San Pedro, Ometepe Island, Nicaragua
January 20th, 2013

La Palma is the first community we encounter in our circumnavigation of Ometepe in which almost no one has a vehicle, and virtually everyone has one or more horses (or mules). The paved road ended about 15 km back in Balgue, and from there on, transport is only by

well-maintained 4WD vehicle, or the original 4WD, the horse. Nothing on the ground moves faster than 3 miles per hour.

It’s an extremely friendly village, primarily involved with subsistence agriculture, and fishing and vegetables for market. The horses are well handled for the most part, and the owners are appreciative of the services we provide, and many are interested in and attentive to the details. Chris Hadel,our farrier, identified one especially interested owner, and trained him over the course of several hours to do a decent basic trim. We left him with one of the two nippers we brought for distribution, and a couple of rasps, on his promise that we would put them to use for the horses of the whole community.

The case load in La Palma was high, as it has been in each of the two previous visits, with about 110 horses seen, 14 horses gelded, many dental interventions performed, and a steady stream of various minor problems to address.

After the last horse was treated, we packed up and moved on about another 12 km to the next village, San Pedro, where we will sleep under the stars in the courtyard of the local school, our work site the following morning. A few of the horses seen in La Palma actually live in San Pedro. They made it back home faster than we were able to arrive there in our very well-maintained 4WD vehicle.

David Turoff, DVM

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