• Vinto, Bolivia •
One of our littler and bravest guests, I first met Mayra when she was admitted to the hospital with cerebral malaria (a severe form affecting the brain) a month prior. Few thought she was going to make it, but as one can see here…she absolutely did.
From scared little girl to fearless survivor, she quickly became an inspiration to those caring for her. Bonding over children’s songs and Dum Dums (green apple was her favorite), our friendship grew, and she quickly became a ray of light in my day.
Here, she is pictured at one of her follow-up appointments with—what else—
—but a green apple Dum Dum.
• Melchor de Mencos, Belize •
Meet the Aguado household. A place where love runs deep…simple are the joys…and wide are the smiles that shield the scars aching to heal beneath.
Here we see one of the effects of inaccessible health care. Where fathers lose their lives to otherwise treatable diseases, leaving two mothers and seven children with little more than the lingering fragrance of memories.
Here we also see a strength undeniable. Where the youngest to the eldest come together to care for one another…encourage one another…support one another.
And finally, we see ‘little Juan,’ whose palpable nonchalance tells you really all that you need to know:
He is now the man of the family.
• Belmopan, Belize •
Elise is no average girl. Brought to the children’s home at the age of five, she was a carer of two siblings through her nights on the streets, had always been a fighter and a leader, and is now a pattern for many at her home.
She also wants to be a doctor when she grows up and is already a highly skilled blood pressure taker.
• Santa Elena, Belize •
One of our tasks was to visit the residents in Western Belize. While our purpose was to conduct epidemiologic study and to raise disease awareness, it was just a pleasure getting to know the community.
Also, we made sure to always take time to admire the pet turkeys.