My name is Maryuri Salmeron. When I was little I loved watching nurses and doctors help people. So I said to myself, ”one day I'm going to be a nurse!“ and now I am.
I consider myself a humble person, quiet and reserved. I don’t have many friends, but the friends I do have are sacred to me. I give them my support in whatever they need.
Studying nursing has not been easy. You need to have a big heart and a lot of patience to face the everyday challenges. However, after the long days at University, I always felt that the work was worth it and believed that one day I would see the results of my effort. That filled me with satisfaction.
In 2013 I completed my required social service in Nagarote and participated in a program at the University to complete my training. Yet after getting my degree I could not find a job related to my career, so I ended up working in a supermarket. It was not what I wanted, but I always had hope of finding something that would fulfill my expectations as a nurse one day.
Finally that day came when The Lily Project posted an ad on Facebook. They were looking for a nurse for their cervical cancer prevention program. While it seemed like a stretch, I sent my resume because I wanted to be a part of the work they were doing in the rural communities. I was so thankful when I was offered the job.
In the beginning, the work at The Lily Project was challenging because I’m so quiet. The job required that I speak and teach in front of many women in the community! Soon, I lost the fear of teaching and I began to enjoy the opportunity to talk to women about their rights and taking care of themselves. Now, it is natural for me. I greet them, make jokes and, most importantly, give them the confidence they need and deserve so they can change others in their communities. I feel so content with this work.
I really enjoy being with the women who come to our events, examining them, talking to them, listening to their stories and being part of their lives. Prevention is the key to stopping this cancer and it is the beginning of showing love to ourselves, and to our families.
Team Leon! But mostly the more than 5,200 women and families this represents.
As we started the year, each team had a goal to screen 2,500 women for cervical cancer in 2018 with a bit of an incentive - the team with the highest number of completed quality screenings by the end of September would win a trip to our board member’s awesome beach house in Florida. But then the unrest started and everything changed…Lily’s ability to provide health screenings and to travel outside of Nicaragua became much more difficult. So we lowered our expectations, changed the travel location to a beautiful beach town, San Juan Del Sur, on the pacific coast of Nicaragua (just above Costa Rica) and Anielka encouraged the teams to just do their best.
Yesterday was the long-anticipated Announcement Day!
Team Matagalpa led by Adilia Navarro with new teammate Dr. Arelys Fonseca, Sarahi Baltodano, RN, and Driver Efrain Montoya announced they have already surpassed their annual goal - screening 2,600 women so far in 2018. Such an amazing accomplishment!
Team Leon, led by Hortencia Gonzalez with Maryuri Salmeron, RN, Yarelis Rojas, RN and driver Michael Rodriguez announced that despite being shut-down for a month due to the unrest in the city they have screened 2,675 women to-date! Additionally, 3 of the 4 women diagnosed with cervical cancer this year in Leon are Lily’s clients – a result so incredible that the regional Ministry of Health has requested Lily’s help in training MINSA staff.
Obviously what is most important is the impact Lily is having on the health of women in Nicaragua. But what can’t be overlooked is the impact Lily is having on the team. Hortencia shares (translated):
A year ago I became Team Leader of León and started a whole new stage of my life. Leadership is something I rarely heard about until I started working with The Lily Project a few years ago. As the leader of the mobile clinic in León, I had many expectations and fears when starting the position, but as time has passed and thanks to the support of the entire Lily Team, I have learned and developed skills that allow me to lead, support my colleagues and help us all move in the same direction. It is so exciting to win the competition! We knew we were doing a good job, but we were not sure about the results of the Matagalpa team, which is also doing very well. For our team, winning represents an achievement that fills us with confidence, joy, and pride - and motivates us to continue improving more every day to succeed in new challenges.
Please join us in congratulating both teams...Salud!
My name is Michael. I'm 22 years old, and I studied Business Administration.
I always wanted to become a professional. I applied for jobs at different companies, but unfortunately I never received a positive response.
Eight months ago, I saw a post on Facebook. The Lily Project was looking for a driver. At that moment I hesitated to apply because that was not my original profession. After thinking about it for a moment, I changed my perspective, and I saw it as an opportunity to work. With the situation in our country any job is a blessing! I finally decided to apply and I was hired.
During my time with Lily I have learned a lot, and I have evolved not only professionally but also as a person. I am part of a team and, we all strive to be better every day. Something I've learned and would never have imagined is how complex and amazing the world of women is - especially everything that happens during each menstrual cycle. I have managed to see how men act in relation to these things, and I’ve been surprised to see that this is not an attitude assumed just by men; I’ve also seen attitudes like this coming from women who attend our events. The attitude is cultural.
Now I do not feel like a simple driver, I feel part of change. I participate in the events by organizing women, inviting women to events, and even explaining to women the importance of having a Pap smear. I would never have imagined doing this, and I never expected to learn so much about women's health or knowing what I know now. I am very grateful for this experience.