In September of 1999, Luis Colato, Efraím Solis, Roberto Cruz, and Mark Hoffman attended the 5th international conference on Disasters and risk management seminar at the Palace of Conventions in Havana Cuba. We were also invited to see the infamous ELAM, Latin American Medical School in Baracoa the year of its founding. In response to Hurricane Mitch, Fidel Castro formed the school giving full ride scholarships to Latin Americans, North Americans, Haitians, and Africans. The only requirement is that the students return to their country of origin and work with the poor. Since 1999, the ELAM has graduated more than seven Salvadoran classes on the Caribbean Island. For more information about the conference, please visit here, and the school here. CDS were grateful for the time spent meeting Cuban friends and getting to know the culture. We welcome any ELAM graduates to colaborate with us.
Regarding the illness that Luis Colato exhibited last week, we are hearing many versions and will release formal information regarding what happened soon, but for now this is what we understand. A week ago Luis started to present with vertigo, incoherent speech. He was complaining of headaches yet attributed them to migraines he had on a regular basis. He then had a convulsion. It is suspected that Luis may have developed a clot from the head injuryand this caused a stroke. He was flown via Helicopter from Santa Ana to San Salvador and admitted to the Social Security Hospital on March 8th. He was intubated due to labored breathing. Doctors operated and drained 60ml of blood from his cranium to relieve pressure. The wound was left open for 72 hours to drain cephalic fluid. Members of Comandos de Salvamento, friends and family did a Vigil March on Tuesday March 13 which stopped in front of the ISSS Hospital at 6pm. Luis has been in a coma for almost a week and will undergo another operation to relieve pressure from swelling on Thursday March 15th. We asked for your prayers during this trying time for the institution. Luis has served the institution since the mid 1980s as EMT, EMS Educator, and Board Member. Luis is not only an integral part of our Medical Services, and Disaster Mitigation, but an important part of our family.
EMS and SAR team members from CDS and the Salvadoran Green Cross Veteran Association commemorate the 25th Anniversary of the 1986 Earthquake by placing a floral wreath in the downtown building of Ruben Dario. Many buildings downtown collapsed on victims trapping them and causing many deaths and injuries. Urban Rescue teams endured many nights without sleep recovering victims. Pictured are the mayor of San Salvador, well known professional Héctor Mendez of the infamous “Los Topos” Mexican international SAR team, William Urias of the Salvadoran Green Cross Veterans Association, Edgar Jhony Ramos of Comandos, and “El Piocha” from Salvadoran Green Cross. Foto: CDS/Carlos Fuentes
More information about Salvador and other LODDs on our memorial page.
Starting with a poem I wrote dedicated to the work of Comando Doctor Carlos Hernández Reyes, the artist Alecus evolutionized the idea in presenting Carlos’ new role in the afterlife,-to become a true Guardian Angel, after being one on earth as a dedicated CDS volunteer.
Translation: “Guardian Angels”
Doctor Carlos leaves the main base after working the night shift at the walk in clinic. It was 11:53am.
Carlos: Why me?
Angel: You have done many great things during your life. You worked hard to become a doctor. You loved your family. You saved many lives without recieving anything in return, you rescued many people in danger, (Angel takes Carlos to heaven), you have been called to continue saving lives.. You will be one of us.
The funeral service of Carlos took place today at Concepcion church. Friends and close family members paid their respects and said farewell to this kind gentleman that started as a basic EMT with our agency in the 1980s. He served during the war, then put himself through Medical school. He selflessly served the Salvadoran public with a high level of professionalism and ethics. Abrazos Carlos. /salute.