Medical student in Guatemala, Juana, second from the left. Photo credit: Jesse Brandow
Located in the remote Guatemalan town of Aguacate is the Fr. Andres Giron Clinic. The clinic was completed in 2015 under the Omophorion of His Eminence Metropolitan Athenagoras of Mexico, and it was inspired by the vision of Fr. Andres Giron of blessed memory. It is now managed by local leadership under guidance from the project director, Bob Kirschner, and OCMC long-term missionary Fr. John Chakos. The clinic provides basic healthcare to people in the surrounding Mayan villages. The people of Aguacate have little to no access to healthcare and are unable to find relief from various serious health issues and even some basic health issues. The clinic has given the people of Aguacate improved access to healthcare and has had a big impact on helping to ease the suffering in that region.
The hope for the clinic is that eventually a local Guatemalan doctor will provide full-time medical care. During 2016, the clinic was staffed by one young woman named Juana. She grew up in Aguacate and is among those who have embraced Orthodox Christianity. She has basic medical training which allows her to meet many of the healthcare needs of the people. However, she is seeking to expand her medical education by attending medical school to become a doctor and plans to work at the clinic after completing her studies. Juana has already been accepted to medical school, but she needs your help to make this dream a reality.
Because of the immense need for permanent healthcare workers at the Fr. Andres Clinic, OCMC has set up a fund for medical education in Guatemala. Young students like Juana from rural Guatemala come from extreme poverty and cannot afford tuition. Money donated to this fund will go directly to supporting those who want to pursue medical education, including Juana. This will allow for native Guatemalans to pursue opportunities in medicine that they would not be able to afford otherwise. It will promote the self-sustainability of the clinic as promising candidates from the local region would receive funding to pursue a degree in medicine.
If you would like to donate to medical education in Guatemala, you can mail donations to “OCMC” earmarked for “Medical Education in Guatemala.” Make the check out to “OCMC” and write “Medical Education in Guatemala” in the memo line. Mail the checks to: OCMC, 220 Mason Manatee Way, St. Augustine, FL 32086. Please continue to keep the growing Orthodox Church in Guatemala in your prayers!