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Headstong Works is a secular, nonprofit organization involved in helping a number of communities in the developing world. It predominantly provides potable drinking water to these communities by installing wells or filtration systems. The organization’s philosophy is to empower the community members to learn how to maintain and repair these water systems to improve their independence and sustainability. Headstrong Works has worked with communities in Haiti and Central America primarily.

One of the founding members is Garth McCarty, a local attorney who practices in Glenwood Springs. Headstrong has been working with a small community for a number of years outside of Matagalpa, Nicaragua named Waswali. The team noted on previous visits that this town had some medical needs and wondered if sending a medical team would be beneficial. Headstrong Works provides dental care to this community and that project has been extremely successful.

This past March, Dr. Faught and I traveled to this community with a Headstrong team that was there installing filters. We were fortunate enough to be warmly welcomed by the community. They set us up in their local church to see patients. We had three clinic days and saw upwards of 200 patients during that time. We were able to perform exams, help with infectious disease issues including chronic parasitosis, which is an endemic medical problem, as well as treat minor injuries. This was well received by the community and we are hoping to return next year with some additional supplies and equipment including a point-of-care chemistry analyzer. We would like to raise funds to help procure this device. We made contact with some of the health care providers from the local medical school and are looking to expand our contacts and resources to be more effective with future medical expeditions.

We were extremely impressed with the resilience, resourcefulness and open heartedness of this community.