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 | Julianne Connell Sachs and Donna Connell

Nurse Francisca Finds a Way to Serve God at Novillero Clinic

Meet Francisca Tambriz Sohom, nurse at the Novillero clinic in the Guatemala Mission, who generously shared her story with us.

Francisca was born in Pacoxom-Nahuala as the oldest of three sisters. Her father, a farmer, and her mother, a homemaker, worked hard for their daughters’ education. Francisca attended a public elementary school, then continued her secondary studies at the Indigenous Institute of Our Lady of Help near Sololá. (This is one of the schools that Our Lady of Fatima Parish, Spokane, supports.)

After completion of middle school, Francisca joined the Bethlemite Daughters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus as a postulant and moved to Costa Rica, where she lived for four years. In 2010, she made the decision to withdraw from the congregation, thinking “there are many ways to serve God and others.”

Francisca returned to her family’s house and to her studies. While she earned her high school diploma in sciences and arts with a focus in medicine, she realized her vocation to nursing. After one year of additional study, she graduated as a nursing assistant. Then, she entered the Panamerican University in Sololá, and, three years later, graduated as a professional nurse. Francisca said, “During all of this process, I had many difficulties, but I managed to overcome them.”

When asked about how she began working at the Novillero Clinic, Francisca said, “In my childhood, when I got sick, my mother took me to the Novillero clinic. My mother was part of a group of doulas and received training in the program. One day, my mother told Dr. José Miguel that I was already a nurse; he became interested and went to visit me at home to offer me work. I started working one day a week, then three days, and currently full time.”

“I have been working in the program for six years and one of my satisfactions is the quality of service that we, the entire health team, provide to the different communities. With our work of education and health promotion we have contributed to the reduction of mortality and morbidity with patients, and especially with children. Dr. José Miguel informs us that the Diocese of Spokane is supporting us a lot in the health program, so this achievement is also of our brothers and sisters in Spokane.”

Francisca said of her work at the clinic: “My activities at the clinic consist of keeping track of patient files, taking vital signs, dispensing and administering medicines, keeping the clinic clean, supporting Dr. José Miguel in health classes and consulting when the doctor is in the other clinics.“

In her free time, Francisca studies music, plays the guitar, reads and, living with her parents, helps with chores and supports her sisters.

A 32 year old, Francisca said of her future, “Currently I have the desire to continue training in the professional field to provide a better service every day.”

Francisca’s final remarks were, “Thank you for giving me the opportunity to share part of my life and God bless you.”

Thank you to all in the Spokane diocese who support the medical mission!