Pre-professional health students traveled to Guatemala to provide medical care in remote villages

This was the third medical mission trip organized by the Office of Interfaith Community Engagement | January 3, 2012

Students and leaders of the Interfaith Medical Mission Trip spent a week in Guatemala over Christmas break on a medical mission trip to bring health care to people in remote villages. They arrived on Dec. 31 in time to witness a New Year’s Eve Mass in Spanish and celebrate the holiday with the people of Antigua.

Sponsored by the Office of Interfaith Community Engagement and led by Rabbi Abie Ingber, the trip's 12 students, four medical professionals and two Xavier staff members donated their time and skills to bring health care to the villages of Panajachel and Patanatic in the mountainous region near Lake Atitlan. Supported by three doctors from Los Angeles and Dr. Lauri Pramuk from Cincinnati, the students helped provide medical care to the families and residents of the isolated villages.

This was the third medical mission trip for Xavier students. In January 2010, Ingber took students to Jamaica, where the group treated 511 patients, most of whom had never received any type of medical care. In 2011, Ingber led the first trip to Guatemala and treated 384 people in four days in the clinic and made another 75 home visits in two days.

The students, who are majoring in nursing, biology, chemistry, natural sciences, occupational therapy, Spanish and information systems, are sharing blog posts about their experiences in Guatemala. The group returned to Cincinnati on Saturday, Jan 7.

“The learning curve, the experiential growth and the community-building strengthening of our students’ commitment to the healing professions and service are the hallmarks of this trip,” says Ingber. “Our spiritual dimension and the Jesuit values we bring enhance our offering.”

Ingber and the students raised money to help defray the cost of the trip which Ingber estimated at about $50,000. For more information, please call 513-745-3569.