One 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!