Home Visit & Clinic Day 3
Orientation and Tour
Our 3rd day in Guatemala started with an orientation and a tour of the ASELSI facilities. The orientation covered the history of ASELSI ministry, Guatemalan culture, and the programs the ministry offers. The group was able to learn about cultural differences between the ladino and indigenous communities of Guatemala and how they interact. The tour included a visit with a woman who specialized in newborn screenings and the types of herbs she offers new mothers to assist with breastfeeding.
The therapists here all so innovative and resourceful. Most of the therapy equipment is made by the families, therapists, and volunteers. They utilize supplies on hand such as PVC pipes.
Our new friend Angel drove us into the city of Chichicastanengo to visit with Jeremy, a patient who attends the clinic, and his family at their home. Jeremy enjoyed meeting with the therapists and was excited to play with some new toys like a bright yellow tennis ball. It was very moving to see how supportive the entire family was of Jeremy’s mother. Before we left we joined in a circle of prayer with Jeremy and his family. Jeremy’s grandmother prayed for Jeremy to be able to talk and walk. She shared the many hardships the family and especially Jeremy’s mother faces to have a child with a disability. The culture of Guatemala typically views children with disabilities as a stigma, but it was evident that Jeremy’s relatives loved him dearly. They were very receptive and willing to do whatever was necessary to ensure his needs are met.
After a delicious lunch with the adult therapists, the team met with some of the children and their families at the medical clinic. The sessions consisted of informal assessment and conversations with the family members to understand the needs of the patient and their expectations for therapy. Many of the families who attend the clinic walk for hours to be seen by the therapists. The children were very excited to make new friends and enjoyed playing with puzzles.
We will have a full day of therapy at the clinic tomorrow! Stay tuned!