Over the years, Xela AID has undertaken dozens of efforts to respond to the overwhelming need in rural Guatemala. The organization has purchased, distributed, and provided:
• Lifesaving AIDS medicines
• Anti-inflamatories and painkillers for children and adults with chronic conditions
• Hearing aids
• Medical equipment (for hospitals and clinics)
• Reconstructive plastic surgery
The Case for Prosthetics – During Xela AID clinics held beginning in 1992, the need for prosthetic services was established and fulfilled through the generosity of a single Xela AID volunteer, Brad Farrow. During the early through mid-1990s, Brad delivered approximately 300 prosthetic limbs to children and adults. The limbs, valued at more than $3,000 each, were beyond the reach of those in need.
Among the many who’s quality of life was vastly improved through Brad’s loving service, was Luis — a seven-year-old child who had lost both hands after playing on high-tension electric cabling. Luis now rides a bike, studies and is “a very dynamic child,” says Luis de León, Xela AID Director in Guatemala. Rene, then age 16, lost both arms to high-tension cable when helping his father paint; when Luis first met him, he was holding a paint brush in his mouth to create artistic paintings for tourists. With the arms he gained, he is now able to do a variety of tasks and make a living for his family.
There are many other stories like these. Brad was honored by the Hospital General de Occidente for his outstanding service to the community, one of the health care facilities Xela AID continues to partner with to provide support and expertise upon request.
We will continue to respond to requests such as these as time and resources are available—and especially those that remove obstacles to learning— as the organization continues its primary focus on integrated, sustainable community development.