31 December 2009

A bit of New Year's self-promotion

Ejido Modelo Emiliano Zapata

I spent three days in early December working as a fixer in the Lake Chapala area and Guadalajara for a New York Times reporter, who was investigating what happens to the undocumented migrants that lose access to health care services in the U.S. and subsequently return to Mexico. The story focuses a 34-year-old woman, Mónica Chavarría, from an ejido on the Jalisco-Michoacán state line. She has end-stage renal failure and used to receive treatment at a public hospital in Atlanta. But the hospital closed the kidney dialysis clinic earlier this year due to budgetary issues.

The undocumented migrants receiving dialysis were offered three months of treatment elsewhere and a trip home. (U.S. Citizens with kidney failure are eligible for Medicare.) Mónica returned to Mexico with her youngest son, while her husband and older son stayed in the Atlanta area. Her husband has been working as a paver and raising money to pay for a transplant - which would cost far less in Mexico.

Read the full story here, at the Times' website.

Happy new year to everyone!

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