A Different Kind of Journey

Making lasting connections with our friends in Guatemala has been one of the unexpected gratifications of our mission. When I arrived at The Moore Center in November 2015, I was introduced to the new “local orthopedic surgeon”, Dr. Juan Carlos Navas. I was told that Dr. Navas would be taking care of our patients after we returned to the U.S. I found Dr. Navas to be a kind, compassionate doctor who was more than happy to take time away from his family and regular adult orthopedic practice so that he could help serve underprivileged children in his own country, and perhaps learn a few “new things” from the visiting Americans. This was the beginning of a mutual exchange of ideas and expertise that has now blossomed into a wonderful collegial friendship. Dr. Navas has travelled as our guest to the U.S. on 3 occasions to attend educational meetings and conferences. He has become a prominent pediatric orthopedic surgeon in Guatemala City, and in 2019 hosted the First International Pediatric Orthopedic Conference which was attended by physicians and surgeons from all over Central America. I had the privilege of being part of the North American faculty, and you could feel the energy of all the participants as they expanded their knowledge and skills to treat underserved children in their own communities. –John Williams MD, president-Operation KidDocs