It is 6:15 a.m.  We have all boarded the bus to Hospital Social San Lazaro.  As we drive through the streets of Guatemala, I reflect on the city and it’s people… 

Guatemala City serves as the economic, governmental, and cultural epicenter of the nation of Guatemala.  Guatemala City is located in the mountainous highlands of the country.  The City is divided into 22 Zones, each one with its own streets and avenues, making it pretty easy to find your way around.  Our group is staying in Zone 10, the hospital we spend our long days is located in Zone 15.

The city is famous for its chicken buses. These photogenic vehicles are the primary transportation for most locals.  Donated from the US, these old school buses are customized in three ways:  first they are shortened, so they can better navigate Guatemala’s winding hills and roads, a faster engine is put in, and they are painted in bright colors and patterns. Because of the relativity low literacy rate, the buses are color coded in relation to their destinations. We see some on our drive each day. 

In spite of long hours at the hospital, everyone remains very energetic and focused on each day’s surgeries. Each day’s schedule has varied depending on the type of surgery, length of surgical procedure, and post surgical recovery time. The children, along with a family member, stay in the hospital overnight where their care is monitored. 

On our bus trip each morning traveling to the hospital, we all sing, in chorus, a version of Hallelujah, lyrics by David Low and inspired by Cyndie George…I swear we get better and louder each day ..

Arriving at our destination now, everyone heads to their stations, ready to meet the beautiful children of Guatemala …

Barbara Rumberger lead pediatrician and Laurie Steckel Ward Coordinator, are preparing all of these lovely children for their surgical appointments that will take place today.

Nan Madden Pediatric NP, is checking the vitals of this patient prior to his surgical appointment.

These patients are awaiting their turn to be seen by the medical team members.




John Lydon Anesthesiologist, is explaining the surgical process to this patient prior to her surgery.


Maryann McKenzie OR nurse, is assisting with surgery preperations for this young patient.


Surgery preparations begin with John Lydon Anesthesiologist.


Milton Solis, Surgeon, begins a surgery.


Mother consoles her daughter post surgery.


Rosemarie Ricker OR nurse, consoling this young patient after her surgery.

Luzviminda Accos PACU nurse, caring for a patient in post op.

Dr. Milton Solis is visiting with one of his post surgical patients.



“Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.”

– Dalai Lama