Thursday, April 28, 2011

First Few Days

Hello Everyone!

We had a great day today at Las Obras Hospital. We divided up into different sections - with some students staying with pediatric patients, some with adult patients, and some with orthopedic patients. The patients ranged from those that live at the hospital to those that come in for treatment on a outpatient basis. Students and faculty alike are trying our best to step in where we are needed. Some students were even able to go to a rural school for children who are unable to participate in regular classroom education due to their disabilities.

Below are some pictures from our first few days. Unfortunately, it is not always possible to document our experiences at Las Obras Hospital or at the rural clinic due to patient and Guatemalan therapist preference. However, we are learning so much and the experience has already been amazing.

Above is a picture of the student house; and the faculty house is right across the courtyard. With fountains, open air, indoor verandas, and a rooftop terrace, we couldn't ask for better accommodations. Since Antiqua has become extremely touristy, it is common to have "Americanized" hotels and accommodations. However, those who work here are extremely poor and could never afford housing this extravagant. Most live in rural communities and bus in to town to work.

Above is a picture of Las Obras Hospital at night. The architecture is beautiful and the benefits that Las Obras offers the community are endless. The hospital runs primarily on donations and volunteers, with most patients living there.

Above is Timiteo, a man who owns a plot of land on the coffee farm in San Miguel Escobar. Here he is very proud of our toasted coffee beans. I say "our" coffee beans since some of the students helped peel and toast the beans.

Above Timeteo's wife is demonstrating how to grind the coffee beans on a traditional Mayan grinder. Many students helped with this process too. Although Timeteo took us on a tour and educated us on his business, the only cost was to buy one pound of coffee! You can purchase coffee from Timeteo at

Above is a Guatemalan mother with her son Hugo at the rural school for children with disabilities. Due to lack of resources, this dedicated mother has to carry her son to school daily. The benefits offered at this rural school are extensive. Not only is it run solely on volunteers, but the children are offered therapies that they would never receive otherwise.

In just a day, our group of physical therapists and physical therapy students may have not been able to make lasting changes in individual patients, but we were able to teach both Guatemalan therapists and mothers therapy techniques and functional positioning. However, what we have learned from the Guatemalan therapists, the parents, and the patients is invaluable and we have learned just as much from them or more!

Thanks for reading!

1 comment:

  1. We have loved reading of your work and adventures. The photos are an especially nice compliment to your report. We are so proud of all of you. Thank you for allowing us to share this wonderful experience with you.
    Tony & Becky Gore