International Eye Institute Mission

A team of Ophthalmologists has been at HA all this week. They had just completed a surgical mission in the department of San Marcos before arriving in Santiago Atitlán. Dr. Justin Stormogipson performed 26 surgeries this week. Also in the group were Maj Stormogipson, Dr. David Dance, Reosmary Sibulsky, Barbara Baker, Mike Oswald and Teresa Oswald.

cataract-patient-with-her-family.jpg The mother in this family is able to see for the first time in many years. Her son cried tears of joy and she is very happy.

U Penn School of Nursing

Students at the University of Pennsylvania school of nursing are in Santiago Atitlán this week working with the Hospitalito, the traditional birth attendants, the Centro de Salud and PRODESCA.  Today they left a donation from funds raised before they traveled to Guatemala.


Mamie Guidera presented the donation to Lyn Dickey. Lauren Danella and Candace Freeman are students in the Nursing School.

SunGrid an Australian Solar Energy Co.


There is an article in the recent newsletter

telling how these solar panels came to cross the Pacific to be installed on the roof of Hospitalito Atitlán. The donation of 1200 panels from SunGrid of Australia arrived the end of February and the installation began last month. Thanks very much to Phil Livingston, owner of SunGrid. We expect to save $100,000 on our electric bill over the next ten years.  If you look closely in the reflection of the panels you can see the solar water heaters on the roof. These produce all the hot water at HA, and substantial savings too.

World Diabetes Fund


Part of the WDF project includes the design of educational materials for people with type II diabetes.  Project coordinator Victor Ramirez has been working with Santiago Atitlán artist Angelika Bauer to create a ten page booklet using illustrations, text and key phrases in Tz’utujil. Today nurses and medical staff had an opportunity to review the drawings and layout and give input over the booklet.

adios Luz Maria y Jason

luz-maria-silverio-jason-huang-and-rebeca.jpgDr. Jason Huang and Internal medicine doctor from the University of Virginia and Luz Maria Silverio  are saying good-bye to the staff and other volunteers today. They have been working at Hospitalito Atitlán for a month.  For their going away party, they ordered tacos for everyone. Thank you both for all of your hard work and help.luz-maria-the-burket-thoene-family.jpg

Smile Network International


Hospitalito Atitlán, Smile Network International and Tess Unlimited have been planning and working all year to prepare for a week of surgeries that will change the faces and futures of thirty children.

The SNI team includes a plastic surgeon, a pediatrician, nursing and support staff that starts work today as they evaluate 39 patients and schedule cleft lip surgeries that will start on Monday.

The patients come from the far reaches of Guatemala, Huehuetenengo, the Peten, Coban, Mazatenango, and the department of San Marcos.  They arrived tired by chicken buses and by water.

The Hospitalito found housing for all the families, and is happy about the local collaboration. The Posada de Santiago housed 16 patients and their families and the new mayor Tomas Chiviliu rented the entire Pension Rosita for 15 families. Others are staying at the Catholic Church and Las Milpas, which is managed by the Hospitalito.

This is the second Smile Network International team to work at HA.  Last year 28 patients received surgeries.

Tess Unlimited of Antigua is responsible for locating patients from around the country. Six patients are from the Lake Atitlán area. The day of the evaluations a baby boy was born in Santiago Atitlán who will need the surgery in the future.



Mundito Foundation


Hospitalito Atitlan, and the people of Santiago Atitlán want to thank the Mundito Foundation for their help with a container of medical supplies sent thru Medshare International. This donation will reduce costs for the Hospitalito and the people it serves.  Yesterday workers from the local Health Department arrived to pick up part of their donation. They will share the donation with traditional midwives and health promotors. Thanks to all involved who made this donation happen.

Dental Hygiene Education continues


When Dr. Glen Dean and his team departed, they had educated the staff on dental hygiene for children and left a power point program so that we could continue teaching. The last Wednesday of every month is the maternal infant meeting. Today Victor Ramirez presented the group on how to care for babies first teeth. Everyone in the family will also receive a toothbrush.

Adiós a Miguel y Isobel

Long term volunteers really become part of the Hospitalito Atitlán family, as was the case with Miguel and Isobel Harvey who have lived in Santiago Atitlán for one year. Miguel first came to Guatemala as a student and part of the Guatemalan Health Initiative group from the University of Pennsylvania. He received his Masters in Public Health and they planned to volunteer for one year.

the-harveys-with-their-favorite-taqueria.jpgMiguel has worked in the Development Office, with the data base, the Maternal Infant Sponsorship program, on the newsletters, jornadas and many other things.  Isobel has worked as a Nurse Educator. She created a small library of Spanish Nursing books and a Drug Guide.

hospitalito-staff-at-the-despidida.jpg They invited the staff to a going away party, and they had it catered by their favorite taco stand. everyone enjoyed the tacos in the grassy area above the hospital. jurat-chik.jpgAjm’kil became fairly proficient in Tz’utujil with help during lunch from Fredy and Rigo. There were many hugs and tears yesterday…. and they are missed today. Thank you for your time and great energy for the community.

Medical Equipment Repair

Lawry Goodwin is in charge of Biomedical technology services at Mackay Base Hospital in Queensland Australia. He is at Hospitalito Atitlán this week to check and repair medical equipment. Henry Mendoza the electrician for the Hospitalito is taking the opportunity to work with Lawry and learn what he can. A Biomedical engineering degree is not available in Guatemala and technicians charge a great deal when they travel from the capital. We hope with Lawry’s help to create a maintenance schedule and designate who is responsible for each machine.


Club Rotario Guatemala Norte


Josef Fischer from Guatemala City is a long time friend of Hospitalito Atitlán’s. He arrived in Santiago Atitlán on Sunday with a nice surprise. After closing the books for the big Rotary grant with the Sunnyvale California Club, he found a little more money. He contacted HA to see what equipment was needed and we requested pulse oximeters. José Reanda, nurse Susana, and Dr. Chuc met with Josef to accept the beautiful new machines. Thank you again Rotarians.

Blankets for Hospitalito Atitlán


Dustin Kirkham is at Hospitalito Atitlán with his father Derek, one of the pediatric dentists on the jornada this week.  Before they arrived, Dustin,  told his Dad that he wanted to take a gift to the children of Santiago Atitlán as part of his Eagle Scout project. Dustin is a member of Scout Troop 525 of Colorado Springs CO.  He talked to people at his church and they all pitched in to make 210 blankets. Dustin Kirkham, you are an amazing young man!


Dentistry team at the Hospitalito


Dr. Glen Dean and many of this team have been Amigos since the very first surgical jornada in 2005.

dr-dean-examining-a-patient.jpgDr. Dean returns frequently but this is the first team of pediatric dentists that he has brought to HA. They set up eight portable dental chairs in the education room, they used a digital X-ray machine on the patio, and they are seeing more than 150 patients in four days. Notice that the portable chairs include a TV screen where the little ones can be distracted by their favorite cartoon!dr-glen-dean-and-the-dental-team.jpgThe staff prepared a ‘pulik’ dinner for the group. The jornada was a first in many ways. Yesterday four children were given anesthesia for their extractions. a procedure never before done on Lake Atitlán.  We expect Dr. Glen and others to return again soon. Thank you all.

British Ball 2012

dra-ciara-aklax-lyn-janet-perdo-y-dra-susana.jpgJulie Chapell has been the British Ambassador to Guatemala for three years, but she left her position and the country on Sunday. But first she celebrated in grand style with British Week, and ending with a charity event, the British Ball.british-ambassador-to-guatemala-julia-chappell-with-aklax.jpgJanet Ilott of the Hospitalito Atitlán development office wrote a proposal for the Embassy and it was a winner. We were invited to the British Ball! And we will soon receive a check for more than $10,000.hospitalito-and-kaslimaal-members-arriving-at-the-british-ball.jpgAttending were Hospitalito staff, volunteers and K’aslimaal board members and guests. The charity event was Q400 a plate and the auction was a big success.lyn-dickey-crusader-lisa-simms-and-captain-hook-at-the-british-ball-2012.jpgThe theme was British film, the dress was formal or as a star of British film. dra-ciara-janet-pedro-and-dra-susana.jpgA great dance band started the evening and a Beatles tribute band, Replay the Beatles from Montreal, Quebec took the stage at 1 AM.  What a party Ambassador Chapell!table-11-at-the-british-ball.jpg

U Penn Guatemalan Health Initiative


University of Pennsylvania students raised money before their Guatemalan trip to help Hospitalito Atitlán cover indigent patient care. They sold a LOT of coffee and pastries on campus. In the group appears Tarik Asmerom, Alyssa Nguyen-Phuoc, Alexandra Duisberg, Yael Ruth Nobel, Dr. Juan Manuel Chuc, Rosa Katherine DavesNancy Atchison, and Arielle Clynes.

ResMed BiPap


The company ResMed donated four BiPaP machines for Hospitalito Atitlán and this week, ER physician Dr. James Gardner from the University of Pennsylvania gave a demonstration on their use to medical staff. The machine will reduce the need for intubation and transfers to Guatemala City. The machines will be used to treat patients with asthma, COPD and other breathing difficulties. With the help of Penn medical student Erin Bassett Novoa, HA will be gathering information on the use in the ER.

Vanderbilt and Belmont Universities

A hard working group of students from Presbyterian Campus Ministries in Nashville TN are building a wall this week at the Hospitalito. A small section of wall is all that remains so that someday the property can be made secure with fencing.  The group is accompanied by Antonetta  and Jacqui of CEDEPCA in Guatemala City.




These volunteers feel somewhat guilty that their pictures appear on the Hospitalito Atitlán blog and they aren’t working. Corrine Abalos  and Sharon Rubin are medical students from the University of Virginia volunteering for one month. Dr. Alan Bock and his wife Lynsey are in Santiago Atitlán for six weeks. He will return to work at the Self Regional Hospital in Greenwood, South Carolina. His wife Lynsey worked in the development office on the diabetes educational materials.  They are enjoying banana and pineapple smoothies, now for sale next to HA for 6 Quetzales. Also available are strawberry and papaya. Wonderful to have fresh fruit in February!


Thank You Thomas!


Our nursing staff was pleased to have Thomas Swenson, RN, CCRN, visiting this month from Seattle, WA. Thomas created a quick reference guide for our emergency medications and a dosing guide for cardiac life support medications. We are thankful for his nursing expertise!

Thomas is an ICU nurse and plans to attend nurse anesthetist school in the fall.

SunGrid an Australian Solar Energy Co.

meeting-the-truck.jpg This is the donation that traveled the furthest to reach Hospitalito Atitlán.  The trip was long and complicated, and the relief was great when everything (1200 pieces of glass) were safely at the Hospitalito.


SunGrid is an Australian solar energy company that distributes solar modules… down under.  The donation to the Hospitalito started when SunGrid’s owner, Phil Livingston offered a donation of panels to Solar Energy International (SEI). Ian Woofenden SEI solar energy expert was instrumental in the training of Santiago Atitlán electrician Henry Mendoza Ian asked Phil about a donation of panels for the Hospitalito.   truck-loaded-with-panels.jpgPhil Livingston must think the world of Ian and his ideas (as we do).  Phil sent a full container of photovoltaic modules to us. Twelve hundred 42 Watt panels in total. Twenty seven boxes, containing 47 panels and each box weighed 1500 pounds.


It is expected that HA will save up to $10,000 annually when the panels are installed. Ian was also instrumental in an incredible donation from Outback power.


Our gratitude is immense…  thank you Phil and Ian.

¡feliz día de cariño!


The Hospitalito nursing staff invited everyone to a little Valentines Day Celebration with games and a gift exchange for those who wanted to participate.  Dr. Andy Smith and his daughter Rosie are giving their gift to Rebeca, whose name they drew.  Everyone enjoyed chuchitas and orange crush. 

Aid to Hospitals Worldwide


Whilst Dr Ciara was back in the UK she visited Aid to Hospitals Wideworld – a charity based in Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk that recycles used but still functioning NHS equipment. They were able to provide us with a semi-automatic defibrillator, electronic baby scales and much more. In order to help with the charity´s operating costs the staff and pupils at Priory School, Bury St Edmunds held a special fundraising day. Here is a picture of her with some of the children and the baby scales. Thanks so much to Aid to Hospitals WorldWide and Priory School!


The doctors and nurses were surprised to hear that the defibrillator speaks with a British Accent!

Somos Hermanos


On a Saturday, every six months Somos Hermanos brings a group of volunteers from Quetzaltenango.  These young people all have an interest in medical and healthcare and are living in Guatemala for six months to study Spanish and volunteer. Today they moved inventory, folded laundry, washed windows and enjoyed a delicious comida tipica… pulik. Having this many hands gets a great deal accomplished. Thank you all!

Marin County Guatemala Mission


We want to thank our friends at St. Rita’s Parish in Fairfax California, especially Bill Cuneo and Father Ken Weare for the donation that was shipped to Guatemala last month. We needed desks and furniture for the second floor and this donation was a big help.  Every year, this group sends a container with school supplies for the children in El Sitio near Patzún. ¡Mil Gracias!