The Lima team this year drew medical professionals from all over the United States as well as from India and Canada. Rotarians, meanwhile, came from California and Nevada. No matter our addresses, we all had the same goal in mind: to save smiles and change lives.

The final morning of the mission was spent providing final patient checkups before the team left Lima and Hospital Nacional Obispo Loayza. Team members also used the opportunity to visit with those patients who showed up and snap some last-minute photos.

With post-clinic examinations finished and supplies packed, it could only mean one thing: the mission was complete. The days, long and busy, sped by seemingly in an instant.  The next thing we knew, we were saying goodbye to friends, new and old. And, as usual, the experience was bittersweet: we felt gratified by the work that had been accomplished, but recognized there is always more to be done.

During pre-clinic, nearly 100 patients were evaluated and nine “walk-ins” were assessed later in the week. A total of 59 patients had surgery, many of whom required jaw realignment and bone grafts.

We are thankful for our generous sponsors – Rotary District 5300 and the Charlotte Geyer Foundation – for making this mission possible. Muchas gracias to the staff of Hospital Nacional Arzobispo Loayza, Dr. Edith G. Mamani Huaquipaco, Dr. Margot Escobedo and the Rotary Club El Rimac for their support and friendship throughout the mission.

It is always an honor and humbling experience to serve on a Rotaplast mission, to witness “wow” moments, and to work with extraordinary medical professionals and devoted non-medical volunteers.