Science student volunteers in Guatemala
Guest blog by Anisha Tailor
Hola! My name is Anisha Tailor, and I am entering my fourth year of the Honours Biology program at the University of Waterloo. On August 14, 2014, I embarked on what became some of the best and most fulfilling days of my life. I went to Guatemala for a 12-day medical volunteer trip with an organization called VIDA (Volunteers for Intercultural and Definitive Adventures). Going into the trip, I knew absolutely no one. I had no idea what to expect from the country and its people. I only knew that this trip was something I had dreamed of doing for many years.
Over the course of the trip, I travelled with a group of volunteers, interpreters, and doctors to three different rural towns in Guatemala. We spent two days at each clinic, where we worked in groups to take patient histories, vital signs, diagnose the patients, and prescribe any needed medication. In total, our team was able to help 588 patients. 588 individuals who would not have otherwise received the attention and medical care they needed. Along the way, I learned so much about medicine, Guatemalan culture, and the realities that our patients live through each day.
It truly is difficult to capture such a life-changing experience into just a few words. I could write a novel and even then words would fall short. I think these experiences are ones that you need to go through yourself. Allow yourself to be completely immersed and consumed by the country, culture, and people you meet along the way. Going in to the trip, I knew my perspective of the world would be altered. I just did not realize how much I, myself, would change. I have fallen in love with Guatemala, and this trip reinforced my passion for living a life in service of others.