the marina was most positive with over $2,000 being raised for the children. Volunteers from the cruising community represented some 10 nationalities.
In most countries, the parents have to bring their food with them. In Venezuela, Fundamigos provides them with food, lodging and local transportation. Cruisers in the marina help out in the Operating & Recovery Room, rolling bandages and in the kitchen. Sanpere tells AAS, “The hospital is so overburdened that the children are advised to bring their families to look after them. We wanted to help in this way. Last year the kitchen made 800 meals a day to feed these children with the entire staff donating their time and effort. This year 89 patients received operations.” Ellen and the volunteers brought help to the families and children during the three day mission, making the children's trip easier logistically and operationally, with everything from translating and cooking to entertaining children bored and frightened by the wait for surgery.
Fundamigos was started in 1989 at the Razetti Hospital, Barcelona, a public hospital by Dr. Ana Velasquez de Manyon, a plastic surgeon. The purpose of the program is to provide plastic surgery service in this hospital for the economically disadvantaged. Fundamigos also provides follow-up and dental & orthodontic care.