Humanitarian Mission Trip to Guatemala, 2013
The objectives of the mission were met due to the hard work of the mission members, our partners and most importantly the communities' Mayan Chorti, who we worked with in the Merendon Mountains of Guatemala. 11 volunteers travelled to Guatemala to donate their time, funds, and skills to make a difference for these humble people. On behalf of CCAMRE’s Board of Directors and the Guatemalan people I convey a heartfelt thanks to all. It takes a great human being to do something to care for others.
Andy McCormick, Fanny Garcia and Roy Baker worked very hard going up and down those mountains to interview the scholarship recipients and their parents. We truly appreciated Fanny's and Roy's Spanish skills, as they helped with translation. As well, Fanny was busy with the Sponsor a Child program, taking pictures and interviewing the parents of the sponsored children. She could not do it alone, however, and with the support of Ruslana Vorotynteva they were able to complete this task.
What a great feeling it was to be able to witness the breakfast program in progress. It was a little difficult for us as we had to travel to Volcancito at 5 am, but well worth it when we saw the children with their eager faces and their happiness to be eating a good breakfast. All the mission members participated in the distribution of the baskets full of items and food (Canasta Básica) to the sponsored child’s family, this basket is given to the sponsored child every 4 months.
Robert Gimpoli, Roy Baker, and Justin Dar-Bill were busy helping the indigenous to build stoves. On this year's mission CCAMRE started building 24 stoves, this project is supported by SHARE and Ms. Lim of Toronto, (Ms. Lim has supported the Senior Program for the last 5 years). This project will help the environment and alleviate the huge respiratory problems that the indigenous are suffering with. Robert Gimpoli also spent time teaching music to a band of young people in La Union and these young people are looking forward to his return next year.
Justin Dar-Bill was also busy entertaining the children of Volcancito and teaching them his drawing skills.
Gordana Milohnic and Ruslana Vorotynteva were very busy ladies helping Zoila and Reina with the sewing project, as well they play an important role with the medical and dental teams, their support was truly priceless.
I am happy to report that CCAMRE's medical and dental teams excelled once again with their performance. In 6 days they attended to more than 1000 patients. On Saturday April 13 with the support of 8 local doctors we gave health care to 420 patients in 2 villages. Wow what great team work this was! Thanks to Dr. Richard Morris, Dr. Keith Millar, and Eva Pine for again supporting our dental program on this year's mission. Without their support CCAMRE could not provide dental care and alleviate the pain that the people of those mountains are enduring. Our work was conducted at the local community centers and health care facilities, at the school or at any available space that could be used as a temporary clinic. The teams, equipment, medications and food for the day was transported in pickup trucks and the trips would take 1 hour plus depending on the location of the villages. Once we arrived at the village, the community would help us to set up the registration desk, the clinic space, the waiting area and the pharmacy area.
CCAMRE's work was facilitated and supported by: the Municipality of La Union, Women’s Office of the Municipality, Ministry of Health of Zacapa, La Union Community Health Centre, the University of San Carlos of Guatemala; a special thank you goes to Dr. Fernando Ancheta, Dean of the University, the communities of the Merendon Mountains and Health Partners International of Canada.
CCAMRE’s mission work was a combined effort of Canadians and Guatemalans. This was a diverse team represented by people from all corners of our world such as: Canada, Guatemala, Venezuela, Cuba, Italy, Croatia, The Ukrain, Ireland, and Portugal.
On behalf CCAMRE, the children, the men, the women and the seniors of the Merendon Mountains, again I would like to extend their heartfelt thank you for facilitating and contributing to their learning, physical and mental health.