Our Bags Are Packed, We’re Ready To Go….
Saturday, August 24th, 2018, volunteers from IEP and AMN Healthcare began packing truckloads of medical supplies to prepare for their big trip. On September 1, Team Hope will make its way to Guatemala!
Team Hope is our largest volunteer group, with over 120 volunteers from around the world. The team is made up of 3 main groups, the Surgery Team, the Clinic Team and the Community Development Team.
The Surgery Team plans to perform more than 100 surgeries in 5 days. The first day will be spent unpacking all the medical equipment, pharmaceuticals, and supplies needed for the surgeries, and preparing the hospital for surgeries. Surgeons will triage patients and will build the surgery schedule for the entire week. Most of the patients have waited years for this opportunity, overcoming many obstacles and traveling great distances. They will receive life-changing surgeries such as hernia repairs, cancerous tumor removals, strabismus correction, and cleft palate repair
The Clinic Team anticipates attending to over 2,000 patients. The surrounding communities count on this week long event every year for their annual check-ups, eye exams, dental exams and pediatric appointments. Through the Clinic Team, IEP is able to provide preventive health care access to remote communities that otherwise would not receive care.
Team Hope’s Community Development Team plans to install 70 stoves and water filters in the rural highlands of Guatemala. Many of these communities live in extreme poverty. The volunteers work to create safe and happy homes through the installation of wood-saving, smoke-free stoves and water filters for clean drinking water. These products not only reduce illness and prevent burns, but they also reduce deforestation and give hours back to the women of the families who are responsible for collecting wood for fires.
Last year, Team Hope volunteers stumbled across the El Molino School just down the road from the hotel where they were staying. It all started with leftover eggs from the kitchen which volunteers could not stand to see go to waste. They decided to go to the school to donate the eggs and immediately saw the school was in great need of support. In the last year, the students and teachers have captured the hearts of IEP volunteers, donors, and staff. We have since installed stoves, donated books and teaching materials, started a daily nutrition program for every student, and broken ground on the construction of a building expansion for more classrooms and a computer lab.
Given that this entire project started with eggs, it is only fitting that this year, the same volunteers will return to build a chicken coop for the school! Along with the garden, the chicken coop will help to make the nutrition program self-sustainable.
Volunteers will work on other school improvement projects such as building cafeteria tables and benches for our school courtyard. By building up the school, providing better education access, food security, school supplies, and resources for the students and facility, we are transforming the entire community.
We are so thankful for these exceptional volunteers. Their energy and heart-filled service is contagious and motivates our organization to continue working to provide healthcare access, safe homes, and education to communities that need it the most!