Affordable, effective health care is essential for families in poverty to build socially and economically productive lives. Unfortunately, millions of Guatemalans don’t have access to quality health care. With only one doctor for every thousand residents and severely limited medical care in rural areas, persistent health crises threaten the country’s progress. Maternal and infant mortality, malnutrition, communicable diseases, parasites and diabetes are high, especially in indigenous communities.
That’s why HELPS International is working to fill the gaps in health care and bring hope to rural areas of Guatemala. With a network of U.S.-based volunteer medical teams, HELPS is providing preventive care, surgery and community education to those who need it most. Each team is made up of several dozen physicians, nurses and support staff who travel with us to remote areas with severely limited access to health care.
In Fall of 2013, I flew to Guatemala to document this expedition.