April 5, 2005

Dorothy Granada, Tireless Worker for Women in Nicaragua, at SSU on April 5

Dorothy Granada, nurse and director of the Maria Luisa Ortiz clinic in Mulukuku, Nicaragua, will be at Sonoma State University at noon on Tuesday, April 5 in Stevenson 1002.

With a theme which announces "Hope and Inspiration Alive and Well in Mulukuku, Nicaragua!," her lecture is part of a nationwide tour to celebrate the tremendous progress made at the clinic which focuses on reproductive health care along with support to victims of domestic violence. Granada is a Chicana-Filipina nurse who has lived and worked in Nicaragua for 12 years, the last 11 years of which have been in Mulukuku.

Throughout her life, she has worked in public health with particular emphasis on what she calls "accompanying the poor." In 1997, she won the Pfeffer Peace Prize for her lifetime commitment to nonviolent social change.

She began her involvement in the nonviolence movement in 1978, when she campaigned for several years against the death penalty. In 1983 she organized and participated in the Fast For Life, a 3-year disarmament campaign that culminated in a 40 day fast beginning on Hiroshima Day.

The town of Mulukuku has come a long way in the 15 years of Granada's's association with the women's cooperative there. Founded in 1985 as a settlement for families displaced by the Contra War, it is a population center for 30,000 people. After the town's destruction in 1988 by Hurricane Joan, women formed the Maria Luisa Ortiz cooperative to rebuild their homes.

The clinic provides nutritional services to malnourished children, dentistry, emergency medical treatment and transport, and employs some alternative healing approaches, including massage and naturopathic medicine. A Nicaraguan doctor and several nurses staff the clinic.

Teams of medical doctors and dentists from throughout the United States also provide specialized care on a rotating basis. This year a long-planned-for sterile surgery unit was added to the clinic property, and the first surgeries were performed in November.

In 1985, with Peace Brigades International, Granada helped begin the escort service for the Families of the Disappeared in Guatemala and was a long term volunteer with Witness for Peace in Nicaragua. In 1987 after Vietnam veteran and peace activist Brian Willson was run over by a train at Concord Naval Weapons Station while protesting arms shipments to Central America, Dorothy lived "on the tracks," providing medical support to the protesters.

Granada, 74, a former Santa Cruz resident, was educated as a nurse and public health administrator in California and began her nursing career as a missionary in Ponce, Puerto Rico. She is a clinical instructor in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas.

She will also speak at the Peace and Justice Center in Santa Rosa on Thursday, April 7 at 7 p.m. For further information, contact Philip Beard, (707) 664-2170.

Jean Wasp
Media Relations Coordinator
University Affairs
(707) 664-2057