Dr. Steve Stahl blogged about his June trip recently and we wanted to share it with you. As you will see, weather has been a consistent variable with many powerful storms hitting Guatemala in the past few years. Enjoy!
The team for our June trip included Dr Tom Jeffers, his son Joshua and brother Matthew Jeffers. We also had a new partner join us with donations from a Guatemalan company- Group Rio Vinil. The rainy season can be unpredictable in Guatemala, and our first day of the trip we had to detour to an alternate route to pass a washed out bridge. We rushed from the airport to ford across the river before the rain came, and a downpour arrived just an hour after we passed the temporary crossing shown below. The road to nearby Chiquimula was closed by landslides
Monday we worked in Camotan Clinic with Dr Jeffers getting introduced to the ailments we see in clinic. Lots of heartburn, arthritis, dizziness (often from dehydration) and some diabetes. While the doctors saw patients, Matt and Josh repainted the dental clinic room a bright yellow, and did some repairs on the walls. Joshua was very good at getting paint on himself as well as the walls! Tuesday and Wednesday we did clinics up in the mountains – caring for patients from the village of Nearona- with 97 patients Tuesday and about 60 on Wednesday. The temperatures were hot, and lines long, but we managed to see everyone in smooth fashion with some new organization of the pharmacy system. The pharmacy was manned by Matt and Joshua, and Matt got to use his Spanish to explain how to take medications. Dr Jovita Toledo did dental work both days as well, and her brother Christian helped with translation. Dr Karen Toledo was alone in Camotan clinic both days and did a great job. We had a company from Guatemala City come down (Grupo Rio Vinil) to give out shoes in some of the villages on Tuesday and Wednesday. Grupo Rio Vinil makes and sells shoes in the capital and they sent a pickup load of shoes to be given out – as well as some of their employees to help with sizing. See the great photos below. Joshua went with to help pass out shoes, and ended up donating his shoes to a barefoot farm worker! He described this day as “life changing for me.”
Each evening we prepped meds for the next day and then had a great time playing cards and laughing with the Jeffers and Toledo families at the Servant Ministries guest area.
Our thanks go out to Nancy who has provided a comfortable and convenient place for our teams to relax after busy days, and great meals too. Barbecue guatemalteco style was a big hit!
Thursday we did clinic in Camotan again, and Josh and Matt painted another wall in the clinic and did a detailed inventory of the pharmacy. Now Dr Steve has to compile this into a working list for keeping our stock of medicines up to date.
We did relax in Antigua on Friday and had some great meals, and Dr Jovita and Dr Karen even got in some dancing with the Jeffers!
Thanks Dr. Stahl for your post!
And thank you all for reading! We will post our next trip’s blog soon. And stay tuned for our Fundraiser ’22 announcement. It will be October 27th at Spacegallery art museum in Denver 6-9.