Open Letter to Enfoque Ixcán Supporters

Dear Enfoque Ixcán supporter,

Please pat yourself on the back! Thanks to your crucial support, our eye care program has impacted hundreds of people, granting them the gift of sight.

Thanks to EI and a pair of glasses, Teresa can see to continue weaving.

Thanks to EI and a pair of glasses, Teresa can see to continue weaving.

Enfoque Ixcán fills a pressing need in an under-served region. Let me describe the area where we work, in north-central Guatemala:

Howler monkeys shout robustly from the trees. Toucans fly overhead in search of ripe fruit. It is dawn in the Ixcán, and the forest is awakening.

The people are preparing for the day, too. Mothers pat freshly ground corn dough into tortillas, while children gather notebooks and pencils for school. Teachers, masons, shopkeepers, and health promoters head to work; farmers prepare their hoes and machetes and walk to their fields.

The Ixcán is beautiful: lush and green all year round, with astounding biodiversity, abundant rivers, and breathtaking waterfalls. Vibrant local communities maintain a collective spirit of solidarity, hard work, cultural preservation, and environmental stewardship.

Nevertheless, life in the Ixcán is hard. People have limited access to jobs, basic services, and higher education. Many villages lack electricity, running water, or even a road. In the most remote areas, visiting the hospital, bank, or town hall requires an arduous hike plus a truck ride. There is not a single eye doctor in the entire region.

In fact, a visit to an eye specialist in the Ixcán was an impossibility until Enfoque Ixcán entered the region 22 years ago.

Now the region’s inhabitants enjoy accessible, high-quality eye care. With your much-needed support, we have provided 18,800 people with services ranging from surgeries to lenses to sun protection gear.

With your continued backing, we can help even more people:

  • For $165, you sponsor a patient’s cataract surgery.
  • For $50, you provide a full-day training session for an Enfoque Ixcán eye health promoter.
  • For $25, you supply sunglasses to 12 patients to help prevent sun damage to their eyes.

Life in the Ixcán is challenging enough for people with good vision. For those with failing eyesight, daily tasks can become excruciating. People who can’t see well risk falling on slippery paths when gathering needed water or firewood or walking to and from their fields.

For most people in rural Ixcán, excellent eyesight is crucial to their livelihood: for farmers, who need to be attuned to the intricacies of the natural world, for weavers and seamstresses, who create detailed designs; for carpenters and builders, who wield sharp tools; for teachers, who manage classrooms and review written work.

Impaired eyesight means a loss of livelihood, a loss of security, and a loss of quality of life. Your donation will restore a person’s livelihood, enhance their security, and improve their quality of life. Please donate to Enfoque Ixcán today.

Thank you, on behalf of the people of the Ixcán.

Scott Pike, O.D.
President,
Enfoque Ixcán, a 501 (c) (3) public charity
www.enfoqueixcan.org

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