Tens of thousands of Guatemalan children and their families have received medical attention and health education, and more than 8,000 people have received access to surgery, since Partner for Surgery was founded in 2001.

Our staff is present year-round in Guatemala, building trust locally. From our Guatemalan Health Promoters, to our network of Rural Midwives, to our medical teams in the field or at our surgical facility, we bridge the language, distance, and cultural barriers, making each patient’s long trip from their village and back home again a safe one.


How You Can Help

Partner for Surgery always needs help getting the word out about the inequity of life for the Maya and the important role our programs play in improving their lives.

Since our inception in 2001, over 40,000 poor Guatemalans, primarily Maya, have received medical care and health education, and over 7,000 have been given access to surgery. As the word spreads among the rural poor we serve, we need to expand our network.

We rely on our volunteers and our donors to help us reach out to everyone who needs our help.


Mobile Medical Missions

The need is growing – word continues to spread about Partner for Surgery. We are the only ones who do what we do – bring volunteer medical triage and surgical teams to poor rural communities where medical care is so desperately needed.

Some members of our small, hard working Guatemalan staff personally escort the medical professionals to the areas where they are needed, and translate from English to Spanish to the dozens of languages spoken among the indigenous people. But what sets us apart is our network of Health Promoters.

Because most Guatemalans in the areas we serve have never received medical care and are afraid of hospitals, our first order of business is to build trust. The Health Promoters accomplish this because they live in the villages, among the people we serve, and inform and educate them about the services we offer. By the time a mission comes their way, patients know they can trust us and are anxious to be seen and helped.

Several times a year, we organize and lead a one-week Medical Triage Mission to a Guatemalan rural area. Usually, 2-4 volunteer medical professionals (doctors and nurses) from North America evaluate approximately 1000 patients.

The doctors conduct examinations, educate patients about their health options, and typically identify a couple hundred surgical candidates. Doctors and nurses who serve return year after year. They tell us helping these grateful people reminds them why they entered the medical field.

The Health Promoters also participate in the Medical Triage Missions by helping with translation, social-economic study and scheduling of the patients referred for surgery.



We are looking for volunteers with applicable management, fund raising and marketing skills to help Partner for Surgery transform more Guatemalan lives.

Are you a medical professional?

You can volunteer to one of our medical missions.

Non-medical opportunities

We also accept non-medical volunteers to be part of our rural medical missions. These missions spend a week working in four different communities doing patient triage, visiting patients in their homes and enjoying local cultural activities. They provide a unique look into another culture and for many participants these missions are a major highlight of their travel experiences.

If you would like to volunteer or know of someone who would be interested in joining Partner for Surgery, please contact us.