Dominican Republic Mission


Thursday, March 11 through Monday, March 22

2010 marks the beginning of the involvement of VIDA International as a sponsoring organization.

This year the group returned to the north side of the country, landing in Puerto Plata and staying in and working in region around Sosua.

Besides the intense work and rewards of helping people experience Christian love, there is time for some relaxation: shopping, sightseeing at historical sites, and soaking rays on the beach!


  • medical clinics
  • evening evangelistic meetings
  • evening activities for the children
   Etla Van Horne, R.N. (SWAU Nursing Faculty)
John Sygal, M.D. (Corpus Christi)
 Southwestern Nursing Faculty:
   Lolita Taroy-Valdez, R.N.
 Southwestern Students:
   Janz Arante R.N.
Rhyz Arante
Evanette Basit, R.N.
Divine Flores
Nancy Guterrez
Bobby Harris
Priscilla Kenyon
Kendall Merritt
David Mooney
Naomi Nyabuto
Harold Ong
Eddie Ortez
Leslie Rosete
Tura Smith
Doane Tarin
Kayla Thomas
Barry Westcott
Ashley Wetmore
 Other Participants:
   Walross Basit, R.N.
Mary Bustillos
Elsa Galloza, R.N.
Marge Johnson
Beverly Merrills, R.N.
Melissa Owen
other professionals and volunteers from Corpus Christi
 Bus Master:
   Julio Ramirez

From what we get, we can make a living; what we give, however, makes a life.
Arthur Ashe      

Tony Torres, M.D. was unable to travel and participate this year due to the death of his sister a short time earlier. This is the first year in 13 that the participants will miss Tony.

Lolita Taroy-Valdez sent regular e-mail reports to Catherine Turner while in the Dominican—the hotel where the group was staying had Internet access!.

The group who flew in via Atlanta, Miami, and Puerto Rico arrived few minutes apart at the DR airport. Waiting time was not an issue. Dr. Sygal and his daughter arrived the following day but there will be more coming on Monday. The evangelistic meeting was conducted by Bob, and children's program started Friday night. The electric generator at the Sosua church was not working well, so the meeting last night started in the dark but the light came on towards end of the meeting.

We did the first medical clinic at the Sosua church Saturday afternoon, and saw about 200 individuals.

Today, Sunday, the group is scheduled to go to the Beach and will have another clinic on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday.

Thus far, everybody is safe and healthy.


We had a good time at the beach. The students enjoyed it so much. It was a real break for them.

We will have another clinic today but I don't remember the place. Four people from Corpus Christi will arrive at 1:00pm, so we'll pick them up on our way to the clinic.

I didn't go to the meeting last night because I worked with some students to organize the pharmacy for tomorrow's clinic but I was told the meeting went well. On Tuesday, we will go out for sightseeing.

Thank you so much for your prayers.


We saw more than 300 people at the La Goleta's medical clinic on Tuesday. One lady came with elephantiasis and another guy with big facial tumor. Most of the problems are related to parasites and B/P.

Today, we went up to the highest peak in Puerto Plata which us about 8-10 minutes ride on a cable car. We were supposed to see the whole city from the top of the peak but it was so foggy. We walked around the peak to see the native plants and flowers then back to the cable car. It was still foggy when we left the place but we saw the city on our way back.

Tomorrow's clinic will be in Muñoz. This will be the largest clinic with more people who were originally from Haiti. We are hoping that the water purification equipment will be installed on the same day with the clinic.

Dr. Sygal scheduled me to give a testimony tonight at the evangelistic meeting.


The group just came back from Muñoz. The clinic started at 10:00am and ended at 3:00pm, non-stop. Everybody is tired and exhausted but happy that we have accomplished our goal for the day. The water purification system was installed with the presence of Etla and 3 other students to take some pictures and bring back a report to us. The rest of us manned the clinic. The students really did a great job in the physical assessments and pharmacy. We had 5-6 physical stations every clinic to help Dr. Sygal because he is our only physician. He only handles the people with very high B/P and other problems that we were not sure how to handle. The students did a marvelous job in assessing the problems.


I was impressed with the group because everybody attended the meeting last night after a long day of clinic and travel. Today, Thursday, is another beach day and everyone is looking forward to it. I don't have the number of people seen at the clinic yesterday because nobody counted it last night. We were just dead tired!

It was a unique clinic because someone has to translate Creole or French into Spanish, and another person would translate it into English. The available translators from our group and Julio's son can only speak Spanish.


We saw more than 400 patients in Muñoz and we are going to Islabon today for another 200-300 patients according to Dr. Sygal. The last clinic tomorrow afternoon will for the workers and family of Picaflores, the hotel we are staying. On Sunday, the group will go to SeaWorld then in the afternoon, some will fly back home. These are the people who will stay overnight at the airport.

The nightly evanglistic meetings for adult and children will culminate tonight.

Sabbath greetings from the group.


During this trip the group saw over 1000 persons in several clinics. The medical supplies that were unused were left with a local physician in Muñoz—she was so grateful to have these along with a drug reference book that tears came to her eyes. She had been having difficulties getting medicines through the "official" channels.

photo album