By Drs David Turoff and Adrienne Otto
June 28, 2012
When we wrote a couple of days ago that Nuevo Modelo was “about as isolated as you could get”, we were demonstrably incorrect. Yesterday the HSVMA-RAVS team of Equitarians visited El Rondon, and delivered veterinary services to the equid population there for the first time in history. Just getting there was an adventure in itself.
El Rondon is a small collection of ranches where corn is raised by hand (“con puro machete” as the local people put it), and where soil is tilled by oxen pulling hand-guided wooden plows. It is so close to the (disputed) border with Belize, that it may
actually be in Belize, and many of the people are armed in anticipation of confrontations with the Belize army. It is reached by crossing a ford
over the Rio Mopan which would have been impassable if it had been about 6 inches higher (it's been raining here a lot).
In fact, it began to rain at the end of the work day, and we made it back to the ford just in time.
The population of local horses, about 80 in number, have never received veterinary care of any kind, and yesterday we treated about half of them, including many castrations, some dental interventions, and several cases of wound care. The day was cut a bit short by the difficult approach, and apprehension about getting back before the river rose too much, but we were very well received by the people, and there's no doubt we will return next year if possible.
Today we visit Los Encuentros, a village to which we have been many times, and expect to see