Just 9 months after a tremendously successful Medical/Dental Clinic trip to Guatemala, the Speroway team is back in Central America bringing primary care to thousands of needy families. This time, we’ve returned to El Salvador with a team of 30 – doctors, nurses, paramedics, dentists and several other hand-picked volunteers. Over the next week we’ll mount four 1-day clinics in impoverished rural communities within a 2 hour drive of the capital city, San Salvador. For our fifth and final clinic, we’ll remain in the city and visit one of the most desperate slums on the planet – Somalia. It will be a week we’ll never forget and it’s just getting started.
How does an undertaking like this come together? It’s never easy. Our Canadian team left Toronto early this morning on Taca Airlines – a non-stop flight to San Salvador. Meanwhile, our team on the ground in Central America has already received our massive shipping container filled with medications, surgical/medical/dental supplies, food, clothing and glasses. Once we got to our hotel, there was no rest for the weary as we had lots of unloading and organizing to do – not to mention counting thousands of vitamins and packing them in small plastic bags ready for our first clinic.
Tomorrow, we’ll continue to take stock of all our supplies, clean and test all the dental equipment, count and pack key medications and prepare our clothing and food packages. This will take all day before we load the truck in preparation for our first clinic in Joya Del Ceren on Monday. The team is already pulling together and working smoothly. Many of us know each other well from past trips but we’re also welcoming a number of newcomers this time. It’s always rewarding to expose first timers to this powerful experience. The senior Speroway team leaders, Ken Dick and Dr. Tony Brown very carefully select the volunteers for each trip – fit and chemistry are key and these two know how to pick ’em.
I’ll be doing my best to capture the clinic experience from every angle over the next week. You’ll meet our team and connect with the people we’re helping down here. If I can convey even a fraction of the impact this experience will no doubt have on us, I’ll be happy. Thanks for following along – here’s to making a difference in the lives of families who need it the most. Stay tuned for a new post tomorrow night!