The Glens Falls Medical Mission Foundation began in 1996, with a small group of local physicians, a dentist, a pharmacist, and others who wanted to have an opportunity to give back to an area in the developing world that was in real need of ongoing medical care.
The group chose Nueva Santa Rosa, a small community about a two hour drive south of the Guatemalan capital and the local Guatemalan Lions Club became our sponsor and helper in our project. We have now held more than 40 twice yearly week long missions to the town of Nueva Santa Rosa in the last 20 years. Typically, each mission consists of 40 or more volunteers in the areas of medicine, nursing, dentistry, EMT, translators, pharmacy, education, and general volunteers. The missions are usually held in April and October.
Through the years, our project has expanded from a purely medical one, to one that affects many aspects of life in this area. It has become obvious to all of us that providing only medical care is, quite literally, a band-aid approach to the extensive needs of a community that does not have even the most basic services of clean water, sewage, emergency services, even a library. We have had the great good fortune of the involvement of so many of our friends and neighbors from the greater Glens Falls community, from so many walks of life, that our project has been able to expand in many important ways.
Our major emphasis remains a medical one. We hope that our engagement in the community will have a long lasting impact on that area that treatment of acute illness alone never could.