Joe's entire life has led him on a path straight to Guatemala. Growing up poor, in rural America, it was through many benefactors, some known but many unknown, pulled him out of that life and changed his stars. Despite a career as a Physician Assistant, he felt called to become a Physician, and take his energy and services to those areas in the world with great need. Petén has many needs, and with your help, Joe hopes to change the lives of these people, and maybe save an entire generation through healthcare, education, and community health projects.
While working in the emergency room in both urban and rural locations in the US, Courtney felt the gaping deficit in healthcare due to differences in education level and access to quality primary care. She discovered that although medicine is her primary passion, public health is a close second. Visiting the Petén region opened her eyes to the lack of even the most basic health services for rural Guatemalans, and she feels called to serve this region and its people to the best of her abilities.
Stephanie, originally from Florida where she grew up in a rural town, learned from a young age that there are many health disparities that exist all around us. While she didn’t know what they were called until she started studying public health, she did know that what she wanted to do with her life was to try to eliminate them for even just one person, ensuring that no one is overlooked for the care they need. In many of the places she has visited over the years she noticed that many things that we can often take for granted, such as basic medical care access, are considered luxuries. Her goal is to not only serve the people of Petén, Guatemala but also bring awareness to others about the challenges that many communities face, and with this, hope of a future in which an individual’s health does not need to be sacrificed.
Drawing off of her experience in Tanzania and South Texas, Janet comes to us with extensive experience in health education. Janet is passionate about improving the quality of lives of the people in Petén, and hopes to increase their knowledge of nutrition, exercise, personal hygiene, as well as maternal and neonatal health, and with such, hopes to help change the lives of an entire generation of Guatemalan woman and children.
Prior to to medical school, Polly served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Nicaragua from 2015-2018. During her service as a Community Health Educator, her work expanded into several avenues including HIV and STI prevention, family planning, teen pregnancy prevention, and maternal and infant health education. She extended her service an extra year to become a Peace Corps Volunteer Leader and continued facilitating the establishment of Special Olympics in Nicaragua. She has always had a passion for rural and underserved medicine and has continued her medical education. Her goal is to ensure that the community has a voice in the development of future health programs and policy in Petén while also assisting in the training of community members as future health educators.
Tim and Dorris first traveled to Guatemala in 1988 with their two young children, and have resided in Petén ever since. Despite being the the first time Dorris had ever been out of the United States, she exclaimed to Tim "I feel like I'm home.".
For the next six years, the family operated a mission in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala. Over the course of the next decade they raised the funds, located the resources, tirelessly lead the effort, and worked with Guatemalan leaders to build Hospital Shalom, a state-of-the-art medical hospital in the very remote area of The Petén.
Despite continuing to run day to day operation at Hospital Shalom, Tim and Dorris have graciously extended their hospitality and support to K'uhul Balam volunteers, to ensure you have a once in a lifetime experience.
Carlo Testa is a graduate of Gettysburg College, West Chester University, and Wilmington University and has served as a classroom teacher, curriculum and instruction coordinator, instructional coach, assistant principal, and at the state level department of education. He has received numerous scholarships and the James Madison Memorial Fellowship. Carlo has sought to make a difference his whole life and views quality education as the best tool that we can offer the next generation both in the United States and abroad. Serving the people of Petén is a natural extension of Carlo's life-long mission to teach and to be of service to others.
Kuhul Balam is now registered with Amazon Smile. Select Kuhul Balam as your non-profit, complete purchases at smile.amazon.com, and Amazon will donate 0.5% of your purchase amount to our efforts to support the women and children of Petén, Guatemala! Download the file below for instructions if needed. ¡Gracias por su apoyo!
Your support and contributions will enable us to meet our goals and improve healthcare access in Guatemala. Your generous donation will fund our mission.
501(c)(3) Non-Profit Charitable Organization (United States IRS)
306 Ridgeland Road
Dothan, AL 36301, USA
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