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

Donate Supplies

Take a Medical Mission Trip

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Latest News

Mission to Guatemala trains Longview doctors on 'cultural competency'

Doctors from Christus Good Shepherd Medical Center-Longview in GuatemalaOn March 9, four internal medicine residency doctors and a dietitian from Christus Good Shepherd Medical Center-Longview arrived in southern Guatemala to treat patients whom one of the travelers called among the poorest of the poor.

The patients came from homes with no electricity, no access to clean water and virtually no access to the level of health care technology that North Americans take for granted — but they expressed a happiness and compassion that the residents say pierced them professionally and personally.

Read more at the Longview News-Journal

Real People. Real Stories.

Laurel Zeller's Story

Laurel Zeller with other nursesI was privileged this past November to travel to Guatemala with an organization called Refuge International. I was part of a minor surgery team that returns to the mountainous town of Chocola three times a year at the invitation of local doctor Sergio Castillo. Knowing that the surgery team is coming, Dr Castillo gathers up patients who appear in need of surgical intervention and arranges for them to return at the designated time.

Read more ...

Upcoming Trips

October 17-24, 2020
San Raymundo Medical Mission

UMU Village Clinic Week
Nov 29 - Dec 6, 2020
Sarstun Medical Mission

December 4-11, 2020
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.”