The 7th Rotaplast mission to Pereira, Colombia is unique.
- It is geared toward the more complex, secondary surgeries needed to correct cleft anomalies.
- It is a major step toward establishing a permanent, year-round, multidisciplinary cleft care program in Pereira. The project, called “Más Sonrisas Para Colombia” (“More Smiles for Colombia”), is a collaborative effort of Rotaplast and our local colleagues, Club Rotario Perla del Otún and Fundación Sonrie.
- It includes a genetic research and education program aimed at understanding the causes and developing a prevention protocol for cleft lip and palate anomalies.
The team of US based medical professionals and non-medical, Rotarian volunteers met in Miami for the flight to Colombia. On arrival in Cali we were warmly greeted by the Rotary District 4281 Governor, PDG, and members of Club Rotario Perla del Otún.
Once we had collected our personal belongings and the 32 boxes of medical equipment and supplies, we boarded a coach for the final leg of the journey to Pereira. We arrived at our hotel at midnight, weary but eager to meet the local members of the team and begin the real mission work after a good night’s rest.