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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
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.