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San Lucas 2018 – Why I Return

Through 12 years of volunteering with Med Missions, I have met some of my favorite people, some of my best friends. I have met amazing people who have dedicated their lives to caring and serving others.  Their passion, commitment, humility, and selflessness have inspired me, given me direction and appreciation for the work that needs to be done in the world.


One of those amazing people is my good friend Dee Reed. I honestly look forward to the time I get to share with her every year in that PACU area, and every year I get to know, discover and learn things about Dee that I didn’t know before. Like today, I heard about her adventures in Guatemala, circa 1989, where her sense of adventure, fearlessness, and duty to the greater good brought her to Guatemala the first time.


For this and so much more, it makes her one of my favorite people and forever mi amiga!


I asked Dee to share with us why she returns…this is what she had to say:


“I am returning to San Lucas Toliman, Guatemala for the 9th time this year, to the place that has captured my heart. I am looking forward to sharing the experience with volunteers who have never seen Guatemala. They don’t know how great the medical need is, nor how gracious the people we serve are. They will see how beautiful the country is and that it is steeped in a rich and vibrant culture.


We will be returning to the same Hospital that Medical Missions Foundation helped furnish with beds, IV poles, anesthesia machines and a whole container of medical supplies. Volunteers saw the need in San Lucas and laid a foundation, forming local partnerships that have allowed the mission to grow for 10 years. Countless surgeries, countless lives improved, access to clean drinking water for families and an education scholarship. Thanks to Josh and Josie Uecker, Kevin Hashman, the Girod family, Mike and Cindy Rudolph and Carmen Gramajo.


We will reunite with old friends. San Lucas Toliman assembles a volunteer core of 45-50 people to facilitate the mission. Dr. Tun, Don Pablo, Sara, and Mireya are just a few of my Guatemalan friends that I am looking forward to seeing.


Patients that we have treated in the past stop by to welcome us and update us on their condition. Mothers and children will greet us on our morning walk to the hospital, just as they have each year. A community with more grace would be difficult to find. I am honored to be part of the team.


The question should not be why I volunteer my time each year for this mission, it should be why would I not.”