• info@MedicalMissionsFoundation.org
  • 913 338 0343

Breaking Barriers

Breaking Barriers

“I can do things you cannot do, you can do things I cannot do, together we can do great things.” -Mother Teresa

I can’t think of a better way this quote is represented than by the collaboration of the translators and medical team. This week we get to work with translators Abram and Enma, as well as Sulamita. Sulamita is a part of our team, and her bilingual skills and talents ensure that everything at patient registration runs smoothly.


The translators work with the medical team to better communication for the patients. They relay patient questions to the doctors and nurses and translate details about the surgery the patient is about to receive.  If you ask any of the medical team, their job would not be possible without the help the translators provide.

We are also joined by Mayra a staff nurse here at the hospital. What makes Mayra special is her bilingual abilities in both Spanish and Kakchiquel. Kackchiquel is a Mayan dialect spoken by the populations surrounding the lake. We will be seeing patients later this week who speak only in this dialect, that happens to be Mayra’s first language. She found her way at the hospital during her nursing rotations. After a staff nurse had her baby, Mayra took her spot and has been here ever since. We are grateful for her niche language skills.


Our medical team also includes bilingual team members. Rachel Gunderson, a nurse practitioner at Mosaic Life Care,who is no stranger going from Spanish to English in the hospital setting. At home, she cares for both Spanish and English speaking patients. Here she works at the PACU, and patients are grateful when they wake up from surgery, they can speak with someone who understands their language.

We also are grateful to have Carmen.  Carmen does it all between translating for Doctors, answering patient questions, and being a hub of knowledge. Carmen takes the time to answer questions for me and translate interviews I conduct with patients.


“My skill I received from God, it is not helpful to me, but helpful to serve others,” said Enma. Everyone involved with what we do this week, whether medical or non-medical, we all have special gifts and abilities that help us provide excellent patient care. It is through collaboration and trusting each other that we can accomplish all that we do.