Everyone has arrived in Guatemala safely! Nineteen people coming from all over the United States…some even flying all night Thursday to get here…and all ready to do big things for the people of Guatemala. We met in Antigua and several of us immediately went out exploring the city and then met for dinner last night. After a much needed night’s rest, we headed out this morning to tour and learn about Casa de Fe. Casa de Fe is a place (basically like what we would think of as a Ronald McDonald House in the U.S.) provided for the patients and families to have a place to stay pre and post surgery. Casa de Fe is a beautiful facility and can house up to 100 people at a time and as Daniela was telling us all about it, she finished by saying, “the most important thing to us is that they feel at home while they are here.” As I type this, we are on a bus traveling to the village of San Felipe de Retalhuleu (called Reu for short) where we will have a surgical and wheelchair clinic this week.
Upon arriving at Hospital Hilario Galindo, we toured the whole hospital...a few team members had been here before and were amazed at the renovations! This is a hospital that was built in the 70's but was in pretty poor shape when Faith In Practice acquired it. Hospital Hilario Galindo serves the southwestern region of Guatemala and also houses the Casa de Milagros - another place for patients and families to stay before and after surgeries. The team seperated into two groups to have orientation sessions, depending on the jobs they will be performing this week. Kristel runs the wheelchair clinic here and is all prepared to train her team. "G" is the Faith In Practice Superman that is responsible for our team this week and met with the rest of the team to go over all the different duties and regulations of the surgical team.