Medical Mission Trips
Since 1992, groups from The Shalom Foundation have been making trips to Guatemala to help the people in any way possible. In 2011, through hard work, donations, and a lot of prayer, The Moore Pediatric Surgery Center opened and began providing hope and healing to more than 3,000 children and teenagers.
The Shalom Foundation’s Moore Pediatric Surgery Center addresses the desperate medical and health needs of poor children in Guatemala. The Moore Center is utilized year-round by volunteer medical and surgical teams that provide surgeries across ten different specialties during the course of their one-week trips. These volunteer teams work with local Guatemalan medical specialists to provide the poor with thorough pre-screening care, surgical care and post-op care within our modern surgical facility. By partnering with in-country doctors and nurses for follow up treatment, the the best surgical care possible is provided.
Best of all, the Moore Center provides a more holistic and therefore superior experience for the patients, as opposed to typical “fly-in, fly-out” medical mission trips. With a year-round staff of roughly 18 employees, including Medical Director Dr. Ligia Figueroa, patients are afforded the opportunity for continued treatment and observation.
This unique model can provide ongoing services where there are otherwise none available. The Moore Center provides hope and the opportunity to heal hundreds of children each year.
Collaboration with medical organizations in both the United States and Guatemala is key to the success of The Moore Center. Volunteer Medical Teams are supported by Children’s Hospitals and other recognized medical organizations across the United States.
If you're interested in creating or sponsoring a volunteer medical team, please click here.
"I met a mother who traveled over 1200 miles to have her child evaluated for surgery. I was amazed that a woman would travel by foot, truck and bus for many days just for an evaluation of her child, without a promise for surgery. Her dedication to the health of her child who otherwise had little hope for surgery made me realize the true impact that we, as mission surgeons, have on the lives of these children and families." - Dr. Sherry Ross, UNC School of Medicine
Guatemala currently has the third highest rate of chronic malnutrition in the world, affecting over half of its children.
Distinct from acute malnutrition, chronic malnutrition causes birth defects and stunting, hinders intellectual growth and brain development, and can eventually lead to lower income levels for these individuals as an adult. As a result, almost half of children in Guatemala have been left behind, either physically or cognitively - or both - before they are 5 years old.
This poses not only a grave public health issue, but also a major obstacle for the country’s economic development: malnutrition costs Guatemala over $300 million per year in lost GDP.
The Shalom Foundation is no stranger to these instances of chronic malnutrition, as we see them frequently at our Moore Center in Guatemala City. Troubled by the staggering number of malnourished children, founder Steve Moore reached out to Ted Fischer, of Vanderbilt University’s Center for Latin American Studies, to come up with a solution. Together, they created a social enterprise, NutriPlus, which focuses on aiding nutrition and also produces Mani+ (MAH’-nee ploos), a ready-to-eat, peanut-based supplement that aids in combating chronic malnutrition in Guatemala.
Mani+ is the only Ready-to-Use Supplementary Food (RUSF) adapted specifically to the nutritional deficiencies found in Guatemala and Central America. It seeks to treat and prevent chronic malnutrition, focusing on the first 1000 days of life for maximum impact on growth and development in the future.
In an effort to further help and better the futures of Guatemalan children, The Shalom Foundation supports NutriPlus and Mani+ both administratively and spiritually. “We can’t take care of the children through surgeries if we don’t also fight the war on malnutrition.”