Jornadas Médicas: Health Campaign Days

Jornada Médica in San Pedro Las Huertas

Jornada has to be one of the most difficult Spanish words to translate into English. Jornada is basically journey or a march performed in one day, but it is much more as well. For instance, jornada electoral is polling day; jornada laboral is working day; jornada matutina and jornada vespertina refers to morning and afternoon classes respectively; media jornada is a half day; jornada militar is a military expedition, jornada can also mean opportunity, occasion, or circumstance; jornadas reducidas means part time; La Jornada or The Daily is one of the best newspapers from Mexico, jornada de reflexión is the day before elections when campaigning is forbidden. (source: SpanishDict)

So, the best way, in my humble opinion, to translate jornadas médicas or jornadas de salud is to use the words health campaign days, which can be just mornings or afternoons. Jornadas médicas is also the name given for free medic consultations campaigns that go from village to village or to remote areas in Guatemala. Jornadas medicas can also apply to Guatemalan, Cuban or foreign doctors and nurses.

By the way, back in February, Guatemala made the news because it gave The Quetzal Order, Guatemala’s top distinction to Fidel Castro as a gesture of gratefulness for the over 17 million medical consultations and more than 40,000 eye surgeries practiced in the context of the Miracle Operation free-eye surgery program, undertaken by Cuban doctors in the benefit of the Guatemalan people. (source: Escambray)

The photo above was taken in the village of San Pedro Las Huertas during a jornada de la vista or free eye exam consultations.

With all the different examples given above for the word jornada, do you think you can now use it?

© 2009 – 2016, Rudy Girón. All rights reserved.

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  • emromesco

    Pues you should have a tag for Spanish lessons my friend. What about “jornalero” who would be someone that works “jornadas”, could it be something like a “daily worker” or a “temp”? Ah, and for those not use to Spanish pronunciation: The letter “J” sounds like the English sound “H”.

    Oh my naughty mind… I’ve been trying to find a play of words for “jornada” and I came with one that ends in “nada”.

  • Stephanie

    I love your exposition on “jornadas” — I especially love the idea of “jornada de reflexion”! I have heard of other countries that have a day or two before an election when campaigning is not permitted — but calling it “jornada de reflexion” with all the meaning of those words is marvelous! What a different approach than in the USA where the day before/of elections is a non-stop barrage of political ads, phone calls, etc. I am a strong proponent of civic and political engagement, but we could use a dose of “reflexion” before going to cast ballots.

  • Eric

    Another great shot of “everyday” life in Guatemala. Was there a long line of people when you were there, Rudy ? Just curious – I have a few medico friends who work out west. Sometimes during jornadas de salud, the lines can get pretty long. Thanks for the photo!