I hope this message finds you, your family and friends safe and healthy. The corona virus pandemic is having an impact on our health, our businesses, the global economy and daily living. In our unequal global human order many areas, like Ixcán, are more vulnerable to economic and health concerns than others.

As we begin another week of being housebound, I remind myself that life is even more inconvenient for the people living in Ixcán. A journalist from the village we visit in February each year, Santa Maria Tzeja, recently videoed a story about what his village is doing to protect the community from the virus. They erected a gate at the entrance to the village to control who leaves and enters.

You can connect to Santiago’s video by clicking on the button above. It is in Spanish, but the images will give you some idea about life in Ixcán and how one small community has come together to do their part for public health to protect their village.

This pandemic down-time makes me think of the days before there was access to eye care in Ixcán, before there was Enfoque Ixcán and the access to care we provide. The community of Enfoque Ixcán donors and volunteers have made a huge difference in the lives of the people of Ixcán. I want offer you my deepest gratitude. We could not have accomplished so much without you.

While our Ixcán office is temporally closed due to the pandemic, we continue to provide emergency eye care for patients and financial support to our eye health promoters. We have an excellent team of eye health promoters and we don’t want them or their families to suffer further hardship.

Health is very important to these people. They don’t have easy access to medical doctors, dentists, eye doctors or mental health practitioners. They don’t have health insurance. It’s on them to take personal responsibility for their health and well-being.

While our world is suffering with this devastating pandemic and all its worrying side effects, you can be proud of the help you have given to lift the quality of life for so many in Ixcán. With your support Enfoque Ixcán will continue to bring eye care to this region of Guatemala. You have helped fund 620 cataract surgeries and 837 total eye surgeries, not to mention the 5,300 pairs of glasses we have dispensed.

 This global health challenge will eventually come to an end and when the travel ban is lifted, our eye health promoters will be ready to take another group of people to the surgery clinic for their sight restoring cataract surgeries. Our office will reopen. Eye exams will resume. There is still an abundance of work to be done.

Thank you for making it possible. Your gifts are always appreciated. If you’d like to donate now, CLICK HERE.

Please stay safe and healthy,
Scott Pike, OD