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My El Salvador Medical Mission—A Heeded Call

My one week medical mission trip to El Salvador made me aware of two inconsistencies in life. First is our insensitivity to all of the blessings that we, who were fortunate enough be born in a first world environment, have been given, and second is the reality that there are countless people out there who are deprived of the most basic services in life. In all of the personal encounters that I have experienced during the trip, it is the ones involving children that resulted in a more unsettling effect on my persona, particularly the children who were born with hand and foot deformities.

Hence, in my own small way, I am grateful for being a part of a mission that was able to bring hope, contentment, and gladness to these young people of El Salvador whose only dream was to be given the opportunity to lead normal lives, and by healing their physical deformities, became happier individuals in return. It was truly heartwarming to see these children beaming with hope in anticipation of finally being able to see themselves as normal kids; with hands and feet that will no longer be sources of speculation and even of ridicule in their respective schools and communities.

I have felt and experienced this feeling of deep gratitude, not only from the children but also from their families as well, knowing that the treatments will not be possible if not for a team of local and foreign medical practitioners who took it upon themselves to correct this deformity that has become a social disease. Indeed, after my volunteer experience in El Salvador, I will never be the same person who was only concerned with counting his own problems and blessings. To say that this experience was able to change my life would be an obvious understatement.

In fact, it would be an offense if I were to declare that the change was exclusively confined to my own personal gains. The truth is, I was merely a small speck in the entirety of its design, and I am certain that the good and noble doctors who were with me would agree with this observation. While the truth will always remain irrefutable and absolute that I learned enormously from these admirable medical experts, in the reality surrounding the situation, it is in helping the children where the essence of this mission truly lies; and not in whatever benefits the team was able to attain.

I am grateful for destiny for having chosen me experience and participate with this noble mission. It has enriched my knowledge on medical technical matters as it has with my understanding of our social responsibility to always, in whatever way that we have been blessed with, profess a self-proclaimed task of helping others. In retrospect, what I truly learned in this mission is the realization that life has blessed us with more material things in order to be possessing of a greater capability of being of service to our fellow men.

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