Refuge International

Improving lives through healthcare, nutrition, clean water, and education.

About Refuge International

Volunteers making hearts with their handsRefuge International makes a difference through collaborative and sustainable programs. Our projects focus primarily on basic healthcare, adequate nutrition, clean water, and education.

Golf ball with heart15th Annual Refuge Roundup Golf Tournament

Saturday, June 16, 2018
Registration & Lunch: 12 PM
Tee Time: 1 PM

$100 entry fee per player
Wood Hollow Golf Club
Longview, TX


Download the 2017 Refuge International Newsletter!

This year, 333 amazing volunteers cared for over 5,200 patients in Texas and Guatemala.

Download the newsletter to learn about a very unexpected visitor to Women's Health Week; a couple who can handle any task from surgery to carpentry; and more!

Click here to read the PDF.

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Save the Dates!

money bag3rd Annual Rednecks for Refuge Draw Down
Saturday, April 21, 2018

golf ball15th Annual Refuge Roundup Golf Tournament
Saturday, June 16, 2018

Bike silhouetted against the sun7th Annual Chainge the World Bike Ride
Saturday, September 15, 2018

Introducing a New Board Member: Leslie Goudarzi

Leslie GoudarziRefuge International is excited to welcome Leslie Goudarzi to our board of directors.

Leslie received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Nutrition Science from Stephen F. Austin State University in 1993 and 1995 respectively. She has over 20 years of experience as a Registered Dietitian, providing clinical nutrition therapy to adult and pediatric populations, sports nutrition education, and weight management education; and she is Board Certified in Nutrition Support by the American Society of Enteral and Parenteral Nutrition.

Leslie is currently employed at Christus-Good Shepherd Medical System in Longview. We are very excited for her to join our Refuge International team!

Announcing Our New In-Country Team Leader: Kimberly Johnson

Kimberly JohnsonRefuge International is excited to welcome Kimberly Johnson as our full-time, in-country team leader. Kimberly will be based in San Raymundo, Guatemala and will manage all Refuge International mission teams, volunteer communications and clinic inventories, as well as aiding with our fund development initiatives and marketing efforts.

Kimberly brings to Refuge International an extensive career in marketing and advertising, having worked with companies including Chick-fil-A, The Home Depot, Medical City, United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, and Dr Pepper Snapple Group.

In 2008, Kimberly embarked on a new career path and spent the next 8 years leading complex active travel vacations both internationally and domestic. She’s no stranger to managing large groups in foreign countries. Her passion for Refuge International’s mission comes from the time Kimberly has spent living and working in various developing countries and seeing how great the need is for improving lives.

A native of California, Kimberly graduated from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, and later relocated to Dallas, Texas to build her career. An avid road cyclist, hiker, adventurer and cultural explorer, Kimberly is excited to now call Guatemala home.

Upcoming Trips

March 18-24, 2018
Sarstun Medical Mission
Designated flight

April 7-14, 2018
Petén Medical Mission

May 12-19, 2018
Women's Health Jornada
San Raymundo Medical Mission
Designated flight

May 19-26, 2018
Orthopedic Team
San Raymundo Medical Mission
Designated flight

July 7-14, 2018
Chocola Medical Mission

July 28-August 4, 2018
San Raymundo Medical Mission

August 11-18, 2018
Sarstun Medical Mission

October 20-27, 2018
San Raymundo Medical Mission

November 10-17, 2018
Chocola Medical Mission

December 8-15, 2018
Sarstun Medical Mission

Change is not something to simply wish or wait for. Real change requires intent and action.

Refuge International is an organization comprised of dedicated, compassionate volunteers committed to making real change happen in the lives of those who need it most. Through lifesaving medical mission trips, supporting schools and educational programs and vital clean water projects we are turning the tide on poverty for people living in rural Guatemala villages. And, right here in East Texas, our volunteers provide medical assistance to homeless individuals at the Hiway 80 Rescue Mission. Join us in our mission to help build a brighter future for others.

A Lesson In Change

Among hundreds of people waiting to visit with Mahatma Gandhi in the 1930's were a mother and her young son. When it was their turn, the woman asked Gandhi to speak with her son about the excessive amounts of sugar the boy ate. Gandhi asked her to return with her son in two weeks and he would talk to the boy then. Unsure as to why Gandhi didn't just speak to the boy at that moment, she nodded and complied with his request. In two weeks, the mother returned with her son. After waiting a few hours to meet with him again, she repeated her initial request. Gandhi immediately spoke with the boy, who agreed to begin working to eliminate sweets. After thanking Gandhi for his wise and compassionate words, the mother asked him why he didn't just offer his advice the first time. Gandhi replied, "Upon your visit two weeks ago, I too was eating sugar." He explained that he could not speak of, or teach, her son to not eat sugar if he had not taken that journey himself.

“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”