Students Serving Medical and Spiritual Needs of Remote Guatemalan Village

November 15, 2012

From Dec. 27, 2012 – Jan. 6, 2013, twelve Xavier students, a student assistant, one staffer from the Center for Interfaith Community Engagement and four professionals will immerse themselves in Mayan culture. An emergency nurse and a doctor/nurse couple from Los Angeles and a Cincinnati pediatrician will join the students in the 2013 Interfaith Medical Mission to Guatemala.

The students will be in a warm, sunny climate, but will be no vacation. The students will give up a week of their winter break and New Year’s Eve celebrations to serve the village of Patanatik in the Solola Lake mountain region. Every student also committed to volunteer at least twenty hours at a free clinic upon their return.

This will be the fourth such trip for Xavier students. In January of 2010, the first interfaith medical mission trip sent a similar group to Jamaica. In 4.5 days, they saw 511 patients among old slave huts in remote regions of Steer Town, Jamaica. Most had never received any medical care and six were evacuated to a hospital for immediate attention. In the last two years, the team has found a similar need in Guatemala. They saw almost 500 people in the clinic and made 75-100 home visits each year. Rabbi Abie Ingber, executive director of Xavier’s Center for Interfaith Community Engagement, coordinated the trips.

“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.”

The care is free, but the trip is not. Ingber estimates the group needs $50,000 to fly, feed and house 18 for one week. To help the team reach Guatemala, your help is appreciated. Tax-deductible donations may be sent to Xavier University, Center for Interfaith Community Engagement, 3800 Victory Parkway ML 2120, Cincinnati, OH 45207. Please make checks payable to Xavier University - IFCE. Please call 513-745-3569 with questions.