Lessons and Blessings from Guatemala

Welcome to the first blog on my new website!

I recently returned from a medical mission where we cared for the people of Membrillal, Guatemala. It has been a lifelong dream of mine to do a medical mission and I was not disappointed! We worked long days as we saw almost 550 patients over 4 days. It was a humbling, frustrating, rewarding and inspiring experience. One of the things that I realized is that parents in poor villages in Guatemala care about the same health issues that parents here in the U. S. care about: normal growth and development, proper nutrition, healthy brains and emotional stability. The problem is that when you are very poor in a country whose government doesn’t provide for basic healthcare, it is difficult to raise healthy children. I was able to use my integrative skills to address the whole person and to use natural solutions too. There were many times though that conventional treatments were also needed for treating serious infections and asthma. P1120979

I was excited to ask many of the grandmothers about healing plants and teas that they use for different conditions. My hope was that I would recognize some of them and encourage the young moms to use these local remedies too. The problem is that many of the names didn’t translate exactly the same into English and so I have no clue what they were! So I guess I will need to do a little more research before I go back in 6 months! Almost every mother was familiar with chamomile tea for tummy troubles, however many moms didn’t see it as a potent medicine. Instead, they thought that their kids should be given medication for colic or occasional stomach aches. It was fun to educate them and help them understand when medications are necessary. Hibiscus is another common plant which they make into a drink but most didn’t know that it acts as a diuretic which moves excess fluid out of the body, and can be used to decrease high blood pressure.

There were many blessings on this trip including the hundreds of hugs and smiles I received from everyone I came in contact with. One set of 6 year old twins that I cared for went on to hug every one of the 24 people on our team before they left! I am so grateful that God made it possible for me to fulfill this dream and use my skills to bless these hardworking, loving people! I know that they blessed me as much as I was able to bless them!

Check in next month to read about preparing your kids for the change of seasons.

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