About Us

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Our History
 
Founded in 2005 by Rotarians from Rotary District 5170, and a group of volunteers, both medical and non-medical professionals, Faces of Hope's basic mission is to provide life changing plastic surgeries, particularly cleft lip and palate surgery to those with the most need and least access, and to build the capacity of Guatemalan heath care programs.
 
The committed volunteers of this program discovered in each other a common love for the people of Guatemala and a shared desire to build a team that would not only serve Guatemala's children through surgery, but also develop local partnerships that would expand the ongoing capacity for medical organizations helping Guatemala's needy children.
 
This small group used the knowledge gained from work with other non-profits and combined that with a Rotary network of knowledge and humanitarian service and together created Faces of Hope, Rotary District 5170.  From our inception, our mission, focus and reach have continued to grow and flourish.
 
Consistent with our desire to build capacity and sustainability, we are deepening our work with native Guatemalan organizations and Rotary clubs and are helping them to carry their work forward.
 
We are forever grateful to our team whose collaboration and creativity brought us into being:  Rotarians Don Fox and Richard Rivera, Deborah Covington RN, Jesse Dominguez MD, Monika Nelson RN and Fred Tomlinson MD.
 
Today
 
From our first surgery to our 500th in 2010, Faces of Hope has changed the lives of the children of Guatemala as a result of the vision of a few creative minds who saw a need and created the means to make lasting change.
 
Faces of Hope is comprised of three key elements - a Surgical and Dental team; Patient and Family care team who nurture our families through this experience; and a Partnership Building team who explore options and opportunities to provide assistance and capacity to our local partners.
 
Surgical Team:
 
The core of Faces of Hope is an extraordinary medical team comprised of surgeons, anesthesiologists, pediatricians, dentists, RNs, and others who daily perform miracles.  Most of the surgeries and procedures are centered around the repair of cleft lips and palates.  However, these talented people also provide restorative surgeries for burns, birth defects, etc. that can be addressed safely and effectively by our team.
 
Family Care at Casa de Fé
 
Opened to patients and their families who travel great distances to receive our care, Casa de Fé is a core part of our services.  It is the family housing unit for the patients and has helped crystallize our desire to provide critically needed surgeries to the patient in a holistic manner, including the family in our circle.
 
Imagine being discharged from the hospital with your child, sore and groggy after surgery, facing two options. You can sleep on the street until you're ready to make the long journey home or you can prepare yourself for a long, crowded, bumpy bus ride through rural Guatemala, each bump from the road causing pain to your child's healing face.
 
Staffed by college students from Faces of Hope, the team prepares and serves meals, entertains our young patients and keeps them safe.  They use coloring books and play games with the children making life more normal during a frightening time.
 
Humanitarian Partnership Building
 
Key to our mission is working with our local partners - Obras Sociales del Sta. Hermano Pedro Hospital, Casa de Fé Recovery Center, Compañeros en Salud Outreach, Clinica de Quemaduras Infantiles, and Guatemalan Rotarians to improve the effectiveness or efficiencies of their daily operations. Over the past six years, we have crafted a close, mutually respectful relationship to make sure we understand their needs and draw upon our resources. 
 
We have helped improve their capacity to provide basic health care, extend their reach deeper into remote communities, provide immunizations for the hospital staff, and given them greater resources in their areas of operation.
 
For the past five years, we have worked the local Rotarians to help establish the first national burn center to treat the more than 65,000 annual burn victims in Guatemala.  Although theses efforts are still developing, Faces of Hope has brought critically needed supplies and equipment, outfitted a surgical theater, and worked to create financial and logistical support among the Guatemalan community.
 
Our Future
 
Our goal to change to meet emerging needs has prompted us to launch our newest venture: Clinica Barbara. This rural clinic located in San Juan Sacatepéquez and developed by our partner, Compañeros en Salud, will enable a smaller medical team to provide additional surgeries to patients who would otherwise not be able to fit into our already impacted surgical schedule at Obras. This first clinic is set for 2011 and it is our goal to perform cleft lip and palate surgeries and to partner with the surgeons at the burn center to treat burn cases from remote villages.
 
Consistent with our desire to strengthen our partners, we are developing stronger partnerships with Guatemalan medical professionals, Rotarians and the community. Our goal is to help build local capacity and to that end, we are staffing our Faces of Hope teams with both personnel from abroad and with Guatemalans.
 
For more information please contact Directors, Jolene Bortz or Rose Padilla-Johnson.