Announcing a New Book by David Werner: Reports from the Sierra Madre: Stories Behind the Health Handbook Where There Is No Doctor

David Werner and HealthWrights (Workgroup for People’s Health and Rights) are very excited to announce the release of this new book, Reports from the Sierra Madre. This is the backstory, the real-time day-to-day journals and reports of what David experienced in the backcountry of Western Mexico, living and working side-by-side with the campesinos. Richly illustrated with hundreds of photographs as well as line drawings and sensitively painted images of birds, all by the author, this book is a must-read, both for those who have been involved in the health and disability programs that grew out of the experiences in this book, and also for those who have benefited from Where There Is No Doctor, and David’s other groundbreaking books.

From the back cover:

The Reports from the Sierra Madre comprise an on-the-spot journal of the first year David Werner spent as a novice health worker in the isolated villages of the Sierra Madre Occidental, the rugged mountain range of western México, in the state of Sinaloa. That year was 1966. He was 31 years old.
Initially, he had planned to spend one year only. However his engagement with the Sierra Madre spanned half a century, and had a far-reaching impact. Among other things, it was his work in those isolated mountains that led him to write the internationally acclaimed Where There Is No Doctor, a book that has influenced primary health care practices throughout the world.

These four reports—here published together for the first time—were initially scribbled by lamplight and sent in serial form to friends to raise funds for this unlikely grassroots endeavor. Over two hundred photos, paintings and drawings by the author have been added to the original text.

SPECIAL OFFER—Get a Signed Copy of David Werner’s New Book and Help HealthWrights!

To celebrate the release of this captivating book, David is offering you a personally signed copy of Reports from the Sierra Madre when you make a gift of $150 to HealthWrights.

This is an art book as well as a true-life saga. With over 400 pages full of color images, its price through Amazon is $55 plus postage. You can buy an unsigned copy directly online.

But we encourage you to get a special signed copy for a donation of $150 to HealthWrights, postage (in the USA) included.

Pay through PayPal by clicking here and clicking the “donate” button …

… Or, if you prefer, send a check to:

“HealthWrights—Book Orders”


c/o Jason Weston

3897 Hendricks Road

Lakeport CA 95453 USA

If you want to know the eye-opening background of Where There Is No Doctor, this beautiful, heart-warming volume is a must.

Urgent Request for Electric Wheelchairs

While the PROJIMO community-based rehab programs run by disabled villagers in Mexico make individualized wheelchairs for children and adults who need them, some of the leaders and former workers in these programs now need electric wheelchairs. Please help provide them if you can.

Companions in pressing need for an electric wheelchair include:

Virginia Gonzalez

Virginia, who was born with brittle-bone disease (osteogenisis imperfecta), first came to the PROJIMO (Program for Rehabilitation Organized by Disabled Youth of Western Mexico) when she was 4 years old. Years later she became a worker at PROJIMO, running the program’s cybercafe and teaching computer skills to village children. She also taught Spanish-as-a-second language to volunteer rehab workers visiting the program. Now in her mid-30s, Virginia has a teenage son José Carlos who from early childhood has helped his mother in many ways and wants to become a nurse. Virginia currently has a job as bookkeeper in a furniture store at the far end of the village (Coyotitán). To get to the store, however—because of her fragile, twisted arms (from repeated fractures)—she needs someone to push her manual wheelchair. This job usually falls on José Carlos, though the timing often conflicts with his school schedule. For greater independence, Virginia very much needs a (small) electric wheelchair.

Conchita Lara

Conchita first came to PROJIMO as a teenager 36 years ago after a fall that left her paraplegic. She has been active in the rehab program ever since, and now—in her mid-50s—is the program’s dynamic coordinator. She has two lovely daughters, now grown up and independent. Conchita has always been strong and very capable. For a while she worked making artificial limbs in the PROJIMO shop. Five years ago, however, Conchita developed breast cancer. One breast was surgically removed together with lymph nodes in her armpit and upper arm. This has weakened that arm that so much that propelling her manual wheelchair for any distance has become difficult and painful. For the active life she leads, Conchita now longs for a (wide) electric wheelchair.

Rigo Delgado

Rigo became quadriplegic in a car accident when he had just finished prep school, and was brought to PROJIMO Coyotitán for rehabilitation and treatment of pressure sores. Like Virginia and Conchita, he eventually became a member of the PROJIMO team—and finally a leader. Rigo organized an outreach program to other villages, to promote awareness of disability and inclusion. Rigo went on to study social psychology at the Autonomous University of Sinaloa, where he played a key role making the university physically and socially more accessible to disabled students. He likewise began a disability “Child-to-Child” awareness-raising program in village schools in migrant-farm-worker settlements nearby—for which he received national awards. For these activities, Rigo—whose four limbs are paralyzed—needs appropriate mobility aids. Friends of HealthWrights managed to get him a donated electric wheelchair and also an adapted van with a power ramp. But now both the chair and ramp are on their last legs. So for Rigo we are looking for a donated (large) power wheelchair.

For Rigo we are also looking for the donation of an adapted van with a ramp, in good condition. And if possible, a volunteer driver to drive it to Sinaloa, Mexico. (The wheelchairs we can fly down.)


Wheelchairs can be sent or delivered to:


c/o Jason Weston

3897 Hendricks Road

Lakeport CA 95453 USA

HELP NEEDED—Give a child a customized wheelchair!

Over the last 15 years the team of disabled crafters in the village workshop in PROJIMO Duranguito, Sinaloa, Mexico, has been making individualized wheelchairs for disabled children—designing each chair both to the child’s combination of needs and to his or her local environment.

Stichting Liliane Fonds has now pulled out of Mexico.

Thanks to generous support from Stichting Liliane Fonds, a charitable foundation in Holland, the village team was able to provide these wheelchairs and other assistive equipment to disadvantaged children free or for a small fraction of the costs. And this individualized approach has spread to other programs and countries. The chairs cost from around US$250 to 350 each.

Unfortunately, however, Stichting Liliane Fonds has now pulled out of Mexico. This not only makes it more difficult to provide specially-adapted wheelchairs to the many children who need them, but also the jeopardizes the self-reliance of the disabled craftspersons who make the chairs.

Click here to learn more about how you can help!

End Matter

Do You Want To Study Spanish Online?

Rigo Delgado, who helped facilitate the Child-to-Child program described in this newsletter (and also the subject of Newsletter #68) is again offering basic and conversational Spanish classes by Skype, To see the announcement, click here.

Board of Directors
Roberto Fajardo
Barry Goldensohn
Bruce Hobson
Jim Hunter
Donald Laub
Eve Malo
Leopoldo Ribota
David Werner
Jason Weston
Efraín Zamora
International Advisory Board
Allison Akana — United States
Dwight Clark — Volunteers in Asia
Mira Shiva — India
Michael Tan — Philippines
María Zúniga — Nicaragua
This Issue Was Created By:
David Werner — Writing, Photographs, and Drawings
Jason Weston — Editing and Layout