This project treats the most basic needs of working horses, donkeys, and mules in rural Guatemala in February 2020. These horses are used in agriculture, transportation, and coffee production. This under-served population of horses has no access to any veterinary care. These horses suffer from the combined effects of poor nutrition, parasitism, over-work, and lack of the most basic care, while their owners rely heavily on these animals for their own survival. Our program vaccinates, deworms, dentistry, and does basic surgery like castration and wound care. We also provide hoof care to these equids. Through this interaction, we hope to elevate the standard of living in these human populations, provide a barrier against zoonotic diseases, and educate the horse owners about basic equine care. We also provide a stipend for in-country veterinary students to gather clinical and practical experience not found in their own curriculum, and work at building economies for their own practice as future veterinarians. The funds for this project would be used to purchase tetanus and rabies vaccines. They would also give Central American students a stipend to attend the two week clinic. As a Rotary club member, I will be mentoring students, as well as leading this trip. Other opportunities for members include helping organize daily clinics, logistics, and support for the veterinarians.
Addendum to Project Description (added after the project was signed)
The vaccines requested for purchase in the grant proposal have been donated by the drug manufacturer. I would propose that the grant money allocated for these vaccines be redirected to purchase of computer tablets, for use in the field. These tablets would be used for data collection for each horse, which is a basic requirement for our continued support from the AAEP Foundation, and Equitarian Initiative. With these tablets, we will also streamline our daily work, allow us to see more horses, and give us a great archival data base for future trips.