Synopsis: The Dominican Sisters of the Presentation’s latest initiative is to build a much-needed clinic to serve the poor. The 10,000 SF facility will house exam rooms, a dental clinic, a pharmacy, a nurse’s station, offices, reception/waiting areas, and classrooms. The second floor will provide apartments for medical staff and volunteers.
Detailed Description: The Guaimaca Health Center is the brainchild of the efforts of Sister Maria Cabellos and Sister Marta Ines Toro, members of Dominican Sisters of The Presentation, an order that is active on four continents helping those in need. (See http://www.presentation-op-usa.org/ for more information on the Order and go to the blog on their Parish in Guaimaca [population 10,000] and its school, farm, and other initiatives.)
The clinic’s spaces are organized around two larger courtyards and three smaller ones, creating a lush, relaxing oasis. A welcome reprieve from the heat, these courtyards help cool adjacent spaces. The design picks up on local vernacular, particularly stucco walls, tile roofs and native gardens. It also recalls the work of Louis Barragan, a master at working with luscious colors and landscape elements.
The Parish’s Health Center has a full-time staff, and doctors and nurses from around the world volunteer for a week or two at a time. When specialists come to the clinic, patients come from a vast geographic region, often leading to long lines, so great is the demand for health services.