This was a great week of work. We hosted a large medical group from Pennsylvania from January 17-23, 2018. The group worked up in the villages above Camotan (in schoolhouses made by the Guatemalan government) and saw over 500 patients. Dr. Mark Speake (below) and Dr. Sally Vogel worked with a team of nurses and volunteers for the week in these remote sites. Their focus was performing physicals, treating communicable diseases and doing health education.
Fortunately for those on the mountain, the weather was mid to upper 80’s (pleasant by Camotan standards !). It is our goal in the future, to develop charts on all the mountain villages and provide continual medical care for these people. Most just live a subsistence lifestyle farming and raising animals. Our nurse and office manager are in the process currently of doing this very challenging work. There are thousands of people in the mountains above Camotan.
While they were up on the mountain, we had our usual staff working down in the clinic. Dr. Joel Strohecker worked as a primary care physician. He saw 150 patients and meanwhile Dr. Jovita Toledo our dentist (see intro picture to this blog) saw over 100 patients. Busy days for everyone. As for the village of Camotan, which sits at the foot of the mountain, the patients that live here are more integrated into society. Many have cars or motorcycles and work in fields or local manual labor. Their health care is not much better than those on the mountain however. There is one small government run clinic in Camotan but it is sparsely stocked and cannot even come close to meeting the needs of the Camotan community.
We are just starting to develop our relationship with the people of Camotan. They greatly appreciate our presence and the presence of Kairos ministries who are our partners daily in this mission.
Gustavo Valdez (shown above ), the Vice President of Camotan Clinic, manages both the clinic and any large groups we host. He is a native Guatemalan, bilingual and holds dual citizenship in the US and Guatemala. He is the main visionary of our operation. He, along with his family, also run Kairos ministries in Guatemala City: (a Ronald McDonald house like operation for the poorest of Guatemalans). See the link to their website on our main page. It has been a great start. Thanks for reading!!