MISSION 2018 ANTIGUA GUATEMALA
In August the Operation Walk Pittsburgh team made their 4th successful trip to Antigua, Guatemala.
Did You Know?
Nestled between three active volcanoes, Acatenango, Fuego, and Agua, Antigua is a major commercial center and rich-coffee growing region. Once the thriving epicenter of ancient Central America, visitors can still see local Mayan villages and the colorful native attire. People travel from all over the country to partake in Antigua’s Holy Week celebrations, which are some of the most elaborate and spectacular processions in the Americas. Throughout Guatemala, there are examples of a cosmopolitan lifestyle and indigenous people who still follow century-old customs. In these rural areas, inadequate sanitation and malnutrition contribute to high rates of intestinal diseases and infant mortality.
While Guatemala has universal healthcare, their system has very little structure or oversight. The doctor patient ratio is extremely small, with only about 1 doctor for every 1,000 citizens. Due to issues with access and outcome satisfaction, the Guatemalan health system is ill-equipped to provide highly specialized surgeries, such as total knee or hip replacements.
Many Guatemalan citizens do manual work as a trade and the culture is one that relies on mobility for access to the community. Knowing that Antigua is a walking culture, education on arthritis, joint health and injury prevention are just as imperative and important to the Operation Walk Pittsburgh team as the surgical procedures they will perform while in country.
Mission By The Numbers
In just one week, the Operation Walk Pittsburgh team provided life-changing services to the people and communities of Antigua, Guatemala at no cost.