eppinger los vahos

One of the interesting things about being in Xela is the high volume of foreigners living and working here. Xela is rather well known for its Spanish language schools, which draw people from around the world. In addition to the linguistic draw, Guatemala is filled with NGOs, and there seems to be an especially high concentration in this area.

The clinic where Cody and I are working has something of a partnership with a local group of hiking guides called Quetzaltrekkers. This group of outdoor-friendly hikers throws fundraising parties and divides the proceeds between the Primeros Pasos clinic and a school for children who otherwise would have no access to education. In return, medical volunteers from the clinic give classes on wilderness medicine.

A few weeks ago when Cody an I were asked to teach this class, we were a little bit caught off guard, because neither of us had had any specific educational training on the topic. But after a few hours of research, we were able to focus in on some important topics (fractures and sprains, concussions, and allergic reactions). The class went so well that we were invited back for a second one, and given specific topics to cover.

The opportunity to work with a different population (hiking guides who will be in charge of the safety and wellbeing of groups of people venturing out into the nearby wilderness) has been exciting. Our latest class was on medications to use while hiking, and some information about common illnesses. It has been interesting to work with this group because we can easily see how important it is for them to have this information. We are working on a lot of emergency management, and safety.