In mid-August Enfoque Ixcán and Amigos Eye Care completed their 9th trip together to serve the people of the Ixcán region of Guatemala. It was, ONCE again, a successful trip. We saw 774 people in our 4 days of clinics. We visited 2 remote villages, Las Margaritis Dos and Saacte Uno, and worked 2 days in the main trading town of Cantabal. We also spent a morning in zone 3 of Guatemala City, working with a project called CREAMOS.
CREAMOS teaches life and working skills to women who otherwise would make their living picking through the rubbish in the city dump for food and items to sell or trade. The CREAMOS project was lead by Hannah Sklar, a volunteer from New York. Her work with these women was truly inspirational.
All told we dispensed over 360 pairs of glasses and found 37 people needing eye surgeries. The surgery candidates will be organized into groups to go to the eye clinic in San Cristobal Verapaz. Enfoque Ixcán will pay for their surgeries. Our eye health promoters, Felipe and Arnulfo will accompany them to the clinic and assist them with their follow-up care.
We also rented a small office space in Cantabal for Felipe and Arnulfo. They now have a central location from which to work in addition to the eye care work they do in their respective villages. This office space will allow them to test more people from all over the Ixcán, allow them to share glasses inventory more easily and give them a place to organize their surgery trips more efficiently.
This mission trip included 9 optometry students: from the class of 2012- Breena Clayton, Taira Enewold, and Megan Sis, from the class of 2013- Daniel Clayton (co-leader), Eric Ross and Daniel Truong, from the class of 2014- Carli Bowman, Shannon Currier (co-leader) and April Napier. Also on the team were 1 undergraduate student and 3 optometrists: Sara George, Pacific alumni Dr. Hoang Cao, Dr. Andrea Eberle-Keen and Dr. Scott Pike.
Everyone worked hard and had a good time.