Guatemala – August 2015

BRIGHT took its biggest team yet, with 19 members, to Hope of Life International in Zacapa, Guatemala. The team spread itself amongst three different service opportunities, and left a much larger impact than ever before.

One team served at Kelly’s House, a home for orphans with severe disabilities. The physical therapist worked on mobility and positioning, the occupational therapist encouraged independent feeding & tooth brushing, and the music therapist & Speech and Language Pathologist worked on functional goals for the residents. The water therapist also took kids to the pool at least twice over the course of the week and was able to increase their strength and mobility using the water.

The early intervention specialists spent their week at the Nutrition Center, working with babies and toddlers who were malnourished and there for feeding treatments. They were able to get the kids out of their cribs, out of their rooms, up a ramp (physical therapy) to a play area, where they were able to explore balls, parachutes, tunnels, and toys (occupational therapy and recreational therapy). These babies are accompanied to the nutrition center by either one or both parents, so the parents were able to participate in a mommy-and-me music group, a speech and language presentation, infant massage training, and a bible study.

The third team served at Safe Haven Village and The Village of Transformation with orphans living in family style foster placements. The parent educator and social worker were able to address issues with behavior and trauma, while encouraging the families to place healthy boundaries on their new homes (something the children were previously lacking). Some of these children were also assisted by an occupational therapist for sensory needs as well as a special educator for their academic needs.

Read our blog posts from the 2015 Guatemala Trip.

The BRIGHT Children International team at an airport before travelling to Guatemala in 2015.