I cannot believe that I am sitting on the floor of the Miami airport writing my LAST blog and that Rotaplast Guatemala City 2019 is OVER! I cannot believe that just 13 short days ago I was terrified, had no idea what I was doing, dropped and broke a camera on the first day and was SURE Brian, our fearless leader, captured smiling below, was going to fire me on the spot because I was holding up the WHOLE REGISTRATION process!

My original title for this blog was going to be “You can TAPE IT, Or, You LIVE IT”, a old quote from Kelly Ripa after a vacation. Regis was complaining that she had not brought back enough photos from a recent family vacation to show the studio audience. Kelly explained that at the start of the trip she had laid down the law with her husband. He could either spend the trip behind the camera, taping and photographing it, or lay down the camera, and enjoy the family and vacation, i.e., “Live it”. From the very bottom of my heart, I want to thank the entire team, and my family for giving me the opportunity to do BOTH on this trip. But more importantly, I would like to than the families we treated for letting me into their most personal moments, to capture their stories and become their friend, if only for a short time. It was truly, one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.

But enough about me.

The last day of the mission is one of celebration. Those families that are able, come back for a check-up. What follows are super cute photos of some of these moments as we meet these families for the last time.

But wait, it gets EVEN BETTER! 

We had a little money left in our budget and Mike, our quartermaster and Brian, wanted to do something for the kids, toys or something. So they headed into town to scout around. Many of us had noted that many kids come in with threadbare shoes, flip-flops or barefoot. So Mike and Brian thought “NEW SHOES” for all the kids that came back on the last day. They hunted down a vendor who brought 300 pairs in all shapes and sizes, and socks. We all chipped in a little extra money to cover the cost,

AAAANNNDDDD…. Abracadabra!!!!!

Not only did the kids get shoes, but all of the hospital staff who have been so incredible during our stay, also got shoes!

It was the perfect ending to a perfect trip.

Here are some photos of our favorite photos from the day!


The universal posture for waiting in line…

Mike is presenting Yulissa with a handmade ornament made by an exchange student his family hosted from Spain. Rotary and Rotaplast are truly Global.

A successful check-up!

Waiting for the shoes to arrive, Andy leads the families in a lively sing-a-long which was impressive, given that Andy does not speak Spanish. This young mother had a beautiful voice and led the crowd in many favorites. It was a delight to listen to her.

One of our top 114 favorite kids!

From all the kids, a great big Thank You!

From all of US on the Team, to all of you who support Rotaplast, we thank you for your continued support. Until next time, this is why we do it…

With Deepest Gratitude, your Trip Historian, Susan Burnett