In late March, a group from the US finally made it to Camotan Clinic. Although the clinic has remained open and seeing patients since the start of the pandemic, it was just not safe for a group to return until now. There remain high rates of Covid in Camotan and the surrounding areas, but in late March, four vaccinated people: Joel Strohecker, Jennifer Strohecker and Whitney and Barry Mayhew made it to Camotan. It had been over a year since the last group from the US had been there.
Preparing food for the neediest families on the mountain
There was a lot to do. Although the clinic had been running, there were hundreds of new medications to stock, supplies to get to patients and many patients to be seen. And we continued our outreach to the farthest, poorest mountain villages. It was a great week.
Performing an obstetric ultrasound
Whitney Mayhew and Barry Mayhew helped with re-evaluating our water situation. As part of the Guatemala Mission Partnership of the Denver Presbytery and affiliates of Living Waters of the World, we have been planning a partnership with them for placing a water filtration system in the clinic and then to other villages on the mountains. Additionally, Whitney was able to teach our staff how to perform an EKG with a donated machine. The clinic is slowly increasing the tools it needs to take care of patients in a modern way. Both the EKG machine and ultrasound machine are things no clinic nearby has.
Whitney teaching EKG to our staff
Fortunately our dental resident from the Dental School in Guatemala City has returned as well. Dr. Lester Caceros is back and finishing his internship with us which will end in July! We are so fortunate to have him. He works in the clinic Monday through Friday and our nurse Hermann works with him. He lives above the clinic in a room volunteers built out just for this purpose. There are no other dentists in the area and he performs a vital function that these poor people would never be able to get otherwise. We are optimistic we will have another dental resident for next year as well.
Dr. Lester Caceros and Dr. Toledo
So, it has been quite a journey. A terrible global pandemic that is still raging in Guatemala. Two major hurricanes in the Camotan area in November that wiped out infrastructure, ruined crops and put many desperate people in need of food and shelter. Yet we have survived and we are planning trips back to rebuild homes, help people re-establish their crops, continue giving food where needed and of course provide medical care.
Lastly, we now have a Facebook page! Check us out at:
There are lots of personal stories, pictures there. If you find it in Spanish, just go to “Settings” on your account and have it translated to English.
Thank you for reading. We have several trips planned in the upcoming months so long as the pandemic continues to improve. And thank you to all of you who support us with you prayers, thoughts and financial donations. We could not do this without you.