For 20 years, Taiwan Root has deployed teams of health care professionals and volunteers to bring short-term medical relief to the neediest parts of the world. The Chao Foundation has had the pleasure of supporting Taiwan Root's committed work over the past few years; and in August 2012, Nancy and Steve got to participate in a medical mission to explore new avenues of partnership with the organization.
On August 19, we arrived in Guatemala City, Guatemala. Guatemala is located in Central America, bordered by Mexico to the north and by Belize and the Caribbean to the east. Despite its rich scenery and recent development following a 36-year-long civil war, the country remains one of the poorest in Latin America. With over half the population living in poverty and many more lacking medical care, it was understandable why Taiwan Root had selected Guatemala as the site of its next mission.
Over lunch, we convened with the rest of the 26-member team that consisted of physicians, nurses, pharmacists, dentists, and other volunteers. The united team then traveled the remainder of the day to a much less developed department (equivalent to "states" in the U.S.) of Guatemala called Zacapa and spent our first night at Esperanza de Vida, a Christian ministry that provides refuge to orphans and the elderly.
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