Our US team who went in April consisted of a large team from Naples, Florida and Dr. Steve Stahl from Denver, Colorado. Dr. Jovita Toledo our dentist and Vice President accompanied our team from Guatemala City as she usually does. It was a great week of work. As usual, our clinic staff excitedly welcomed the team. As many of you are aware, we have a full time functioning medical clinic open daily in Camotan. This clinic is staffed by our resident physicians, nurses, midwife and dentist. Every 6-8 weeks a team arrives from the US eager to work with our team and with hundreds of pounds of supplies and medications to replenish the clinic pharmacy and medical supply closet.
The Naples team was organized by Dr. Mark Speak a regular contributor and visitor to Camotan Clinic. Dr. Speak’s history with Camotan and the villages around it go back over 15 years when he first visited the area on a medical mission. Since then he has continued to return regularly and he now brings medical residents from Florida with him. These doctors work alongside physicians in training from Guatemala; a wonderful collaboration. Accompanying Dr. Speak in April were Dr. Teresa Liccardi, Dr. Laura Muller, Dr. Angelina Browne and 3 non medical volunteers: Mike Nash, Tim Clark and Yancey Brame. It was a superb crew and it is always exciting to introduce new people to the mission of Camotan Clinic.
Dr. Mark Speak (red cap) with a patient
To keep Camotan Clinic stocked, we both ship supplies and we carry them in suitcases when we come every 6-8 weeks. Our April team brought 8 large suitcases with them for the clinic and for their mountain visits. Despite this large amount of supplies, the team quickly exhausted some of the medications before the end of the week due to high demand! Long lines awaited our team on remote mountain village visits (see below). Two of the villages had not had any health care visits (including Guatemalan department of health) in years. The team handled nearly 200 patients each day in these villages. It was challenging and required long days to have everyone seen and cared for.
Aldea (village) of Calichal that the team visited; most people are unable to travel to Camotan for medical care. Demand was great.
Dr. Terri Licardi caring for a family
Dr. Angelina Browne consults with a patient
As we visit more and more villages, we continue to perfect our approach. Hauling a hundred pounds of medications and a team into rural, hard to reach mountain village is no easy feat. Yet thanks to Dr. Jovita Toledo, Jessica Meyers NP and Dr. Steve Stahl, our mountain outreach program continues to help many who could never afford a ride down to Camotan Clinic. We went to two new aldeas (villages) in April. And we went to two villages we know well. At each village we care for all who come. And we plug those in need of further care into a follow up program through Camotan Clinic. Those who need chronic medications for diabetes or high blood pressure are kept track of and monitored.
Patients line up at Guiro, a new aldea we visited in April. Its residents have minimal to no access to medical care.
So thank you all once again for reading! And as we always say, a huge thanks to every one of you who think about us, pray for us and support us. We could not be doing this great work without you. Thank you.