- Guatemalan Partner: Visualiza
- Guatemalan Partner: The Guatemalan Ministry of Health
- Guatemalan Partner: Ixcán Municipal Government
- Guatemalan Partner: Coban Rotary Club
- Forest Grove Daybreak Rotary Club
- Guatemalan Partner: Santa Teresita Clinic
Guatemalan Partner: Visualiza
In 2002, Dr. Pike formed a relationship with an eye clinic named Visualiza, with a clinic in Guatemala City which treats both private pay patients and also “social service” patients. They also run a clinic in San Benito, Petén (in northern Guatemala) which is only a social service clinic. The social service clinics are for poor people who receive treatment for a substantially reduced cost.
This alliance has enabled Enfoque Ixcán to send people for professional procedures such as eye surgeries and complex diagnostic testing for a minimal outlay of US dollars. Since 2002 Enfoque Ixcán has funded 710 eye surgeries including 520 cataract surgeries. Visualiza’s social service fees enable Enfoque Ixcán to pay for a cataract surgery, plus a patient’s travel and hotel costs for only $125. The Petén clinic is about 5 hours from Ixcán so a surgical trip is a 3 day process. For their part, the patients pay for their own food costs and a portion of transportation expenses.
The doctors and staff also provide training for our eye health promoters so that they can become better able to provide pre- and post-op care for our patients.
The Guatemalan Ministry of Health
In 2006 the eye health promoters, Pedro and Felipe, were recognized as official eye health promoters for Ixcán by the local government public health office. Since 2014 Enfoque Ixcán has provided nurse training workshops for the government nurses stationed at health posts throughout Ixcán. Thus far 75 nurses have benefited from these workshops.
This type of inter-institutional collaboration strengthens our project and enhances the level of eye care in the region. Enfoque Ixcán is the only locally available eye care in the Ixcán region.
Guatemalan Partner: Ixcán Municipal Government
In 2016 the municipal government of Ixcán donated a 1/2-acre piece of land in Playa Grande to Enfoque Ixcán for the purpose of building a clinic of our Eye Health Providers to work from. Currently they work out of a 10-foot square rented space which is very crowded.
Coban Rotary Club
For our Rotary International Global Grant we found a host club in Coban, Guatemala. They manage the funds we spend in Guatemala. Also, one of their members is an architect and is helping us with the plans for our new clinic.
Forest Grove Daybreak Rotary Club
In the spring of 2013 the Forest Grove Daybreak Rotary Club of Forest Grove, Oregon initiated a Rotary International Global Grant application for Enfoque Ixcán. The Forest Grove Noon Rotary Club and the Beaverton Rotary Club, both in Oregon, stepped up in support of the grant with matching funds. In Guatemala the Coban Rotary Club agreed to be the host club for the grant
It was a long process, but in the spring of 2016 Rotary International approved the grant and Enfoque Ixcán was awarded $37,975. The grant is mostly for testing equipment and supplies, but also includes money for eye health promoter training and glasses.
Many thanks to all the Rotarians who have made this grant possible. This vote of confidence from Rotary for the sustainability of Enfoque Ixcán will allow more of our budget, your individual donations, to be used for direct patient care, like eyeglasses and eye surgeries.
Santa Teresita Clinic – An Oasis in the Jungle
Eighty percent of the people of Ixcán, Guatemala live below the poverty line and 27% live in extreme poverty. The Santa Teresita clinic is always busy.
It is also always a cheerful, friendly place. The Catholic sisters are quick to smile and stop for a brief conversation. On our August trips to Ixcán we stay at the clinic. They have rooms where visitors can sleep. Besides being a happy place, this is probably the cleanest and most secure spot in town.
During our clinic days here we take over the central entrance area and one large room and may see up to 350 people a day. The line never seems to end. And, the change in patient flow we cause for the Catholic sisters’ clinic doesn’t faze the nuns at all. They welcome us because we are offering a service, eye care, that people can find nowhere else in Ixcán.