Daily Camera LTE – Mission to Mante: Building a cultural bridge

By Rich Lopez
Visit his blog on The Daily Camera

At time when U.S. health care has been the topic of newspapers across the country, there is another activity that continues quietly. This year marks the 20th time that physicians, nurses, technicians and volunteers travel to Mante, Mexico, at their own expense, to provide free medical care to poor and unemployed citizens. Last year the team, lead by Mike Moran from Boulder Community Hospital, saw 5,000 clinic patients; performed 257 eye surgeries and 263 surgical procedures. The team received more “thanks” in a week than anyone could imagine.

In 2000, I had the honor of traveling to Mante to sign the Boulder Mante Sister Cities proclamation. Over time, student and teacher exchanges grew from the relationship. Today, a retired Boulder fire truck still protects citizens in Mante thanks to the generosity of the late Tom Eldridge. The mural that graces the north wall of The Dairy Center was a gift from Mante, painted by Florian Lopez.

This year, Jeannie DeMarinis assembled an art show that will travel to Mante to be displayed in the Ramon Cano Gallery. The show will include paintings of the Boulder area, artistic kites by Airworks and Elizabeth Black`s Ditch Project slide show. Mante citizens will be able to visit Boulder through its artists. We`re building more cultural bridges.

The city of Boulder has declared the week of Feb. 12-20 as Boulder Mante Week. We invite everyone to follow the activities this year by visiting http://missiontomante.pmpblogs.com or http://boulder-mante.org.

Read more: Letters to the Editor – Feb. 9 – Boulder Daily Camera

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