Culture and Spanish Immersion CME


The second group of physicians just completed Hospitalito Atitlán’s Continuing Medical Education course in medical Spanish and culture of Santiago Atitlán this week. Three physicians (and one’s child) studied Spanish.  Family members also joined the cultural tours and talks after lessons. Next course is February 17th to 24th.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office, British Embassy


Wednesday Hospitalito Atitlán welcomed officers from the British Embassy of Guatemala. The Embassy provides funding for community outreach for the Pregnant Women’s Clubs in the aldeas de Cerro de Oro and Chacaya.  In the photo are Program coordinator Victor Ramirez, British Embassy Officers Farah Morán, Patricia Lemus, Steven Wignall, Lyn Dickey and HA social worker VIcenta Chavay. The visit was short but very productive.

Farmer to Farmer


Our friends from the Wisconsin based Farmer to Farmer organization visited Hospitalito Atitlán today with Jody Slocum (right), the group Director. The organization sells coffee and tipica products to raise money for organizations and women in Guatemala. They brought children’s clothing and items from our wish list for the Hospitalito. It is always a pleasure to see them.

Global Smile Foundation donation


When GSF came to Santiago Atitlán for the week of cleft lip surgery, they were so loaded down with medical equipment that one piece had to remain behind at the airport. This week it arrived. Dr. Usama Hamden, president of Global Smile Foundation generously donated an Electro Surgical Unit that is better than what we have been using. ¡Gracias amigos!

Pura Vida Concert

On December 7th at Hancock Church in Lexington MA, many talented young people sang and played classical music to raise money for Hospitalito Atitlán. Joe Blumberg the moderator for the Pura Vida project organized the Lexington High School students and the event. The evening raised $3,800 for the medical care of women and children in Santiago Atitlán. 

Hospitalito nursing staff


During the week of cleft lip surgery with the Global Smile Foundation team, pediatrician Julia Koehler took a photo of the nursing staff, who worked tirelessly during a jam packed week of surgeries. Left to right are two nursing students who are doing their practica, Jacinto, Brenda, Diego, Maria and Walter.

Christmas Carols


Jenny Alewyne Reynolds is a regular volunteer. She and friends have a home in Cerro de Oro, an aldea of Santiago Atitlán. They work with schools in Cerro and help other organizations. In December Jenny organized a group that volunteered one day at the Hospitalito, and musicians in the group sang Christmas Carols which were greatly enjoyed by the staff and patients.

Maternal Infant Christmas party


The mothers and babies sponsored in Hospitalito Atitlán Maternal Infant sponsorship program had fun with Santa at the annual Christmas party. The children received new clothing, blankets, multi-vitamins… and it looks like candy.  Dr. Pedro the Hospitalito pediatrician helped with the piñata. Please consider sponsoring a woman in the program.

Traditional Birth attendants


This months comadrona meeting at Hospitalito Atitlán was led by OB/Gyn Dr. Luis Recinos and covered topics of complications during pregnancy and delivery and when to refer a woman to a specialist. Saving Mothers is an organization that works in the Lake Atitlán area and brought gifts of headlamps and gloves for the traditional midwives.

Teva Canada Ltd.


Drs. Barry Strauss and Ruth Hussman and their three children visited the Santiago Atitlán and the Hospitalito on Friday. They are family practice physicians in Toronto. Dra. Ruth contacted pharmaceutical company Teva Canada, Ltd. to request a donation for the Hospitalito Atitlán wish list, and they generously sent a number of medications from the list.

Rick Snell


Rick is an electrician from Springfield Missouri who has been involved with the Hospitalito even before it opened. He worked with local electrician Henry Mendoza to wire and illuminate the Hospitalito in Panabaj in 2004. He has worked on all three hospitals over the last eight years. Rick is founder of HOLA Sertoma (Helping Others in Latin America). He, his son and friends came to Santiago Atitlán to celebrate 13 Bak’tun, and to bring gifts to his friends and the organizations he supports. He brought tools for the guys who keep our equipment working, baby clothes for the new babies and toothbrushes and toothpaste.

Community Outreach


Monthly clinics in Cerro de Oro and San Antonio Chacaya have begun. Pediatrician Dr. Pedro, Victor the project coordinator, Maria the nurse and Dra. Yael from Santa Cruz, California were in Cerro today. In the afternoon, 24 vigilantes de salud will receive a training. Medicines were supplied from a grant from the Strachan family foundation and prenatals and children’s multivitamins were donated by Vitamin Angels. 

Global Smile Foundation


Today was the final day at Hospitalito Atitlán after a week of surgeries with the Global Smile Foundation team. 27 babies and children from all parts of Guatemala received cleft lip repair. Thanks to the Posada de Santiago, Hotel EcoBambú and the Colegio Alfa y Omega for providing lodging for the families during the week. Dr. Usama Hamdan (on the left) is president of GSF. The plan to return in November 2013.

Club de Mujeres Embarazadas


Thanks to the British Embassy in Guatemala, Hospitalito Atitlán staff and volunteers are working monthly in the Puesto de Salud in Cerro de Oro and Chacaya. Today Dra. Erin Gertz, an OB/Gyn from Mt. Sinai saw pregnant women at their monthly educational meeting. She used the portable ultrasound donated thru the High Noon Rotary Club of Durango Colorado. Everyone benefited from the generosity of the help from our donors. Thanks!


Nursing Students


Before a young person can complete their training as an auxiliary nurse, they must do a month of practice in an area hospital. Two students celebrated the completion of their ‘practica’ by preparing tamales for Hospitalito staff as a way of saying thank you for the experience.

Janet Ilott


Janet Ilott left this week to take her grant writing and program coordination skills to Africa. She worked in the HA development office for 17 months, and is credited with the World Diabetes Foundation grant, the community outreach programs and much much more. Thank you Janet, your English students and the staff at the Hospitalito will miss you!

Mano Amiga


When Dr. Kevin Bjork comes to the Hospitalito to do surgery, he brings medical personel and many friends. Tom Theits and TJ Anderson are with Mano Amiga and have been doing construction at the Hospitalito for many years. This week, while everyone is super busy in the OR, they have been installing ‘zocalo’, tile along the baseboard that protects the walls from mopping and floor polishing. It looks fabulous!

Día Mundial de Diabetes

Healthcare organizations in Santiago Atitlán had a parade today and talks in the park to educate the community about the serious  problems of Type II diabetes that affect the population.  Hospitalito Atitlán’s Dra. Susana spoke about the HA program “Manejando Diabetes en Santiago Atitlán” funded by the World Diabetes Foundation in Denmark.


Hospitalito Atitlán and the Earthquake!

After the 7.2 Richter scale earthquake shook Guatemala yesterday, the residents of Santiago Atitlán and the Hospitalito have resumed normal activities. The area of Santiago was not nearly as affected as some of the other coastal cities in Guatemala. None of the Hospitalito personnel or patients were hurt in the events of yesterday, however 45 seconds of strong shaking left many… shaken. Attached is an article about some of the ways Guatemala is working to recover.

¡Feliz Día del Niño!


Last week the women and children in Hospitalito Atitlán’s Maternal Infant Sponsorship program celebrated Children’s Day.  The children and mothers received vitamins donated by Vitamin Angels and each child received new clothing, a stuffed animal and a blanket donated by our many friends and supporters. They played games and had a great time. Please tell your friends about the program, it can make a healthy difference in the life of a child.


Spanish & Cultural Immersion CME

1st-day-cme.jpgClasses started today at Hospitalito Atitlán for physicians who will receive Continuing Medical Education credits from the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine. HA medical staff, Spanish teachers and guides are participating to make this an unforgettable experience.

Minnesota amigos


The friends who donated this equipment will arrive on November 10th for a week of surgery, construction and to outfit the ambulance.  We want to say a special thank you to Ridgeview Medical Center in Waconia Minnesota for the donation of medical equipment. How exciting receiving these boxes… and what a difference this week will make!

La Escuela Puerta Abierta


Thirty children from the Santiago Atitlán’s Puerta Abierta pre-school visited the Hospitalito today. They learned about a medical exam and the brought art work that they had created to hang in the pediatric in-patient room. They also donated books to make the stay easier for any children who are hospitalized. I think they learned a lot.

Student Practice


It isn’t only student nurses that get a chance for hands on training at Hospitalito Atitlán. Three young Atitlanecos spent five weeks volunteering with administration before they receive their degrees in business administration and accounting. They worked in the bodega, pharmacy and helped the administrator with bookkeeping and they showed their thanks by inviting HA staff to a going away party of tamales and hot chocolate. It was delicious!