Dear HMO Team,

Thank you for welcoming me on the amazing mission trip to Antigua, Guatemala. I embarked on my first mission trip and had no idea what to expect. Nonetheless, I was very excited for what lied ahead.

The mission trip included providing medical, dental, and chiropractic care. In addition, the team provided clothing and prescription glasses. The team consisted of volunteers from various fields, both healthcare and non-healthcare, all with the same goal—to help improve the quality of life of those in need. In all, we provided care for over 1700 people. Even though there was a language barrier, the connection I felt with the wonderful people of Guatemala is one I will cherish for the rest of my life.

Before the trip, I did not have much expectations. What impact can just a few people have when a whole country is in need, I thought. However, I saw first-hand how much we can make a difference in the lives of those in need. I met patients who had never received any dental care all their lives, and how grateful they were for finally receiving care. The statistics we learned in class about underserved populations suddenly became names instead of just numbers. The realization of how we are all connected in this world and the importance of such mission trips was life-altering.

The trip far exceeded my expectations. In those nine days, I benefited and learned much more from Guatemala and its people than they did from me. I learned about gratitude no matter how little one had. I learned about having hope for a better future no matter the circumstances of the present. I learned about the impact one can have in helping improve someone’s health or quality of life.

After the clinic, we got a chance to explore Antigua. Antigua is one of the most beautiful cities I have visited, with some of the best cuisines and most humble people.

Looking back, I am very grateful for my time in Guatemala. Perhaps the most important realization from the trip was my desire to return and continue to help those in need. For that, I will forever be indebted to the HMO team and the people of Guatemala. I look forward to being involved in many more future mission trips with HMO.

Regards,

Melad Kamran