2009 Service Mission to Bolivia & Peru
In May 2009 my brother Daniel and I went to Peru and Bolivia with Impact International, the non-profit founded by Daniel with the purpose of involving students in the support of other worthy, established non-profits that don’t have a student arm. The purpose of the trip was to document and create marketing materials for the non-profit Deseret International, a medical non-profit that supports local third-world doctors in performing corrective surgeries on cleft lip, cataracts, and clubbed feet.
It was an amazing trip. We were able to deliver hundreds of pounds of stainless steel surgical instruments donated from US hospitals to the very much undersupplied doctors in Bolivia performing the cleft palet surgeries. We were able to help serve patients and document the process to help bring awareness to the cause. We also shot footage for a piece that Impact did on food and starvation and was in a big way the genesis for what is now EcoScraps.
We made stops in:
- Cuzco, Peru
- Puno, Peru
- La Paz, Bolivia
- Lima, Peru
I grew up serving within the ranks of Operation Smile, another non-profit dedicated to fixing cleft lips in third world children, and though I have seen thousands of pictures just like these, it was incredible to actually get to see the children and hear the stories of pain told by the mothers when others treat their children so terribly. To see the surgeries was incredible, that in a few hours and at the cost of a few hundred dollars, a person’s entire life can change so drastically.
It was an amazing experience and I am grateful for how lucky I am to be blessed with a healthy body, a beautiful and healthy family, for the ability and freedoms to work and provide for ourselves, for a brother who is so proactive in making the world a better place, and the many factors that facilitated and allowed me to participate in this trip.
Those interested in supporting Deseret International can do so by making a donation here. For $20 a complete surgery can be performed, changing a child’s entire life. This cost per surgery is the lowest I have found anywhere in the world, and is facilitated by a genius and well executed model used by Deseret International. Through the use of donated American medical supplies, supporting the local doctors, Deseret is able to support these doctors in doing the surgeries for just a few dollars.