The Pacific University 2013 Amigos Eye Care students arrived in Guatemala City on time this afternoon. Our Guatemala Rotary Club friends transported the six students and one doctor and all the supplies and luggage comfortably to our hotel. After settling in their rooms we walked to Guatemala City’s central plaza. The streets were filled with people of all sizes and ages. There were jugglers, musicians, mimes and all manner of street performers celebrating the day of Guatemala City’s patron saint.

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After a couple of hours of rest to make up for their red-eye flight from Portland, the team had dinner in the hotel and met to discuss the plans for the week. Tomorrow, Sunday, we travel to the Ixcán region of the country which is north, near the border with Mexico, for 4 days of clinics in a very poor and remote part of the country.

This is the 11th mission trip with Enfoque Ixcan and Amigos Eye Care delivering glasses, sunglasses and eye drops to this underserved area. In addition, many people with eye problems needing eye surgeries and other professional care will be identified and sent to Guatemalan eye clinics for continued care. Over the years Enfoque Ixcán has help nearly 200 get surgical eye care. Each year Amigos mission trips to Ixcán identify around 50 people for cataract surgeries. Local Enfoque Ixcán health promoters work year around to see that these folks and many others receive the eye care they need to live more productive and comfortable lives.

We’re off to a good start for another successful mission trip.