Standing beside you on this team, in Guatemala, are teachers, doctors, Catholic nuns and priests, restaurant owners, van drivers, nurses, optometry students, clinic staff, optical lab technicians, eye health promoters, volunteer translators, supporting families and friends.
The fact is, the mortar that holds all these different team players together is you and your financial support.
You have probably heard the saying “It takes a village to raise a child.” It has certainly taken a village to raise Enfoque Ixcán from infancy to adulthood.
Enfoque Ixcán was born through an encounter with an extraordinary health care provider. Pedro trained to be a health promoter while living as a refugee and has since diagnosed and treated thousands of members of his community. Pedro treks on muddy paths to make house calls, and patients show up in his corn fields or at the door of his two-room home at any hour of the day or night to seek his care.
When I met Pedro in 1996, he told me that he was thinking about quitting, not because of the long hours or the lack of job benefits, but because he could no longer read the labels on his patients’ pill bottles. Pedro needed reading glasses! This committed, bright man was in danger of leaving his calling, and his village was in danger of losing their health care, because of a simple need for reading glasses.
I realized that basic eye care would improve Pedro’s life and the well-being of his community and region. I determined to help provide Pedro and others like him with the eye care services they needed to live more productive lives.
That was 18 years ago. To this day Pedro continues to serve his community, tending daily to patients, heading up a regional movement to install potable water, and monitoring Enfoque Ixcán’s work. Most likely, if he had not received glasses 18 years ago, Pedro would have stopped seeing patients, and his community would have been left without local health care.
We invite you to take an active role in our village as we further develop and improve eye health across the region. By donating today, you join us in helping people better realize their potential.
Enfoque Ixcán has hundreds of stories like Pedro’s, success stories which wouldn’t have happened without the village we have become.
Donations over the years have allowed our 3 eye health promoters and many volunteers to examine nearly 12,500 people and dispense 6,000 pairs of glasses. Your donations have also funded over 200 cataract surgeries.
A donation of only $125 will pay for a cataract surgery. That includes paying for the patient’s food, lodging and care during the 3-5 days they spend at the eye clinic 4-6 hours away from our their homes.
We have big plans for Enfoque Ixcán now that we have made it to adulthood. With the support of our entire village, we will continue to offer cataract surgeries, conduct vision screening, provide prescription glasses, dispense sun-protective wear, treat eye injuries, and educate the public. Ambitiously, we plan to build our own clinic next year to serve people more efficiently in their own region.
We need your continued support. Will you please help continue our work in this impoverished region of Guatemala? All donations are tax deductible.
The value of your donations, when measured in dignity, opportunity and quality of life, is profound.
It’s the effort of a village. Please contribute.
Scott Pike, OD
December 1, 2014