In the early morning, women all up and down the streets of Guatemala, fired up their fires to make fresh tortillas. Each took a handful of the mixture from a pile on a table, shaped it with their hands and transferred it to the grill. Traveling in 15-passenger buses in a caravan of three, we rushed passed the towns, viewing many of these “la venda tortilla” on the way to the medical sites. This was only one of the differences the Continuing Promise 2011 medical team noticed as our work began in Guatemala.
“It is definitely more poverty stricken here,” say volunteer nurses Nicole Navarre and Luz Gomez, which was echoed throughout the entire group who went to the Los Angeles site. Normally, in Nicaragua when the providers asked the patients what their regular doctor had prescribed, the patients had an answer to give them. But in Guatemala, it seems visiting the doctor is not as normal as in Nicaragua.
Even at a “half-day” of operations due to set up time in the morning, the doctors and nurses working at the Los Angeles medical site treated 450 patients.
On the other side of town, at the Las Morenas medical site, 501 patients were cared for. And on the USNS Comfort, 10 surgeries were completed.
More photos from Alyson Landry of volunteer's work around Guatemala.
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