The 2014 Amigos Arrive in Guatemala!

2014 Amigos Eye Care team arrive at the airport in Guatemala City

2014 Amigos Eye Care team arrive at the airport in Guatemala City

For the 12th year in a row an Amigos Eye Care team from Pacific University joins with Enfoque Ixcán to bring eye care to the remote and poor Ixcán region of Guatemala. After arriving Saturday afternoon they spent a couple of hours walking through the heart of downtown Guatemala City taking in the sights and sounds of a busy weekend. The central plaza was bustling with street performers, food vendors and people of all ages as they get ready to celebrate the City’s patron saint.

Four of the 2014 Amigos  crowd into a small taxi for the ride to our hotel

Four of the 2014 Amigos crowd into a small taxi for the ride to our hotel

At the cathedral they learned some history about the 36 year civil war and its aftermath. The people of Ixcán are still living with the memories and scars of that violent part of their history. The poverty of the region is endemic.

For 17 years Enfoque Ixcán has been working to overcome the region’s lack of access to eye care. Together with Amigos Eye Care they have attended to over 10,700 people and dispensed over 5,000 pairs of glasses. In addition, 230 eye surgeries have been funded by Enfoque Ixcán. This year, in four days of clinic those numbers with increase substantially.

Sunday morning we will be driving north for 8 hours to start our mission. The team includes 7 Amigos students: Emma Lundien, Heather Mironas, Caitlyn Chapman, Ashley Norum, Daniel Cleveland, Bradley Jansen and Dominic Lemas. The doctors on this year’s team are Hoang Cao, Brian Arvidson, Kelvin So and Scott Pike.