Refuge International

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


Thursday, 28 June 2018

image001Refuge International is excited to announce the appointment of Carroll Greenwaldt as president to the Board of Directors. Carroll has actively served on the Board for over 3 years and is a longtime member of the Refuge International family. He has been instrumental in building upon our work in the Petén region helping build a collaborative relationship between Refuge, Rotary International and the National Hospital in San Benito.

“From my earliest trip to Sarstún in 2008, I have been “hooked.” I know that we will grow and strengthen Refuge, building on the solid foundation that Deborah Bell and so many others have laid,” Carroll commented to the Board.

An individual with a servant’s calling, Carroll has been a Rotarian for over 30 years and has served on Refuge/Rotary teams to Guatemala to help in medical clinics, deliver school supplies, and distribute parasite-eradicating medicines to children. He led the development of two large Global Grants. The first provided 4-million doses of Albendazole that Refuge volunteers distributed throughout Guatemala through the Ministry of Education in 2011. The second culminated in delivering over $100,000 of much-needed Nursery/NICU instruments and equipment to the Hospital National de San Benito in 2017. The same grant also enabled Deborah Bell and Dr. Kimberly Garcia to train over 192 mid-wives across the Petén Department. Carroll has served in several Rotarian leadership roles, serving as President of both the Longview South Rotary Club in 1984-85 and the Rotary Club of Longview in 2009-2010. In terms of local projects, Carroll was most pleased to lead a team that established a backpack program in the Longview Independent School District that fed as many as 800 children each weekend over several school years, serving all 13 campuses in the District. In 2011, Carroll was honored by his club as Rotarian of the Year. He served as Rotary District 5830 Governor for 2014-15 and is the Current District Foundation Chair. He is also currently a Board member of the Lone Star P.E.T.S. organization that trains over 700 Rotary President-Elects each March. He received the Rotary International Distinguished Service Award in 2017.

Born in Central Texas, Carroll attended Southern Methodist University and earned a BS in Mechanical Engineering in 1975. He later earned a MBA from Stephen F. Austin University and has been employed by Eastman Chemical Company in Longview, TX, for over 43 years, serving in a variety of leadership positions. He is currently the Director of Utilities, a Cogeneration Power Generating Plant, and Environmental Services at Eastman.

Active in his community, Carroll has served as a Board member of the Greater Longview United Way and as President of the Founding Board of Artsview Children’s Theater in Longview. In Scouting, he has served in a number of leadership roles, culminating as District Chairman in Longview serving over 2000 scouts in Gregg and Upshur Counties. He served on the Executive and Advisory Boards of the East Texas Area Council, Boy Scouts of America.  He currently serves on the East Texas Food Bank Development Board in Tyler. He and his wife, Mary, are active in First United Methodist Church of Longview, where he has served in a number of positions through 40+ years. Carroll and Mary enjoy life with their three adult children and seven grandchildren, ages 3 to 13 years old.

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.