Marta Flores, a Registered Nurse at St. Joseph Health, Queen of the Valley, has been selected as one of 49 Providence St. Joseph Health caregivers to volunteer in Guatemala with Global Partnerships and Faith In Practice. On Friday, March 2, Flores will begin her journey to Central America.
In her volunteer role, Flores will work with one of the team’s Physical Therapists to assemble, fit, and provide wheelchairs to individuals with serious mobility constraints. She will work as part of the larger surgical ambulatory clinic. The wheelchairs are donated by the Free Wheelchair Mission and are built for the climate and terrain in Guatemala. There is no cost to the patients for the fitting or the wheelchair.
“In Guatemala, wheelchairs are rare and, for many people, crawling or being carried is a way of life. Through this project, Marta will be helping individuals find independence and mobility,” explained PSJH Executive Communications Director, Melissa Tizon, in her team blog as a volunteer photojournalist with Global Partnerships.
According to Manjula Prasad, Administrative Coordinator for Global Partnerships, Flores fluency in Spanish and her experience as a Registered Nurse with Queen of the Valley make her a tremendous asset to the team.
Flores is one of two caregivers from St. Joseph Health in Northern California who are making the trip to Guatemala in 2018. In April, Patricia (Patty) Scagliotti, a caregiver from St. Joseph Hospital in Eureka, will volunteer as an interpreter as part of the medical mission.
When asked why she wanted to volunteer abroad, Flores explained, “There is a song in Spanish from a Guatemalan singer that says: ‘Jesus is a verb, not a noun’ and I genuinely believe that. I am excited for this opportunity to serve others with the little that I have.”
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