The Charity: Support for Burns and Wounds in Chiapas Mexico
All  PalmFree SunWear profits go to Don Sergio’s humanitarian efforts
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Don Sergio provides wound and burn care in Chiapas, Mexico. This gentleman has a large cancerous wound; there are no resources to treat his cancer.

Healthcare is not accessible everywhere in the world. My personal experiences of medical volunteering in Chiapas, Mexico since 2008 have opened my eyes, heart and pocket book to the needs of others less fortunate than us in the US.

For these reasons I am donating all profits of PalmFree™SunWear products to healthcare related charities, mainly Yok Chij Asociacion Civil in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas.

Twice annually I travel to Chiapas to work with long-time humanitarian Sergio Castro (nick-named Yok Chij by the local Mayan people of that region which means ‘deer foot – always on the move’). Don Sergio, as he is affectionately called, is an agronomist, veterinarian, and teacher by training, and a humanitarian and ethnologist by nature. For more than 50 years Don Sergio has helped Mayan villages build schools and water treatment systems; all at no cost to them. They collectively work together building community necessities once funding and planning is secured from donations given to don Sergio for the projects. But this is only part of what he does.

Vista Hermosa leveling ground and school
Vista Hermosa school was finally completed with support from US Citizens living in San Miguel de Allende.
Vista Hermosa new latrines
Most schools do not have indoor restrooms, they use outdoor latrines.

Don Sergio also provides wound and burn care to the marginalized Mexican and Mayan people in the area. This includes cleaning and dressing diabetic wound ulcers, venous ulcers and burns, ranging from mild to severe and life and/or limb threatening no matter the age; the very young to the very old. There are no wound or burn centers in Chiapas, or most of Mexico, as there are here in the US.

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In Teopisca, 40 minutes outside of San Cris, the foot of a 3 year old was burned by a boiling hot water accident. The child never cried while changing her bandages.

As a US trained physician assistant specializing in dermatology, I’ve expanded my medical skills working along side don Sergio providing wound and burn care in this resource limited environment. Year after year I’m still awestruck that someone can give of their time to help others six days a week 52 weeks a year.

Sergio and me 2012
Sergio Castro and Patricia Ferrer thank you for your support.

Click here for New York Times article about don Sergio by Elisabeth Malkin and video by photojournalist by Janet Jarman in August 2013.

Click here for the blog I update when working with don Sergio:

In 2011 an independent film makers, Veremos Productions, documented don Sergio’s work in Chiapas:  El Andalón.

Other posted media: The Daily Good – Portrait of a Healer by Benjamin Mariotte

InSight Press – Sergio Castro Medicine Man of Chiapas by Justin McManus

The Circle of Life is my own story of meeting don Sergio and tells his story of how he came to be a humanitarian.

Yok Chij – Sergio’s formal charitable association – Donate here.

My partner, Bruce, and I met don Sergio November 2008 and have been staunch supporters ever since.  We our proud that PalmFree™SunWear profits and everything sold by our business will go toward helping support don Sergio, his rustic burn and wound clinic, and those less fortunate that he serves.