Below is Dr. Zuniga’s letter to bid farewell:

Dear Editor,
It is with deep emotions and heavy heart that I write this short note to the community of San Pedro Town. I have decided to pursue my studies after being offered an Australian Development Award by the Australian High Commission in Trinidad and Tobago.

It has been eight years since I first moved to San Pedro Town. I had recently graduated from medical school and was looking for a job. I was offered a teaching position at Medical University of the Americas where I taught for one and half years. In August 2006 I was offered a position at the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Polyclinic II as the medical director/administrator.

Originally from San Ignacio Town I came to this beautiful island not knowing what to expect or what I was going to encounter. I considered this to be another challenge and a part of my life’s journey. After a couple months of living on the island I started making friends and soon considered myself a part of this community. I was embraced by both the locals and foreigners as being an essential asset to this town and soon made La Isla Bonita my home. Now, I consider myself a Sanpedrano and it breaks my heart that I have to leave.

Health services in San Pedro Town have come a long way from the once known health center to now the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Polyclinic II. We have made great strides and spent countless of hours improving the health system and offering the best medical care possible to the people of San Pedro. However, it is still not where we would like it to be and I am sure that, with the staff I leave behind, we will continue to make positive changes for better health care.

These changes wouldn’t have been possible without the community who has been longing and begging for better health care. I would like to thank all those who have helped in some way or the other in improving our health services on the island. First, I would like to thank the staff at the Dr. Otto Rodriguez Polyclinic II who dedicates their time and efforts in offering the best health care service possible. Secondly, I would like to thank the San Pedro Lion’s Club for their endless efforts in helping us in whatever way possible. Thirdly, I would like to thank the Minister of Tourism and Culture, Hon. Manuel Heredia, who has assured that he will do all possible to make our health system better. He has been a part of many of the changes that have occurred at the Dr. Otto Rodriguez San Pedro Polyclinic II and he promises to do more. Fourthly, I would like to thank all those individuals, both locals and foreigners, who contributed to improve the health care services for the people of San Pedro Town.

It has been a pleasure serving the community of San Pedro Town and also being a part of its development. I will always keep all the smiling faces and loving kindness in my mind and heart. You were always there for me and for that I am truly grateful. You all opened your doors to welcome me when I first came and with that same love I leave. I take with me the beautiful scene of my Isla Bonita’s sea- pure with warmth and serenity. With these words I don’t say good bye but a “see you soon”. Thanks once again for all the support and love you rendered to me for the past eight years.

With Love,
Dr. Javier Zuniga