Rafael Blank

 4th year Guatemalan and foreign medical students at a mobile clinic in Las Majadas

4th year Guatemalan and foreign medical students at a mobile clinic in Las Majadas

It was our last day at the Primeros Pasos clinic and we all gathered in a circle for the goodbye. There was cake. I looked around the room – everyone was there – the Guatemalan medical students, the doctor, the dentist, the lab tech, the administrative staff, the education and nutrition workers, the other volunteers. I felt so appreciated that day. I remembered the first day I'd arrived in the clinic 5 weeks earlier, and how welcome I had felt. People went around the room reminiscing about our time at the clinic. What a great group of people!

What an experience! My time in Xela and in the clinic flew by. It is such a different world than mine, with such a different pace of life. My favorite part of the experience was all the wonderful people I met, the daily walks up the hill to the clinic, and the really cute pediatric patients I saw. I learned so much during my time there. I feel like a different person, with reorganized priorities and a slightly more nuanced worldview. I'm so grateful to all the people in Xela who supported me while I was there, and who welcomed me with so much warmth.

Primeros Pasos