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.

How You Can Help

Medical Mission Trip Information

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Volunteer Spotlight: Connelly Cowan

Connelly CowanConnelly Cowan started gathering school supplies through donations from her church, family, and friends at the early age of 7. She is now 14 years old.

I asked Connelly what drives her to continue to support Refuge International. Connelly replied, “I see the good things that Refuge International does and what an impact it makes on people in Guatemala. I want to continue to help children have access to educational tools.” The school supplies that we receive today in Longview will help the multiple schools that we collaborate with in Guatemala.

Latest News

Refuge International Announces New Board Members

Refuge International is excited to announce the appointment of Tiffany Egbe, MD and Jose Sanchez, JD, MPA to the Refuge International Board of Directors.

Tiffany EgbeTiffany Egbe, MD Jose SanchezJose I. Sanchez
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Real People. Real Stories.

Cruz's Story

Cruz and his brother with medical staffCruz and his brother with medical staffCruz Ajqui Ixquiactep, a shy, quiet 27-year-old from Xojola (pronounced “show-ho-la”), came to the Chocolá clinic during our July mission trip for a consult on a possible small hydrocele. During the exam, however, Refuge International volunteer Dr. Jason Murry noted the presence of a large mass on Cruz’s right thigh (and no hydrocele issues).

Cruz told Dr. Murry that the “bump” had been there for a few months and caused him pain and irritation. Dr. Murry noted that the mass was likely benign, but given the size and location, said it would best be removed by an orthopedic surgeon—one of whom would be arriving with our next mission trip in San Raymundo just two weeks later.

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Upcoming Trips

February 16-23, 2019
San Raymundo Medical Mission
Designated flight

March 9-16, 2019 (student spots full)
Chocola Medical Mission
Designated flight

March 9-16, 2019 (Trip Full)
Village Clinic Week
Sarstun Medical Mission
Designated flight

March 23-30, 2019 (RNs & OR only)
Sarstun Medical Mission
Designated flight

April 6-13, 2019
Petén Medical Mission

Orthopedic Team
May 11-18, 2019
San Raymundo Medical Mission

Women’s Health Jornada
May 18-25, 2019 (student spots full)
San Raymundo Medical Mission

July 13-20, 2019
Chocola Medical Mission

August 3-10, 2019
San Raymundo Medical Mission

August 24-31, 2019
Sarstun Medical Mission

October 19-26, 2019
San Raymundo Medical Mission

November 9-16, 2019
Chocola Medical Mission

December 7-14, 2019
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.”