Earthspeak's 4th trip to San Miguel de Allende

In February 2014 Earthspeak made its 4th visit to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. For the past two years, we have been developing sustainable community mentor-based speech correction and a cleft palate team care model for individuals in need of such services in this community.

Earthspeak continues in Mexico

Continuing on in Mexico, EARTHSPEAK opened another site in the state of Guanajuato in May 2012. The site works through a partnership with Patronato Pro Niños (a charitable medical and dental organization based in San Miguel de Allende), the state Desarrollo Integral de La Familia (DIF), and Hospital General of San Miguel. The goal of the program is to train professionals and parents in the care of children with cleft palate.

The Oregon project

Janet Brockman, Director of the Cleft Palate/Craniofacial Center, Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU); Kameron Beaulieu, Associate Professor at OHSU; Dr. Kathi Hoffer, Earthspeak Master Trainer; and Dr. Pam Davison, Earthspeak Advisory Board, created a research protocol for obtaining multiple single-case studies using Corrective Babbling. A single-case study using the protocol also began in Los Angeles, California. Research such as this has been impossible to obtain internationally.

University training in Ecuador

In August 2012 political decisions at the highest state level resulted in the loss of our Earthspeak master trainer speech therapist in the regional cleft palate center in Portoviejo, Ecuador. This situation placed the entire program at risk.

An administrative visit was quickly made by Earthspeak U.S., and following discussions with partners and principals, the position was reinstated by the Department of Education.

New site in Ecuador

Ibarra, a city surrounded by snow-capped Andean peaks 2 hours out of Quito, will be the site of Earthspeak's second regional cleft palate center in Ecuador.

In March 2013 the center will begin development through a partnership with Club Rotario of Ibarra and Rostros Felices headed by Dr. Jorge Palacios of Guayaguil. Dr. Palacios and Club Rotario of Ibarra have offered surgery to the children of the area since 1990, but no speech or other cleft palate team care services have been possible until now.

Honduras update

EARTHSPEAK'S program in Honduras continues its 8th year. Shown in the photo above is Clinical Trainer Pascuala Martinez graduating a brother and sister training team. The only family member that could deliver the Corrective Babbling program to this deserving young girl was her brother. He learned to be her mentor, and successfully helped her correct her speech. Brother and sister demonstrated their work at her graduation ceremony. There was not a dry eye in the audience. To see the courage and victory of these two youngsters inspires us all to do more than we think we can.

Visit to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

RSF-EARTHSPEAK was invited to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, by Patronato Pro Niños, a charitable organization based in San Miguel that serves many children in the state of Guanajuato. The trip took place from May 5-12, 2012. EARTHSPEAK team participants were Kathi Hoffer and Andi Jobe. The trip was done in association with Desarrollo Integral de La Familia (DIF), the state-run organization that deals with issues that affect the health, education and welfare of children and families.

Visit to Portoviejo, Ecuador

EARTHSPEAK's trip to Ecuador on April 26-May 6, 2012, was its 10th and the 7th for Cindy Dobbelsteyn and Elizabeth Kay-Raining Bird, speech pathologists from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, as well as Edith Schlesinger, translator and cultural interpreter from San Francisco, CA.

Visit to San Pedro Sula, Honduras

On April 16, 2012, EARTHSPEAK joined its surgical partner, Interplast South, to address speech needs in San Pedro Sula, Honduras.

On the first day of the visit 110 children were seen for speech review and surgery management in the beautiful, newly opened surgial suites of the Burn Unit built by the Ruth Paz Foundation. The accommodations were modern and well equipped, with plenty of room for effective teamwork.

The red hat club

EARTHSPEAK has adopted red baseball hats as hard-earned prizes to be given at the end of each speech camp to parent/child teaching teams. The hats say "Camp Earthspeak."

Some day children from different parts of the world may meet wearing these hats and they will all know that having overcome the same difficulty united them.

For these children it is their "red badge" of courage and hard work.


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