During the week of Oct. 6, 2019, Shenandoah University Professor of Nursing Sharron Guillett, Ph.D., participated in a mission trip to Pharr, Texas, located about six miles from the Rio Grande border with Mexico. Many immigrants from Mexico live in small pop-up villages called “colonias” in this part of Texas. Most people in the “colonias” live in poverty, lack health care, and the majority of the adults don’t speak English, according to Dr. Guillett.
She worked as part of a team of 25 people from her church. Team members donated their time and talent and built a two-bedroom home, taught residents how to sew and offered three days of health care screenings and educational classes for the community. Sharron teaches community health nursing at Shenandoah, so she was able to provide her nursing expertise, which included diabetic screening and education.
“It was an amazing experience. The people we encountered were warm, friendly, and appreciative of our help” said Guillett. “Our intention is to help them help themselves to be healthy and self-sustaining. We made small steps in that direction and I am grateful I had the opportunity to serve.”