Miles of Smiles Team Arrives in Huehuetenango!

It all started on Thursday morning, February 4th, when alarm clocks around Iowa City began to go off at 2:00 am in the morning. 28 people jumped out of bed, finished their packing and headed to the Eastern Iowa Airport to catch a 5:30 Delta flight to Atlanta. Once at the airport this group of…

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Adios, Gary!

Gary Pacha has served as the Iowa MOST Team Leader for the past ten years exemplifying the “Rotary Serving Humanity” theme of the upcoming year. This year Gary will step back from the annual cleft missions to Huehuetenango. Though he won’t be on the flight out of Cedar Rapids with the rest of the team…

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Iowa MOST 2016 Countdown to Guatemala

In just two days, the 2016 Iowa MOST team will be headed to Huehuetenango, Guatemala!  This year’s team of 42 very dedicated and generous individuals will spend Feb 4th to 14th changing the lives of dozens of children who currently face each day with the severe challenges of being born with cleft lip or palate. …

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Thanks for 10 Amazing Years in Guatemala!

This year marked our Iowa MOST’s 10th trip to Guatemala.  Some have come every year; for others, it was their first time.  But no matter how many times you go, it’s always a life-changing experience. Personally, I’ve felt so supported on this trip, by people at home as well as in Guatemala.  Everywhere we went,…

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A School in the Clouds

Remember when the dentists told us about oral health not being the highest priority in Guatemala? Well we hoped to do a little something about it. This morning a shiny Hummer H2 driven by local Rotarian Ernesto showed up at the hotel to pick a group of us up. Our mission: to distribute toothbrushes and…

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Pablo’s Return

This week, a woman carried her 1-year-old son into the hospital. In her hand was this well-worn card. The card was a promise for the future – a promise she had held on to for the past year. Dr. John gave it to Tomasa almost exactly one year ago. When she came to last year’s…

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Dulce Maria’s Words

I got a chance today to chat with Dr. Bill and find out the story behind this picture taken during assessments. Her name is Dulce Maria. She came to the clinic last year at the age of 9. She didn’t have a cleft, but her soft palate was very weak, which made speaking difficult. Her palate…

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Meet the Dentists

Dentists play a huge role in helping kids with clefts live happy and healthy lives, and we are lucky enough to have a great group of dental staff on the trip with us helping serve this important function. Even two local dentists, Juan Carlos and Antonio, volunteer time away from their practices in Guatemala City…

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Inside the Operating Room

Warning: surgery pictures may be graphic. Today I got to do one of the coolest things I’ve ever experienced – watch a surgery inside an operating room. I got to see doctors put the pieces of an incomplete lip back together, insert a tube into an ear, and close an opening that had formed in…

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Katerin’s Smile

Since the moment Katerin came into the hospital, she won everyone over with her smile. She seemed so joyful, giggling every time someone stopped to remark on how cute she was. Katerin had her lip repaired in surgery today, closing the gap where the left and right sides of her face failed to join together…

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