Trails from Tarapoto: A Cancer Surgeon’s Story, a new book by Project HOPE alumnus Dr. Gregorio Delgado, is an autobiographical story of Dr. Delgado’s life. Starting as a boy in Tarapoto, a small town in Peru on the fringes of the Amazon rain forest, Dr. Delgado eventually becomes an accomplished women’s cancer surgeon in the United States. As mentioned in the book, Dr. Delgado’s career was strongly influenced by Project HOPE and its directors.
The SS Hope, on its second humanitarian mission with Project HOPE in 1962, was docked in Salaverry, Peru while Dr. Delgado was attending medical school in nearby Trujillo. Dr. Delgado recounts how the arrival of the SS Hope led to broad changes in health care and education in Trujillo and his medical school. Professors from prestigious American medical schools came to work with the students and the local hospitals and to provide free state-of-the-art medical care to the local population. Dr. Delgado was highly influenced by the training he received from Project HOPE doctors and established lifelong relationships with some of Project HOPE’s directors.
With the encouragement of Project HOPE’s directors, Dr. Delgado pursued further medical training in the United States, starting as an intern at Sisters Hospital in Buffalo, NY, where one of his mentors from Project HOPE had also trained. After a long career in the United States, Dr. Delgado retired and returned to Peru. After his retirement, he became a Project HOPE volunteer and continues to be involved with the organization to this day.
Trails from Tarapoto is a very engaging read. Dr. Delgado’s story demonstrates the far-reaching impact of Project HOPE’s mission and volunteers.
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