DALLAS, TX – 7 Apr, 2017 – HELPS International, headquartered in Addison, Texas, has begun the 2017 calendar year with five successful mission trips to Guatemala. These trips included medical teams serving as surgeons, OB-GYNs, general practitioners, anesthesiologists, dentists, nurses, pharmacists, translators, cooks, engineers and support staff. The individual teams travelled from as far away as Oregon, Washington, Michigan, Minnesota and Texas for the sole purpose of providing health care and community development services to the underserved communities in the highlands area of the country.
“Our volunteer teams and donor committees have truly stepped up their efforts this year,” stated Bill McMillan, U.S. executive director of HELPS International. “The amount of coordination and logistics going on behind the scenes is represented in the success we’ve had to date. We’re looking to capitalize on this momentum and make this year our best ever.”
In the first quarter of 2017, volunteers from Dallas, Texas, provided more than 125 families with specially designed ONIL Stoves and water filters. These stoves replace traditional ground-based, in-home cooking fire pits and are vented through the dwelling’s rooftop to eliminate both respiratory problems and the risk of severe burns. The Plancha top, concrete block design of the stoves also reduces wood consumption by 70 percent, freeing up time previously spent collecting firewood. The ONIL Gravity Water Filters eliminate 100 percent of parasites and 99.9 percent of pathogenic bacteria. Additionally, the Dallas medical team made up of 82 volunteers, provided their time and talents to complete 108 surgeries, 670 health checkup clinics and 428 outreach clinics.
More than 90 volunteer medical team experts from Jackson and Midland, Michigan, visited Guatemala from Feb. 4-15 to offer their time and expertise to provide 203 surgeries and to host 732 health checkup clinics. The medical teams from Michigan produced a video recapping the impact of the health care services they provided. Following their visit, volunteers from the Cascade Medical Team from Oregon and Washington tallied 118 surgeries, 1,185 health checkup clinics and 441 outreach clinics. Additionally, more than 90 volunteers from St. Cloud, Minnesota helped conduct 107 surgeries, held 1,149 health checkup clinics and 22 outreach clinics.
Also in February, a team of volunteer teachers from the U.S. visited the William M. Botnan School, established over 20 years ago in the remote village of Santa Avelina. All of the children who attend this one-of-a-kind primary school have their tuition needs sponsored and current fundraising efforts are underway to cover teacher training, field trips and school supplies.
To date, HELPS’ volunteers and supporters have worked alongside the people of Guatemala to provide more than 275,000 patients with preventive health care, more than 250,000 homes with clean air and water, more than 4,000 farming families with the skills and resources to boost crop production, and nearly 475 students with a high-quality education.
Vimeo video: https://vimeo.com/204126537
About HELPS International
Since 1984, HELPS International’s growing community of volunteers and sponsors has been changing lives in Guatemala with extraordinary dedication. HELPS’ mission is to provide enduring programs of practical, social and spiritual value to people in the developing world through a system of partnership and mutual responsibility.
To learn more, please visit https://helpsintl.org or follow them on Facebook and Twitter.
Video Link: https://player.vimeo.com/video/204126537
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