A New Family

Posted on: 05/04/2018

Author: Smeck, MD, Dr. Jane Ann

Written by: Johana, Betancourt, Mary Kim, DMD, Alessondra Villegas, RN,

To say this week has been a blessing is an understatement. All three of us came to Guatemala not knowing anyone or what to expect but with different skill sets and an eagerness to serve. Alessondra, an OR nurse from New Jersey, Johana, an interpreter from Houston, and Mary, a dentist from Chicago. We had an instant connection as we stepped off our planes to Guatemala, and that’s where our journey began.


Throughout this week we have served in our different areas of expertise, gathering each night to reflect on our experiences. Although this has been our first mission trip with Faith In Practice, we immediately felt at home. The 577 team was welcoming and inclusive, making us feel like family. What moved us most was the commitment and generosity of our fellow team members. Year after year these incredible people come back to share their amazing gifts with the Guatemalan community. 


At the Obras (the hospital), we felt the same way after just one day of working with the local staff. We came together with a common goal of serving the people of Guatemala. Although we come from very different parts of the world, we share the same vision of ministry. 


It has been an honor and blessing to care for the people of Guatemala and to work alongside our team. We have not only been humbled by the love of the patients and their families but also by our peers. It was no coincidence that we were put together as roommates, and we are so grateful for the friendships we have formed over the course of this week. We all agree that we are leaving here with full hearts having gained far more than what we could have ever imagined. This may have been our first trip but it most certainly will not be our last. Fue un placer - it’s been a pleasure.


-Alessondra, Johana, and Mary