By: Samuel Callisto, Saint Mary’s University (of Minnesota) Class of 2012
Entering into this trip I had no idea what to expect. Before I left home, people kept asking me what I would be doing, where I would be going, etc. All I could say was that I was going to be a pharmacy tech in the area of San Lucas, Guatemala. After being here for almost a week, I am very grateful that I took a leap of faith and came on this trip.
My time here has given me a lot of insight into the lives of Guatemalans. My life in America is so blessed; there are so many things that I take for granted every day, that I never realized were not available to people living in other areas of the world. The infrastructure here does not compare to what we have in the States. Even finding an antibiotic to treat an illness is a process. It is so great to see all the people that we are able to help here, but there are still so many people in need. However, the smile on their faces as they leave our clinic shows how grateful these people are for us to be offering our time to help them.
By Two of the Seasoned (Expert) Madelia Nursing Team: Katy Eiselt and Mary Arndt
No words can describe the sites, the living conditions or the health problems of people living in poverty. I was amazed at the simplicity and settings of our daily clinics, yet the way we were able to see and treat so many patients in such a short time was quite amazing. Daily clinic set up is established with the help and cooperation of every member of the team. The nurses station is the first access to care in the clinic. As patients and families approach us, we are met with faces of anticipation, anxiety, and shyness. After all, they are entrusting their health problems and concerns with strangers- some whom are unable to speak their language. The beautiful children, the opportunity to hold a tiny baby while mom is being admitted, and the chance to interact with the small children is our reward.
Although we come here to serve the people here in Guatemala, we receive much more than we give. After being seen in the clinic, the smiles on the patient and their families faces, the hugs, the hand shakes and words of appreciation serve as a reward that is difficult to describe. Our work, our rewards certainly leave us with a feeling of humility. We are truly blessed.