Giving Back

Here at Ink Your Way, we believe that the true meaning of life is caring for others. As a healthcare professional, you likely feel the same way.

children in Guatemala
A few of the sweet faces we’ve worked with through Grace Ministries and COTA, via translating.

We believe so strongly in this and the need to give back that we put a portion of our proceeds toward providing medical care for children in Guatemala, where the healthcare system is difficult to navigate if you’re poor. In fact, many children die because their families cannot afford the medications or treatments that they desperately need.

Here’s a snapshot of what you might experience if you take a sick child to a public hospital in Guatemala:

Imagine your toddler has a fever and is vomiting blood. You immediately take them to the ER because you know this is serious. As soon as you arrive at the hospital, you’re told that only one parent may enter. In addition, you must sign a paper saying you will not do anything if your child does not recover. In your desperation, you sign and decide that the mother will accompany the child.

Once inside the hospital, interns rush to check your baby out. They quickly check temperature and determine that the child has a severe fever. They then draw blood and give you the vial, along with a piece of paper listing the tests to be run on the blood. There is no lab in the hospital, so you give the blood and paper to the father who is waiting outside the hospital. The tests will cost Q100, around $12. But since one of you works in the fields for $3 a day and the other washes clothes for $2 a day, this means you will spend the money you have saved up.

sick Guatemalan baby
Another little one we worked with.

Labs are back and your baby needs antibiotics. The hospital stay is free, but they only have one bag of saline to rehydrate your little one. This means the father needs to go to a nearby pharmacy and purchase the antibiotics, as well as saline. The total comes to Q600, or around $75. There’s no way to pay for that, so the father chooses to purchase one day of antibiotics and returns to the hospital, where he is told by doctors that he MUST find the money for the remainder.

Left with no choice, he heads back out to see if anyone will lend him the money. Family members pool their savings and come up with $30, but the remainder is begged for from strangers in the street. Or worse, a predatory loan shark will provide the money in exchange for a lien against their one room home.

This is just a simple issue. Imagine if your child needs surgery, multiple exams, or even more medications. It can rapidly turn into a situation where the child dies and/or the family is left in a great debt. It’s stressful enough to have a sick child without having to worry about where you will get the money for a simple urine or blood test and that is what we help with.

In the future, we also hope to coordinate medical clinics where our clients can do their own giving back by visiting Guatemala and providing healthcare in their area of specialty. Please contact us if this is something that interests you.