Nogales, Arizona

Sharon Hendrickson-Pfiel, MS, CCC-SLP, Speech & Language Therapy Department

SharonWhen I began working with Clínica just one year after it began to serve children with disabilities, I was moved by the courage of families who waited for hours for a single consult from a professional. At that time, therapy services in Nogales, Sonora, were almost nonexistent, and I dreamed that someday children there would have skilled therapists and well-equipped special education programs to attend.

One of my first students was a little girl named Rosario, whom everyone called “Chayo.” She was both extremely bright and hearing impaired. Chayo was a pioneer. This brave little girl received hearing aids and speech therapy at Clínica and believed that she could do anything. She became the first severely hearing-impaired student mainstreamed in regular classes in Nogales, Sonora. With encouragement and support from her teachers there, she attended secondary and trade schools and eventually became a secretary. When she came back to see me as a young mother, I found that I had tears in my eyes.

Sharon and ChildToday, Nogales, Sonora has special education programs staffed by dedicated professionals who constantly seek in-service training both through Clínica and through university and other government programs in Hermosillo, Sonora, and sometimes even in Mexico City. One of our Sonoran volunteers, Erika Ibarra, has become a leader in special education in Sonora. Teachers and therapists there face incredible challenges, but they are making profound changes in the lives of the children we serve at Clínica.

Next Page