Pro Musica performers fill El Paso hospital wards with the joy of live music

EL PASO, Texas – When classical musicians perform in local hospitals, both the players and the patients find it to be good medicine. “It’s about being a healer, because the music is designed to soothe and heal and when you see that there is a change in the status of their health,” said Felipa Solis, Executive Director of El Paso Pro Musica. Performers with Pro Musica are going beyond the concert hall to bring classical music to the people, which UTEP masters cellos performance major Amy Miller said helps her as a musician to build a connection her audience. “I think that playing for people is very important because, you know, you’re in a practice room for hours at a time and you’re playing for yourself but when you have that time to share with someone else and connect with them in that way,” she said “You know, music is an unspoken language, it’s universal.” Solis said that playing music for hospital patients is an extension of the groups’ mission to make classical music accessible to all.

Con sus narices rojas ‘a la orden,’ Doctores de la Risa ofrecen apoyo a niños y ancianos de Juarez

En Cd. Juárez Chihuahua, el grupo de “Doctores de la Risa Nariz a la Orden” se caracteriza por brindar sonrisas y ratos agradables a personas vulnerables como niños y ancianos. El encargado del grupo Fernando Guijarro, 43, conocido como el Dr. Maromas, quien dice que encontró el grupo por casualidad, lleva más de ocho años formando parte de esta labor y al mismo tiempo ejerciendo la profesión de contaduría. “Cuando uno no está buscando algo y se lo encuentra pues piensa uno que es algo divino. Yo encontré este grupo después de pasar por muchos momentos difíciles de inseguridad aquí en Cd.

Diabetes and subsequent weight gain make healthy living a daily challenge

By Isabel Garcia

Leticia Rodriguez – a 66-year-old Segundo Barrio resident – has lost vision in her left eye due to diabetes and says she struggles with everyday living because she is obese. Rodriguez has trouble getting into cars, can’t see her feet and her caregiver performs most of her day-to-day tasks for her because she’s suffering from diabetes and obesity. “My diabetes was part of losing my vision and then it went from there to not being able to lose weight,” Rodriguez said. “You go into all these diets and they work for a little bit, but you get it right back.”

Rodriguez has found support at Centro de Salud Familiar La Fe. Rodriguez is one of the 300,000 patients who use the services at La Fe.

This ranch combines yoga and horsemanship in healing therapy

In the sleepy little farm town of Canutillo, Texas – just across the river from El Paso, is the 20-acre Rio Grande Valley Ranch that boards horses, steers, ponies and even goats . The ranch is also home to a some horses that are specially trained to help people with special needs. The horses are used to connect with people who have disabilities such as social disorders, confidence issues, PTSD, fetal alchohol syndrome, Downs syndrome, autism and even young abuse victims.

Noel Cass and her friend Rita Nicolini operate KNJ Therapeutic, which helps about five people a day break through the wall built by their disabilities. Cass was trained in Phoenix and is PATH certified, which stands for Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship. She has been in the field for 10 years.

Texas researchers monitor spread of ‘kissing bug’ disease

EL PASO – Borderland residents are at risk of contracting diseases such as diabetes, hepatitis, tuberculosis, and West Nile Virus, but so far Chagas, transmitted by “kissing bugs” has not kissed anyone in the El Paso-Juarez region. “We have a list of more than 80 diseases that we consider dangerous at the department of public health,. On this list, we have Chagas disease,” said Fernando J. Gonzalez, lead epidemiologist for the Department of Public Health in the City of El Paso. But although Chagas has hot been seen here so far, Gonzalez said that the public health department is always on watch for cases where any new parasites or diseases are detected. Chagas disease is named after the Brazilian physician Carlos Chagas, who discovered it in 1909.

Visually impaired pedal to adventure in Juarez spinning group

CD JUAREZ — People with visual impairments have found they can pedal their way into a renewed enthusiasm for an active lifestyle by taking spinning classes in a redesigned gym here. They mount stationary bicycles at the the Gimnasio Adaptado Benito Juarez under the guidance of specially trained instructors who take them into an imaginary pedaling adventure, giving them the chance to exercise and enjoy the type of fun they usually can’t get on their own. En español: Bicicletas de spinning dan nueva luz a la comunidad invidente de Juárez

The gym opened in September with various instructors trained to teach sporting programs to people with disabilities. who can take free classes in activities such as karate, gol bol, basketball, and spinning. Silvia Salas and Karla Fonseca are two of the spinning instructors that have dedicated their time to lead classes for the visually impaired.

Bone marrow donor program seeks Hispanics to help save lives of Hispanics

“Wait a minute, this wont hurt at all will it?” Anthony Aguilar asks while holding a registration packet for Be The Match, a project to match donors with people who need bone marrow transplants. That’s the most common question asked, says Anita Gonzales Southwest representative for Be The Match, which is operated by the National Marrow Donor Program to help match healthy bone marrow donors with patients battling illnesses like leukemia, sickle cell anemia, or other life threatening blood diseases. Gonzales explains that the registration process doesn’t require needles

“It’s the most simple and painless process really,” Gonzales says. “Its a simple saliva sample. It’s a sterile medical swab, you take it and run along the inside of you’re cheek, up and down ten times, put it in the registration envelope, and just like that the process is done.”

Homeless conference focuses on strategies for regional collaborations

EL PASO – The projected image of a middle-aged man prostrate on the sidewalk, wrapped in a blanket in front of a downtown shop presented a stark image of homeless hopelessness highlighted by the daybreak sun. “What really gets to me the most is that what I see a potential worker laying down in the street in front of a local business where he can’t work because he doesn’t have a home,” said Annette, one of a small group of homeless and former homeless persons who presented a series of stark photos they had taken to a recent conference here. The projected images entitled “Voices and Images of Homelessness” told a story of fear, anger, but also one of hope and joy in life. “I see people trying to survive. There is nowhere to go.

3 great El Paso outdoor fitness spots to inspire your new year workout resolutions

When I ask people around the city what is holding them back from working out, the answer often deals with not feeling comfortable in the gym environment or not wanting to pay for pricy gym memberships. I can relate. I don’t have a gym membership either. However, that is not stopping me from trying to maintain a healthy life. I have found much comfort and peace in the beautiful and free outdoor workout areas my hometown of El Paso, Texas, has to offer.

Engineering Professor Roger V. Gonzalez graduated from UTEP. (Velia Quiroz/Borderzine.com)

UTEP professor recognized for international work providing affordable prosthetic limbs to amputees

EL PASO – Roger V. Gonzalez has been to every continent except Antarctica in the last 30 years. He has traveled through almost 30 countries and 48 states of the union. Although he has seen most of the world and experienced many cultures, he says he’s been most affected by encounters with hundreds of men, women, and children with missing limbs because of poor health or accidents that have led to amputations. “It’s really hard to see those who are disabled,” said Gonzalez, 50, a UTEP engineering professor who recently was nominated as Global Humanitarian Engineer of the year. He is also the founder of LIMBS International, a nonprofit founded about 10 years ago that offers affordable prosthetic solutions to amputees around the world.