In Their Own Words

In Their Own Words

The Foundation has changed the lives of thousands of families in the Turimiquire region. Here are the stories of some of our clients and co-workers.


Luisa Gamardo

Luisa Gamardo is a 55-year-old mother of eight. In 1992, we helped her obtain a tubal sterilization, our first entry into family planning. Luisa now works with the Foundation guiding other women through the process.

“Thanks to the Foundation, my life is changed. After giving birth almost every year, I’ve been able to be dedicated to my eight children. And when I saw how this changed my life, I wanted to help other women have the same chance as me.”

Nanci del Valle Rodriguez, Luisa Elena Rincones, and Yraima Josefina Rincones

Nanci del Valle Rodriguez, Luisa Elena Rincones, and Yraima Josefina Rincones live in the valley more than an hour’s walk from the nearest road. All three of these young women have almost no formal education, virtually no disposable income, and very little access to public and social services. Each of them actively sought the Foundation’s help in obtaining family planning.

“My life is much better now, easier, my family more tranquilo,” Nanci says. After having two children and taking birth control pills for three years, Nanci recently gave birth again. She has resumed birth control, continuing to actively plan her family.

Luisa already has four children, and received a tubal sterilization with us. She adds that “there are other women like us who need help too.”

Yraima suffered a high-risk pregnancy as a very young adolescent, and lost her first child in a late-term miscarriage. She took the pill for a period to regain her strength, and then had a child successfully. She is now using birth control again.

“In the hospital they told me to wait awhile before having more children, so I am taking the pill. My mother is happy that I am doing this. And my husband, too,” she says. “And I have other friends, cousins, whom I am also telling about this.”

Annelis Del Valle Gomez

Annelis Del Valle Gomez lives in Cumaná with her husband Melvin, and works cleaning houses. When Annelis married seven years ago, she came to the Foundation for assistance obtaining birth control pills. After two years, she stopped taking the pills and had a son. She then used an IUD for three years, and has now decided to have her second child.

“Family planning is important for my community because of all the girls who become pregnant when they are 11 or 12 years old. Right now it is necessary to think carefully before having a child.”


Maribel Garcia

Maribel Garcia was for many years the Auxiliary Nurse responsible for health care at the rural public health facility in Barrancas, where the Foundation has offered family planning since 1999. Born and raised in this rural area near Cumaná, she was in charge of the Ambulatorio from 1979 to 2008. Now retired from the Ministry of Public Health, she works closely with the Foundation, continuing to bring our reproductive health program to her own Barrancas community, and to an increasing number of nearby rural communities as well.

“Working with the Turimiquire Foundation has helped us resolve many problems in our rural community.”

Dr. Mayrena Carrabs

Dr. Mayrena Carrabs is the Director of Maternal-Infant Health for the Cumanacoa Hospital in rural county Municipio Montes and has coordinated our family planning clinic at the Hospital since we started in 1997. She and nurse Nelly Padrón have helped extend our family planning services beyond the hospital to the small outpatient dispensaries scattered throughout this extensive rural area, and to an urban medical cooperative in the town of Cumanacoa.

“Public service is truly satisfying. It is what motivates me,” Mayrena says.

Dr. Silvia Quijada

Dr. Silvia Quijada is a Director of Programs at FundaSalud, the State Ministry of Health. She has been working with the Foundation since 1999, and directs our surgery program.

“I’m very happy with my work over the years with the Foundation. With reliable access to IUD’s, hormonal birth control, and surgical sterilizations, we have lowered the number of unwanted births in our communities, which are mostly very poor. The Foundation also supports an adolescent center and workshops that help us educate our low-income young people in reproductive health.”