Solo No Puedo
To the Moon Productions, in conjunction with the Yantalo Peru Foundation, are in Production on a feature length documentary. The film will follow the development, construction, and impact of the first architecturally Green Medical-Dental Clinic in South America. The clinic will be located in Yantalo Peru, a small, poor community in the heart of the northern Peruvian jungle.
see pictures from Yantalo!
watch the preview video!
During the planning stages, construction, and use of the first architecturally Green Medical-Dental Hospital in South America, the tiny jungle community of Yantaló will change more than it has in the last 100 years.
The hospital will be located in Yantaló, Peru, a small, poor community in the heart of the northern Peruvian jungle. Today dirt roads, mud houses, unsafe drinking water, few jobs, very little access to health care, and the highest infant mortality rate in the country describe Yantaló, a community of 3,000. The hospital is the dream of Dr. Luis Vasquez, president of the Yantaló Peru Foundation. Peruvian born, he is a retired Chicago-based doctor. He started the foundation in 2005 after visiting Yantaló, his mother’s birthplace, and discovering the stagnant growth and pressing health needs of the community.
The philosophy of the hospital will be that all patients will receive equal medical care regardless of their ability to pay. Two main components will support this philosophy; patients able to pay will be attracted to the hospital from the surrounding region and beyond, and a network of volunteers and on-going donation sources will minimize the cost of running the hospital. The hospital will mainly be staffed by rotating medical professionals from around the world and with teams of interns sent through agreements already established with universities in the US, Canada, and Peru. In addition to doctors at the hospital, consultation with specialists around the world will occur via a satellite video communication system donated and installed by Compania de Comercia Global, SAC. These features will make it a hospital able to perform surgeries, treat specialty cases, train personnel, and provide stable medical care to the Yantalo community and far beyond.
From the very beginning, Dr. Vasquez has built a model that exemplifies the idea of Solo No Puedo, “I Cannot Alone” and the response from the Yantaló community as well as strangers across the world has been profound. Due to his passion and knowledge, the scope of those lending a hand ranges from poverty stricken families in Yantaló, to the presidents of universities, to the owner of a hardware store. With the support of the New School of Architecture and Design in San Diego, Dean Gil Cooke, two of his graduate students, LEED certified professional, Alison Whitelaw, and several architecturally Green firms, the designs for the hospital have been completed.
In 2008, the groundbreaking ceremony for the hospital took place and over 2,000 people attended the elaborate celebration, including for the first time ever in Yantaló, a country-level government official, Dr. Arce, the Vice Minister of Health for Peru. To prepare, the dirt roads were smoothed, buildings painted, houses acting as mini stores stocked up on food to sell, and the community worked together decorating with balloons and organizing parades. Although the hospital has not yet been built, Dr. Vasquez has created a progressivemovement with local and international interest. American and Canadian doctors and dentists have visited Yantaló to assess needs and begin donating their services. In 2008, the 500 children in the Yantaló school received their first toothbrushes, dental check ups, and fluoride treatments. The children’s eyes lit up at their colorful new toothbrushes, and adults hearing of the service walked half a day for dental advice. Nancy, a twenty-year-old Yantaló resident and nurse-in-training, assisted with the dental procedures. She has been practicing her English, motivated by the hope of employment at the hospital to come. Never before has she had a reason or motivation to learn English and many of the younger children feel the same way; their eyes have been opened to possibilities as they point enthusiastically to items around town asking their English equivalent.
With health care inaccessible for most Yantaló residents because they cannot afford the transportation or the services, Segundo Vela Marim had to quit farming due to an untreated ulcer. This is a story common to Yantaló locals; easily curable ailments going untreated. At the new hospital, these ailments will easily be treated. With these changes in sight, the community has become invested and hopeful.
The Medical-Dental Hospital will improve health as well as create a new center of activity for the region. There will be new jobs, new roads, and a demand for clean, easily accessible water, thus more local houses will receive potable, running water. The idea of “build it and they will come” will be tested and proven to the utmost. The ability of one man, Dr. Luis Vasquez, to ignite the passions of a whole town and hundreds of others internationally in order to set an economic, educational, and medical example is clear.
STRUCTURE / STYLE:
Shooting in HD, the film will capitalize on the vibrant colors of the jungle. Often, shots in the film and the overall shooting style will portray that of a still image, capturing a moment in Yantaló worth reflection. Before / after shots will display the dramatic changes the community undergoes and the progression of the Hospital’s construction.
The majority of filming and the story will take place in Yantaló in its school and homes. The film will be divided into three sections:
* The need in Yantaló and the development of the project
* The construction and changes
* The final impact and success of the hospital
Luis will be the guide through the film, and as he gains collaborators and friends, the story will gain new main characters.
In order to place the magnitude of what Luis is doing in perspective, meetings and interviews will be filmed in the United States, Canada and Lima. Experts in the field of health care, education, architecture, and the environment will be interviewed to touch on the state of the world and how this one small example of change and improvement can be a model for others, proving it is possible. A few examples of planned interviews include, the CEO of USGBC (United States Green Building Council), Rick Fedrizzi, chief environmental advisor to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Terry Tamminen, and possibly Al Gore. Completed interviews include Peru’s Vice Minister of Health, Dr. Meliton Arce.
please vist the Yantalo Peru Foundtion website!
Donate to the project! click here to find out how!
Filming will last until about 2011 and then there will be the long task of editing. When To the Moon Productions was in Yantalo, many locals expressed their desire to share their stories with the world. We hope we are able to capture, share, and promote this amazing project and the lives of those in Yantalo.