As we were escorted to the men’s floor first, one man specifically grinned ear to ear as he rolled towards the door, twisted the doorknob and pushed it open welcoming Kendall, Kenzie, Isa and I inside. The prison-like door had vertical, black bars, covered with Christmas decorations. Inside about 10-12 men rolling around or sitting quietly in their wheelchairs. Diego – also smiling ear to ear – held out his hand to greet us.
Diego grabbed my hand. He pulled it up towards his mouth giving me a kiss as if I were royalty. Still holding my hand he pulled me in for a hug. Surprised to be getting a hug from a man I just met, I received his hug as if I were his visiting grandchild.
Virgen del Socorro Hogar De Ninos Y Adultos Especiales (home for special children and adults ) is one of Faith In Practice’s newest facilities, which helps expand medical care in Guatemala. This residence is home to many who have been abandoned. It is home to Diego.
Getting out of the tuk tuk upon arrival, I looked up to see multiple mustard-colored buildings, barren plantation, construction workers and security guards. As I was led down the long winding path toward the entrance of the home, I saw green landscape and two volcanoes to my left.
Stepping into the entrance, I expected to see several nurses, volunteers and care providers, but I saw the exact opposite of that. Each floor accommodates different patients with only about two to three care providers and nurses per floor. One floor contained elderly women, another contained men, and another contained children.