< Back to all Press releases


October 13, 2016
Press Release

SAN DIEGO – October 13, 2016 - A team of volunteers sent by San Diego-based International Relief Teams (IRT) will head to Guatemala on Saturday, October 15 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 5-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 Saturday, October 15; Aeromexico Flight #0185, departing Tijuana at 9:28 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 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.” 

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, Lompoc; John Zawis, La Mesa; Heidi Geller, Sandy, OR.


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.

Sign up to receive inspiring stories and learn how you can help.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form