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International Relief Teams Brings Better Vision to Guatemalans in Need

October 3, 2018
Press Release

October 3, 2018 – SAN DIEGO – A team of volunteers sent by San Diego-based International Relief Teams (IRT) will head to Guatemala on Sunday, October 7 to screen and fit hundreds of children and adults with distance and reading glasses as part of IRT’s “Better Vision, Brighter Future” program. For one week, the six-member team will operate a clinic in the small community of San Luis Jilotepeque, where over 60% of the population lives in poverty.

The San Diego-based volunteers will leave on Sunday, October 7; American Airlines Flight #1611, departing San Diego at 8:51 a.m.

Guatemala consistently ranks as one of the poorest countries in the world. Many Guatemalans, especially those living in remote mountainous villages, have little or no access to eye care and suffer needlessly, unable to learn in school or maintain a job to provide for their families. Since 2013, IRT volunteers have screened more than 8,000 children and adults, and provided nearly 7,700 pairs of eyeglasses in Guatemala.

“These eyeglasses are small miracles for the poor,” says Rose Uranga, IRT Director of Operations & Program Development. “They enable school children to learn, and give adults the ability to work and provide for their families.”

Rose Uranga will lead the team on Saturday; she has previously led volunteer teams to more than 10 countries over the past 25 years. The team includes Kelly Hardiman, Bonita; Patricia Sommer, La Mesa; John Zawis, La Mesa; Heidi Geller, Sandy, OR; Henri Migala, Spring Valley.

IRT has worked in Guatemala since 1992 providing disaster relief, nutrition support, and surgical teams. IRT has conducted eyeglass clinics in rural communities around the country since 2013.

International Relief Teams alleviates the suffering caused by poverty and disaster around the globe, from the forgotten corners of the world to right here at home, by sending volunteer teams and medical supplies to make immediate change for the world’s most vulnerable people.

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