For many HELPS volunteers, the commitment to the cause far exceeds the boundaries of the annual ten days spent in Guatemala. In the smiling faces of the Guatemalan people, they are reminded of why they continue to push forward with efforts towards poverty reduction. The time spent in Guatemala serves as a reunion for the HELPS family and the Guatemalan people, inspiring us all to keep the cause close heart throughout the year. Steve and Alicia Harris from Dallas made their 11th trip to Guatemala this January to support the efforts of HELPS’ Healthcare Program. As an OB/GYN, Steve gains through medical missions a new perspective on his profession and on his life that inspires him to keep coming back.

You hit the ground running, and you’re changing lives. It’s not just a band-aid, its something that lasts.  This is the real deal. This is real medicine. What you give goes directly to the care of people.

“I thought it would be one trip,” Steve says as he recalls his thoughts regarding the first trip. Trends in “medical tourism” caused skepticism, as this practice is largely frowned upon in the medical community. Steve talked with us about what sets HELPS apart from other Healthcare efforts:

“ I didn’t want to go and just hand out pills, I wanted to do what God has given me some skill with, which is connecting one on one with patients. HELPS has been here a long time. The infrastructure is here and the impact is amazing. You hit the ground running, and you’re changing lives. It’s not just a band-aid, its something that lasts. This is the real deal. This is real medicine. What you give goes directly to the care of people.”