Can You Help? New Free Clinic Needs Financial Support

Expats are involved in fundraising to purchase medical and dental equipment for free clinic in the Progresso neighbourhood of Puerto Vallarta.

Opened on January , 2017 The community hall / non denominational church has been constructed and is owned by Vineyard Ministries of Central Mexico. The main facility is free of charge for the local residents to use for weddings, funerals, family gatherings and community events. The non-denominational church currentl yprovides weekly services on Thursday evenings.

When the structure is 100% complete (by the end of 2017), it will include classrooms where English and home economics will be taught by volunteers. It will also include a nursery so that young mothers can attend these classes. Vineyard Ministries has offered the free use of two rooms to use as clinics.

Canadian Darryl Derksen, is one of several snowbirds spending this winter raising both awareness of the project and also the need to raise funds to purchase equipment for a medical and dental clinic that will provide free services to the residents of Colonia Progresso, one of the poorest neighbourhoods in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico with over 40,000 residents.

Many of these people scrounge around the city dump in search of recyclables that can be turned into cash to buy food, while others pedal their wares to the tourists on the public beaches. These people need help and it is simply wrong of us to bask in their sun without giving something back, advocates Derksen.

Derksen works to promote the project and raise funds to purchase equipment for the clinics along with two fellow Canadians, Elizabeth McWeeny and her husband Richard Buset who started the Canadian charitable organization, “Compassio net Impact Development Canada” has been building homes for the poor, in Colonia Progresso, for the past eight years.

The initial budget for purchasing the medical and dental equipment is $30,000. Fundraising began in December and they have raised $15,000 so far (mostly from Canadian donors). The equipment has now arrived and will be installed within the next two weeks.

Empty room waiting for equipment

It is the goal that both clinics will be up and running, providing very necessary basic services, by the middle of April. We need to raise $30,000 to purchase the equipment and fundraising efforts, since December, have brought almost $15,000, explains Derksen.

We still need donations and every one, large or small, is very much appreciated. All donations are tax deductible and donors will be provided with appropriate charitable donation receipts.

The structure itself has been funded by Vineyard Ministries, who have built several other churches and community centers in various areas of Mexico. The equipment required to set up the clinics will be funded by individual donations, and the clinics will be manned by local volunteer dentists and doctors who are willing to volunteer on a half-day basis. As well as volunteer international doctors and dentists who visit during winter vacation.

The support of volunteer professionals has been overwhelming.The medical clinic will be basically a walk-in minor emergency clinic for cuts, bruises, colds, flus, and situations where prescription drugs are necessary, but not affordable. The clinic will also provide complete physical check-ups for adults and will include monitoring of blood pressure, heart rate, weight, height etc. The dental clinic will provide basic services of cleanings, fillings, x-rays and extractions.

Construction crews building the 2nd floor

This will be more of a maintenance clinic than an emergency clinic.
However, they will have necessary drugs like penicillin available for situations where an infection needs to be dealt with, before any dental work can take place. The main objective is to promote good oral health and maintenance.

Tooth paste and toothbrushes will be provided to all, free of charge, in order to promote oral health. The clinics will be managed (as in hours of operation, schedules, re-ordering supplies etc) by one of the volunteer doctors or dentists.

All clinic services, plus basic prescription drugs (e.g.: penicillin) will be free of charge. The clinics will be cleaned by a committee of local residents. Both clinics are locked up and secure when not in use.

If you are interested in helping this clinic meet its fundraising goals, please go the about tab on the Facebook page, and click on the link provided on the how can I donate tab. Credit card donations are safe and secure.

Grand opening celebrations at the clinic.

Tax-deductible charitable donation receipts for US and Canadian residents will be mailed to you within two weeks.

For more information please contact:
Darryl Derksen

The website address for Compassion et Impact Development Canada is:

PHOTO TEXT Dental clinic room Grand opening of church/community hall on January 7th Second level for English lesson and home economics

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Celebrating twenty years of publishing weekly in Puerto Vallarta! Since 1997.