BoxesEveryone gathered at 9 pm on the night of April 1st excited, energized, and eager to get to Guatemala.  We congregated in front of the 34 boxes, packed with medical supplies and equipment, making introductions and reuniting with old friends – knowing that by the end of the mission we would all be able to bond over a life changing experience. The group that left from San Francisco caught their red eye flight and arrived in Houston at 5 in the morning. We patiently waited 4 hours for our flight to Guatemala City, Guatemala.

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Surgeons Ron Worland and Frank Walchak reunite in the SFO airport


Upon arrival we were greeted by members of Congress, who gracefully carried all of our 34 boxes through customs, fed us, and accompanied us with an armed escort on the 4-hour drive through the luscious green mountains and fields to Retalhuleu. Our hosts have been amazingly accommodating, kind, and generous and the people that we have met so far in Guatemala have been extremely kindhearted and warm. We are currently staying at a resort for government employees – to say the least it is absolutely beautiful.

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Dinner at our Hotel

When we arrived to the Retalhuleu we immediately went to the hospital. A line of patients and their families had already formed outside the hospital gate waiting for our pre clinic that will be taking place tomorrow.

Entering the hospital

It is estimated that there will be about 200 patients and their families waiting for us when we arrive in the morning. It promises to be a busy day full of meeting and working with patients, lining up surgeries, and starting the life changing process of creating smiles and changing lives.

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Chehab and Marie ElAawar console a crying young father delighted by our arrival to the hospital