Cruz Roja Ambulance Rolls Into Primo Tapia

They have a thrift store to help support it, now they need a clinic
BY: REN DRAKE HILL

The Cruz Roja has been providing emergency ambulance service between Baja Mar and Avenue 2000 since November. To support this, there is now a chapter of Cruz Roja Voluntarios  in Primo Tapia. Chapter President Lana Jordan is an 18 year full time resident of Baja who has been designing, remodeling and building houses, and selling real estate here.  She felt the need for Cruz Roja representation that would concentrate attention to those living there,  in the south part of Rosarito.

There has been a clinic and ambulance in Primo Tapia off and on, but the ambulance service was cut in half because of (what else?) a shortage of funds. 

With a “someone’s gotta do something, and that someone is me” attitude, Lana approached the Cruz Roja Voluntarios President Rosie Pena for advice, and Rosie helped Lana set up an informational meeting to garner interest and support from the community.  Not daring to hope for more than 20, more than 100 people actually showed up at that first meeting and there are now more than  200 members in the Primo Tapia Cruz Roja chapter. Lana adds, “Rosie Pena has been of enormous help in helping us set up our new chapter. I can’t say enough about her.”

At this time the medical clinic is closed. It is being remodeled, and will be in operation Easter through Labor Day only. The immediate goal is to be able to operate the ambulance with two paramedics full time which costs about $2500 per month. Donations are being matched by Cruz Roja Mexicana, which donates other funds a well. Local retired registered nurses have offered to donate time to the clinic if needed, once it’s open.

The southern Cruz Roja thrift store is located on the ocean side of the main boulevard just north of the corner with El Jefe, and has two large red crosses in front of it. Thrift store manager Melody Lawson states that the store needs everything. The most popular items are kitchen and household goods, and blankets. Volunteers are always appreciated. You can sign up for a time slot inside the store. Current hours of operation are Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 am – 2:00 pm.

Also benefiting the chapter are bi-monthly bingo games on the second and last Wednesdays of the month at El Pescador Restaurant, 1:00 – 3:00 pm. Hosted by members Jim and Ann Hausman, the cost is $2.50 per card for six games.

Want to help? Join the Cruz Roja Primo Tapia chapter for $20. It’s for a good cause, and it could save your life one day. In addition to the standard annual membership there are several additional levels: Silver $50; Gold $100; Platinum $500; and Lifetime $1000. And don’t forget to clean out your closets during spring cleaning and cart that stuff to the thrift store, or call for a pick up. You can email Valerie Valle, the Thrift Store Director at ValV16@msn.com or call the Thrift Store’s cell phone, 661-119-3439. Lara has a garage available for storing extra items, although it sounds like items don’t stick around the store very long.

Other ways to volunteer  include picking up donations from the community, distributing flyers to friends and around town publicizing Cruz Roja, or to sponsor a fund-raising event.

 The spring event to benefit the Primo Tapia Cruz Roja is on March 17, celebrating St. Patty’s Day at the El Pescador Restaurant, 2:00 – 6:00 pm featuring silent action and entertainment, and great food.

The community is excited about the ambulance service, and starting in March the Sacramento Rotary Club will be providing the rent money for the thrift store, freeing up much-needed funds for the ambulance service and clinic.

The small volunteer board meets once a month, but at this time there are no general meetings scheduled. Everyone is invited to attend the Rosarito general meetings held on the second Thursday of each month at 10:00 am at the Rosarito Beach Hotel.

For additional information, or to donate items, contact Lana via email at LanaBaja@gmail.com.To apply for membership, contact Pam Saltzman at PPRV12@aol.com.