Refuge International

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


Thursday, 21 June 2018

Pediatric hospital roomOne of the ways Refuge International works to improve healthcare in Guatemala is by bridging relationships between local providers and other organizations looking to provide resources and support in developing countries.

Last year, a Refuge International team went to the Petén, and with them went Dee Bandel and JoAnn Parkman, members of the Paris United Rotary Club. During a tour of the national hospital, they noted that the Pediatric Medicine area was one large, hot room shared by all the sick children and their parents. Those with bacterial infections were infecting those with viral infections.

Rotary members both here in Texas and in the Petén joined together to provide $1,800, which enabled the space to be separated by glass and doors. Air conditioning units installed in each area mean that children are more likely to go home sooner, without the risk of infection due to cross-contamination (and A/C is a real blessing in a hot and humid climate like the Petén!). As a finishing touch, a few coats of bright-colored paint give the patients and their families a much more welcoming space for care and recovery!

Medicina Pediatrica poster

Wednesday, 04 April 2018

Leslie GoudarziRefuge International is excited to welcome Leslie Goudarzi, MS, RD, LD, CNSC 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!

Wednesday, 07 February 2018

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.