Love in Action was born from my own desire to relieve the suffering in Guatemala. As a Guatemala native I have vivid memories of seeing people live in extreme poverty.
As a teen I wanted to make a difference but found myself unable to make any changes in my nation which at that time lived with extreme political unrest.
It took 35 years since my departure from Guatemala to return to my country with a clear vision of how to help my people by helping them with a gift of health.
As Health Administrator of two multispecialty clinics in Georgia and Tennessee I found that there are a lot of medical supplies, medicines and equipment that go unused in hospitals and clinics all over the country. I have also realized that there are also many people with a desire to help others.
After talking to a great friend I learned that in the rural areas of Guatemala there is a great need for medical services, especially from doctors who focus on specialized medicine . Not many have the ability to go and seek private service in the city.
So with the support of friends and family we completed the first mission to Sololá in April 2013. The first mission was also made possible with the collaboration of Fundacion Para Proyectos Interculturales de La Paz del Mundo and Clinicas Santiago, who not only trusted us with their facilities but also worked hand in hand with us. I can’t thank them enough.
The first mission was such a success that everyone said, “I want to go back!” The second mission, in May 2014, doubled in number of volunteers, which allowed us to see more patients and have a greater impact. On this mission we performed cleft palate and general surgeries. Our medical team was spectacular. If the first mission was good, the second mission was even more so and gave us even more satisfaction. All of our surgery patients recovered well and were happy when they came back for their follow up visits.
This mission allowed us to go beyond the medical needs of our target population and we were able to provide housing for a family in need. The volunteer doctors were able to connect with the local doctors and established a relationship of team work. We were also able to donate an ambulance to Bomberos volutnarios de la aldea Argueta.
In many ways our second mission hasn’t quite ended yet. We identified a little 8 year old girl who needs surgeries that only can be performed in the USA. After a long road of obstacles we are happy to say that she will be travelling to the USA to receive the treatment she needs. This year a 42 foot container full of equipment, medical supplies and medicines valued at of US $287,000 was donated to Clinicas Santiago.
During this next mission in May of 2015, we hope even more people will come to take advantage of our services. Our latest mission will bring 48 volunteers and 25 of them medical professionals specializing in plastic surgery, general master surgery, internal medicine, dermatology, family medicine, emergency medicine, pharmacology,anesthesiology, Oncology and hematology. We will be working out of Las Clincias Santiago May 3rd to May 7th . We believe that as we help the people of Solola with their medical needs, it will free them to be able to focus on other areas of their lives and thus help themselves. We believe that if they are healthy they will be able to take care of their own needs.
Our missions doesn’t receive a lot of financial funding. In fact, our revenues are very low, and we depend on donations of supplies rather than funds. Our model works because we have found a way to use the surplus supplies that won’t be used in the United States but can still be used safely and successfully in Guatemala.
The other part of the donations is the time of many caring doctors, nurses and other volunteers who choose to use their vacation time helping others. They choose to spend their own funds traveling to Guatemala to help those in need. Their dedication to our mission is driven by our shared desire to help those in need. These individuals are some of the top specialists in their fields in the U.S.A. and the services they bring to Solola are truly making an impact on the health of the people they serve and the community at large. The residents of Solola who receive our assistance can rest assure that they are receiving top notch care from dedicated professionals whose only goal is to provide health services to those in need.
Our vision is to continue working with Dr.
Karla Mogollon, Dr. Devan Griner, Dr. Lee Trotter, Dr. Pablo Perez, Dr. Jack Rowland and many others like Norbert Muiggs who share the same passion of helping others.