Ann Manganaro Clinic - Clinica Anna Manganaro


Ann Manganaro grew up in Webster Groves, MO, eldest in a large family. She graduated from Nerinx Hall and joined the Sisters of Loretto in 1964. After starting the Neighborhood School in the Skinker-DeBalividere neighborhood, she helped found Karen Catholic Worker House and went to Med School at St Louis University. Ann worked as a pediatrician in the emergency room at Cardinal Glennon Hospital in St. Louis. In late 1987 she went to El Salvador as a volunteer with Jesuit Refugee Services. She was sent to Guarjila, Chalatenango to provide healthcare for civilians in the midst of the civil war. 

Ann’s Legacy

Healthcare skills learned by refugees returning from the UN sponsored Mesa Grande camp were enhanced by Ann’s skilled leadership. Ann trained 200 health promoters to meet the needs of the people, in Guarjila and throughout Chalatenago.

She and Jon Cortina SJ, a Jesuit priest who served in the community, and was an engineer and taught at the University of Central America (UCA)designed and built the initial clinic in Guarjila. 

Further studies have prepared a staff of local health professionals: Doctors, Nurses, Med Techs, and Health Educators. The Clinic remained an independent health care facility until after the health care reforms of President Carlos Mauricio Funes.
In 2010, Guarjila was chosen as a Communal Family Health Unit by the Ministry of Health under the government of Mauricio Dunes, and was used as part of the model for the national communal medicine system. With professionals from the community and specialists, the clinic now serves 50,00 people in the eastern zone of Chalatenango and is open 7 days a week. 

All services and medicines are free. Young people now are entering health professions with the hope in sharing in this bright future for El Salvador.