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August 4, 2016
Press Release

SAN DIEGO – August 4, 2016 - A team of volunteers sent by San Diego-based International Relief Teams (IRT) will head to the rural community of Santa Elena Barillas, Guatemala on Saturday, August 6 to screen and fit hundreds of children and adults with distance and reading glasses as part of IRT’s “Better Vision – Brighter Future” program.

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 nearly 4,000 children and adults, and provided more than 3,700 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.” 

Kelly Hardiman of Bonita will lead the team; she has led teams for IRT on international trips for over 20 years. The team includes Erin Hardiman, Bonita; Kimbie Palacio, San Diego; Janet Ostaggi Towle, Lompoc, CA; Catharine Mary Farrell, Santa Maria, CA.


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.

San Diego-based International Relief Teams works to alleviate 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. For more information visit: http://www.irteams.org. Also see us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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