Donate blood, reads Gámez' sign at an event to promote giving blood. Donate blood, reads Gámez' sign at an event to promote the practice.

This Sonora man is not a typical Mexican

Martín Gámez has donated blood 118 times. The practice is not common in Mexico

It’s World Blood Donor Day today but it probably won’t be widely celebrated in Mexico.


Just 2.7% of Mexicans are blood donors, according to the Foro Consultivo Científico y Tecnológico, a research foundation, compared to 33% in Latin America as a whole and a whopping 100% in Switzerland.

“In Mexico, donations are generally made when a relative is in need of blood; this type of donation is known as a replacement donation, and is the most common in our country,” explained Jesús Bautista Olvera, head of the blood bank at the Juárez of Mexico hospital in Mexico City.

Which all makes a Sonora man rather uncommon.

Martín Gámez Camou has given blood 118 times, earning him recognition from health authorities for his generosity over many years.

Gámez has also given 40 donations of platelets, bringing to 472 the number of people who have benefited from his donations.

He said he feels proud to have been able to help people recover their health, and more so for children who suffer from leukemia and require platelets.

“I like to donate so I began to look after myself so as to donate more and when they told me that a child with leukemia needs 6,000 platelets a day I began donating them as well for the children.”

Gámez said he maintains a balanced diets and has no bad habits so as to be available to donate whenever his blood is required. During an event yesterday promoting blood donations, he invited citizens to join the campaign and make donating blood a part of their lives.

Source: Milenio (sp), Critica (sp)

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  • Karl Crabkiller

    It is very difficult to donate blood in Mexico due to the restrictions they impose.. A friend of mine needed some blood for an upcoming operation – he went to a local Marine base offering 400 pesos per donation. Only 5 marines out of 26 who took him up on the offer qualified.

    • Greg Webb

      Yes! And in addition to the out-dated restrictions, the country does not
      have blood banks in many states to store blood for later use. So of
      course people only donate when a friend or relative needs blood, as
      there really is no other way in many places.

  • Güerito

    Mexico’s low level of blood donation, along with its paltry level of charitable giving, are signs the political culture is still largely clan or kin-based.

  • K. Chris C.

    “What a maroon.”

    An American citizen, not US subject.

    • Jim Coates

      K. Chris C. YOU are the only moron on this site. I have just read 1 too many of your comments not to reply. Get with the program.

  • Douglas MacDowell

    K. Chris C – I’m not sure what your comment means. If it were meant to say “moron”, then it was a “moronic” comment. You can look that up in any dictionary, just make sure you spell it right when you look it up. If you really did mean “maroon”, then I can’t make any sense out of your comment.

    As for donating blood, I myself have donated more than 6 gallons over the years (22+ liters) and in the past I regularly donated platelets. By saying that, I am not looking for recognition. I just feel good about doing it and feel like it is a civic responsibility, similar to voting, and I am pretty sure the recipients appreciated it. I understand if others don’t feel as strongly about it as I do but that is no reason to disrespect someone who does. What have you done lately for your community?

  • Dallas Autery Y Rocio Heredia

    i recently donated blood in Mexico and was told one could only donate once every 3 months.