Antigua Guatemala: Day 1

IMG_5773.2The team made the flight from SFO to Guatemala City Friday. Two of our medical supply bags didn’t make the connection with us in Houston, and we are planning work arounds.

This is the first trip I am making with Faces of Hope, which is supported by Rotary. We have a full complement of surgeons, anesthesiologists, and nurses, along with respiratory, dental, and speech pathology. The patients and their families stay in Casa de Fe, a local guest house, since many travel here for treatment. The Casa de Fe team shopped today and bought 100 pounds of chicken, 50 pounds of potatoes, 200 plantains and bananas, 75 packages of beans and rice, 3 huge bags of sugar, 80 carrots the size of a forearm along with papayas, pineapples, and broccoli for the kitchen.

Tomorrow is clinic day. There are 130 patients to be evaluated for surgery. I am working with two Guatemalan pediatricians tomorrow, one of whom will stay on for the next few days.

Antigua Guatemala, founded in 1524, was largely abandoned after an earthquake in 1773. It is surrounded by three volcanos, and it is listed an UNESCO heritage site. Today there was just time for Cerro de la Cruz, the Catedral de Santiago and glimpses of school buses that may have taken me to school in a past life.






About Lisa M. Asta, MD

Lisa M. Asta, M.D. is board-certified by the American Board of Pediatrics and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, for which she is also a Media Representative (she has been interviewed for “Kids Health” on Health Radio, and quoted in Parenting Magazine, USA Today, and the New York Times, among other publications). She is a Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the University of California at San Francisco and past pediatric chair at John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek. She graduated from Temple University School of Medicine and the Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Asta is also a writer whose fiction has appeared in Inkwell, Philadelphia Stories, Schuylkill, and Zeniada. Her essays have appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Hippocrates, the San Jose Mercury News, and The New Physician Magazine. She is an occasional contributor to KQED public radio’s Perspectives series, and has written articles for Bay Area Parent, Valley Parent, Parents’ Press, and Parents Express, as well as online at,, and She wrote a chapter in The Field Guide to the Normal Newborn, ed. Gary Emmet, M.D. currently has two how-to videos for parents in production which feature Dr. Asta. For more on Dr. Asta’s writing, visit
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1 Response to Antigua Guatemala: Day 1

  1. Faces of Hope has plans to return to Antigua every July. The hospital Hermano Santo has many volunteer groups and may be able to provide recommendations.

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