They say “laughter is the best medicine.” And one Venezuelan hospital program may be proving that to be true. It trains volunteers to become clowns that perform at the bedsides of patients. Most of the patients are children or the elderly. Their goal? To help relieve their pain and suffering with humor. This week’s Gamechanger on Americas Now is named Jorge Parra, but he’s more well-known by his name as a hospital clown, Mondongo.
The idea to treat patients with humor actually comes from a movie.
Mondongo is inspired by the 1998 U.S. film “Patch Adams” starring the late Robin Williams. He played a clown-faced doctor trying to lift the spirits of kids in pain.
Hospitals in Venezuela can be dangerous places to be at the moment. They are poorly-maintained and have little security. And in recent months, they have become the site of several gang-related shootings.