Join Us

We will begin recruiting volunteers for our 2018 team soon. Please fill out our volunteer request for below so we can contact you when recruitment begins later this year.

     
     

    Volunteer needs include

    Hand Surgeons
    Plastic Surgeons
    Humanitarians
    Physicians
    Hand Therapists
    Occupational Therapists
    Translators
    Physical Therapists

    Nurses
    Technicians
    Residents
    Medical Students
    University & Graduate Students
    High School Students
    Orthopedic Surgeons
    Anesthesiologists

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    What is a trip like?

    Non-medical volunteers are a crucial part of our team. They are involved at every step of the way and perform a wide variety of tasks.

    During our 12 days in Guatemala, we also make time to eat well, sightsee, and practice our Spanish. The team enjoys traditional Guatemalan cuisine and browsing local markets, museums, farms, and even an exhilarating climb up an active volcano.

    Day 1-2

    We fly into Guatemala City on a Tuesday morning and drive to the beautiful town of Antigua, an UNESCO World Heritage site and spend two- days experiencing the local culture and getting to know our team members.  The team also has the option to enjoy a day trip to the stunning Lake Atitlan.

    Day 3

    We return to Guatemala City on Friday to present a bilingual educational conference where we invite both American and Guatemalan surgeons and therapists present. Conference partners have included the Guatemalan Society for Surgery of the Hand, Guatemalan Society for Hand Therapists, American Association for Hand Surgery, Hand Surgery Endowment, and Integra Foundation.

    Day 4

    On Saturday, the entire team travels to Chichoy Alto a small indigenous village of about 900 people in the highlands of the Patzun, Chimaltenango (2.5 hour drive from Guatemala City) where we work with the local community to develop and enhance safety and quality of life. Activities have included the construction of improved sanitation facilities, distribution of shoes and school supplies, construction of ONIL stoves, the development of a new school building, and more! Learn more about Chichoy Alto (link to Chichoy Alto page)

    Day 5

    On Sunday the team participates in an extensive screening day. Children from across the country arrive at The Moore Pediatric Surgery Center where our team of volunteers spends a full day evaluating cases for surgery, therapy, and medical guidance. By the end of the day, our team will have scheduled five full days of surgery and therapy.

    Day 6-11

    During the five days of surgery and therapy our team operates in facilities provided to us by The Moore Pediatric Surgery Center. In addition, therapists visit and work in local clinics and hospitals around Guatemala City, including: The Pediatric Burn Clinic located at the Roosevelt Hospital, The Hospital Infectologia y Rehabilitacion, Hospital General de Accidentes, and San Sebastian Hospital.

    Testimonials

    "It takes you down to what healthcare should be, which is one person helping another."

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    “It was the most amazing and most fulfilling experience of my life… A lot of what we learned cannot be written down on paper. [The Guatemalan People we met] lead completely different lives than we do. It takes you down to what healthcare should be, which is one person helping another.”

    – Rebecca Neiduski, PhD, OTR/L, CHT, Dean of the School of Health Sciences, Elon University, 2005-2016 Volunteer
     

    “I think the moment that personally touched me most was when I made a small hand based splint for a quadriplegic who wanted something to help him write. He tried it out and said in an awestruck voice. “I just wrote my name”. It was the 1st time he’d done so since his accident 4 years ago.”

    – Lisa Cyr, OTR/L CHT, Center for Orthopedics, New Haven, CT and 2009, 2011, 2013, and 2015 Volunteer

     

    “The people of Guatemala, many of whom live in dire poverty, depend on missions like ours to receive medical care. GHHF goes back year after year not only to provide medical care but also to educate the local caregivers. We provide aftercare through a terrific Guatemalan doctor…Many patients come back to see us each year, either for additional treatment or to show us their improvements.”

    – Carol Page, PT, DPT, CHT, Hospital for Special Surgery NYC and 2009, 2011, 2012 Volunteer

     

    “Large duffle bags full of mostly new and some donated shoes for the children were then unloaded and every child in Chichoy Alto was given a new pair [of shoes]. As the day was winding down, a spontaneous soccer game broke out between volunteers and local teens and it was obvious that though our groups come from different places and have drastically different means, we were all able to help each other in some way. The town received financial help, but we were given such strong reminders to stay grounded and appreciate what we have.”

    – Excerpt from American Society for Surgery of the Hand blog written by 2016 volunteer residents, Andrew Sobel, MD and Noor Alolabi, MD