Marlin’s Sustainable Healthcare Legacy

May 2, 2017 10:35 AM ET

One of Goldcorp’s six pillars that guide our everyday actions and support Goldcorp’s vision and values is to Grow Sustainability. This means we are committed to leaving a positive economic, social and environmental legacy everywhere that we operate.  In 2017, Goldcorp’s Marlin mine in Guatemala advances towards closure, marking the end of more than a decade of sustainable mining practices and the beginning of a new chapter as we look forward to the opportunities after mining. The mine’s closure is a complex process, but in simplistic terms it entails reclamation of the land, removal of site infrastructure, monitoring progress and developing sustainable alternatives for the land and communities.

Beyond the mine site, one positive legacy we’ve tried to build is around improving community health outcomes in a region that was historically under-served with quality healthcare alternatives. In 2011, Goldcorp provided US$2.8 million for building materials and construction, medical equipment and supplies for the Centro de Atención Permanente (CAP), a modern medical clinic addressing the increasing need for accessible health care in the township of San Miguel Ixtahuacán and the state of San Marcos. On March 1, 2012, the CAP facility officially opened its doors to serve about 55,000 district residents, including many of Marlin’s employees and their families.

Perhaps no one appreciates the community’s need for an improved healthcare facility more so than Marlin employee Alfonso de León. Seven years ago on April 7, 2010, as World Health Day was celebrated, Alfonso’s wife, Reina Margarita, was in labour with her fifteenth child. At the time, only a small community clinic was available in the region, operated by Marlin mine in the neighboring town of San José Nueva Esperanza. The small clinic was not equipped to provide childbirth services, however Reina Margarita needed immediate medical attention, and thankfully the clinic’s attending doctor was able to help the distressed mother and baby.  Onésimo Isaí de León Orozco, a baby boy weighing 7 pounds, was safely delivered. Onésimo’s birth, the seventh baby the clinic helped to deliver for families from nearby communities, was also the clinic’s last.  With the opening of the new CAP facility, equipped with examination rooms, emergency clinics, operating theatres, maternity and pediatric care, outpatient clinics, ambulance service, dentistry services, social workers and a full range of other medical services are now available to Alfonso and his family, and the wider community.

In 2015, responsibility for managing and running CAP was fully transferred to the Guatemalan Ministry of Health, who provide healthcare staff and operational support. To ensure sustainability of the facility, as many staff as possible were recruited locally, and both administrative and support training was offered to new CAP staff. These training programs were implemented in partnership with local and global health experts and organizations who continue to support this important initiative, implement sustainable health programs, and ensure accessible and quality health care for the communities of San Miguel Ixtahuacán long after the closure of Marlin mine.