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AMN Mission to Guatemala: Every Contribution Counts (and Everybody Has to Eat!)

Karen von Boetticher, Human Resources, AMN Healthcare
SAN CRISTOBAL ALTA VERAPAZ, GUATEMALA - In order to successfully deliver life-changing care to hundreds of San Cristobal patients, or install the 60 disease- and injury-preventing stoves and water filtration systems, everyone who is part of “Team Esperanza” needs to stay healthy, hydrated, and properly fueled for the day’s journey.

In addition to breakfast, lunch and dinner, this includes coffee and snacks for the night nurses in the recovery room, sack lunches for the off-site “stover” team, and plenty of clean, cool water to beat the hospital heat.  No, we don’t have A/C, even in the operating room most of the time. Maintaining a safe kitchen is of the utmost importance, because tap water in Guatemala contains microbes that can make you very sick. And you can’t take care of sick people or install stoves if you’re sick.

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AMN Mission to Guatemala: The Land of Happy Children

EL RANCHO, COBAN, GUATEMALA – As an AMN volunteer for the HELPS International medical mission to Guatemala, I came with the expectation that I would be emotionally moved by the work that I was going to do – installing safety stoves in the homes of families living in extreme poverty. These stoves saves lives because they replace indoor cook fires that people in the highlands build on the dirt floors of their homes. The new stoves vent the toxic fire smoke out of the home and prevent burns from children falling into fires.

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AMN Mission to Guatemala: Building a Hospital in one Afternoon

SAN CRISTOBAL ALTA VERA PAZ, GUATEMALA – How do you create a near-complete health system in a few hours? HELPS International accomplished this feat last Sunday afternoon with the help of AMN Healthcare in the highlands of Guatemala. In fact, HELPS undertakes this arduous task several times a year at different locations in this lush green but impoverished land. What’s required are a team of dedicated volunteers, a few staff members who work really hard, steadfast donors and great logistics. And an empty hospital.

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