Janice Baker, MD: OMC FM attending

Guatemala: March 2019

 Since I first travelled to Guatemala in 2017 for my first medical mission trip, this lovely but desperately poor country has held a special place in my heart. So, as I planned my return for my third trip with Faith in Practice, I once again counted the days until I would be able to be a part of a life-changing team.

 Our mission began with an orientation in Antigua, and on Sunday, our two busses headed east to Totonicapán, an area in the Guatemalan highlands which is about 8000 ft. in elevation. Our clinics included a general medical clinic, and pediatric clinic, and gyn/via/cryo clinic, and a dental clinic.

 The 3rd and 4th days of our clinic were held in “Canton Chotaca”, a small village about 1000 feet higher, and MUCH colder than our first village. In this village, too, we cared for many patients, many with heart-breaking stories. In these clinics, I was struck by the patience and genuine gratitude expressed to us by these people who have so little.

 This year, our village team made over 2,100 patient visits in 4 days. This included over 900 patients by the 6 “General” providers in our clinic. While exhausted both physically and emotionally, the trip was once again quite successful. I feel fortunate to be working along side this group of compassionate, motivated people.