The Guatemala Healing Hands Foundation (GHHF) is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality and availability of health care in Guatemala through education, hand surgery, and hand therapy. Specializing in the treatment of upper extremity congenital conditions, burns, and injuries, we reach the Guatemalan population through 12-day medical missions led by a team of specialized and skilled surgeons, therapists, and dedicated volunteers.


GHHF is a direct outgrowth of the 2004 Vargas International Hand Therapy Teaching Award established by the American Association for Hand Surgery (AAHS) to foster the exchange of educational ideas between therapists in the United States and therapists in a developing nation.

Inspired by the impact and results of the 2004 Vargas trip to Guatemala, GHHF’s founding members recognized this unique opportunity to offer physicians, therapists, nurses, students, and volunteers the ability to take part in a cross cultural educational experience.

Our Impact

Our presence in Guatemala is crucial as communities continue to struggle under the arm of poverty and inaccessible medical care.



More and more families are turning to GHHF as their outlet for specialized hand and orthopaedic needs. Because of GHHF’s unique relationship with the various Guatemala hand therapy and surgery associations, we are a trusted teaching source and a vital American group providing cutting- edge hand education to both the surgical and therapy communities.

Since the establishment of the Guatemala Healing Hands Foundation in 2004


Surgery and Therapy

  • Evaluated 1,566 patients for hand surgery and therapy (during screening day)
  • Completed surgery on 618 patients
  • Fabricated 1,274 orthotics
  • Brought one child to New Mexico to receive extensive hand surgery Brought one child to Shriners for microsurgery
  • In addition, over 3,200 doctors, therapists, and students have attended our educational conferences and workshops in Guatemala City.

Community Development in Chichoy Alto Since March 2010


  • Sponsored and helped construct 55+ latrines
  • Sponsored and help constructed 21 efficient ONIL stoves
  • Assisted in the digging of hillside trenches to lay piping to supply fresh water throughout the village
  • Completed the construction of a new elementary and middle school allowing kids in Chichoy Alto to attend class beyond the 6th grade for the very first time


  • Purchased school supplies and uniforms for the school aged students (continuous)
  • Prior to the completion of the school, sponsored 3 years of post 6th grade education in a neighboring town
  • One volunteer sponsored a young woman to complete a RN training program and she is currently the village nurse.
  • Select GHHF Volunteers are sponsoring the continued education of nine students (teachers, secretary, mechanic, accountant, etc. )

Agriculture / Economic Growth

  • Distributed crucial fertilizer needed to replenish barely existent crops
  • Distributed emergency maize to families struggling with malnutrition
  • Agricultural opportunities with donations and microloans
    • Avocado trees
    • Quinoa

Additional projects in Chichoy Alto

  • Establishment of a village medical clinic
  • Textile opportunities for the women of the village (begun)
  • Shampoo and the possibility of other related products for the village to produce and sell

Community Development in Chuchuk’a Alto

  • Distributed 32 Ecofilters