Tuesday, November 19, 2013

HAITI :: Hippotherapy in Port-au-Prince

One of the beauties at Pascado
Imagine the impact we could make 
on more children's lives if Jacob's Fund transformed from a domestic program 
into an international one.

The possibilities give The Red Thread team goosebumps!

Nestled behind one of the thousands of concrete walls in Port-au-Prince, you'll have to look carefully to find Pascado Athletic Club Centre Equestre (Pascado), a large equestrian farm in Cité Militaire. Sonya had the opportunity to visit Pascado during our trip this November and was excited to note the similarities between the Center and our partner farms in the states. 

Pascado showcased some typical Haitian qualities—such as stables made of concrete and gravel "paving"—but the main elements of all three farms were the same: lots of horses, stables and tack, riding arenas and TREES! Yes, those green leafy things so foreign to Port-au-Prince are beautiful green trees, adding to the serenity of the property, a true oasis in the heart of the bustling city.

The main viewing area
Small arena where most therapy begins
Julia, a rider at Pascado and our too-kind tour guide, led us around the property, showing us the different areas, arenas and stables. She also introduced us to one of the two therapists at the farm, Milo, who has been treating people since 1998. Like in the USA, trained therapists work with doctors to better understand the patient's condition and map out a strategic hippotherapy plan to maximize its effectiveness. With the help of eight therapy horses, therapists treats children and adults with various physical and neurological conditions, including deafness, hearing impairment, mutism and autism to name a few. 

Sound familiar?!

We look forward to continued conversations with Pascado to see if hippotherapy might be a good option for children at St. Vincent's and other places. 

The large arena
Hay and feed barn

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