Medical Travel Team members are involved in conducting a full Vision Clinic, Cataract Surgeries and Pterygium Removal Procedures close to where the impoverished indigenous Maya live. The first week, full vision screening and assessments are performed, providing education on maintaining healthy eyes, assembling and dispensing prescription glasses for distance, astigmatism, bi-focal, reading and sunglasses; counseling and referring both candidates for Cataract surgeries and patients needing medical referrals. The second week, cataract surgeries and pterygium removal procedures are performed on site.
• Primary, all missioners must have a missionary heart —with attitude of servant and flexibility.
• One should be in good health so as to meet the demands of a busy schedule —high altitude (6500 ft).
• It is helpful, but not required, to be able to speak Spanish since the Maya speak a dialect of Quiché. However, we always have a great need for bilingual team members to serve as translators from English to Spanish
• One does not have to be Catholic to participate in a Travel Team but are encouraged to fully participate in every aspect of the mission experience which includes prayers and reflection times.
• Both medical (Optometrists, Medical Doctor, Ophthalmologists, Opticians, Optical Techs) and non-medical team members are needed to process the many patients.
• Be committed to the Mandatory Team Formation Meetings and the mission process itself.
What do I need to KNOW before joining the Faith Sharing team?
Joining an SOS Travel Team involves a number of personal responsibilities and commitments. To learn more about these, visit General Travel Information section for details.
How can I JOIN the Faith Sharing team?
To join the Medical Team, first please review the General Travel Information section to obtain pertinent details before submitting a SOS Pre-Application Form. Applicants are placed on a Preliminary Team Roster and will be contacted to set up an interview.
Team Formation Meetings
There are approximately four to five Mandatory Team Formation meetings held usually on Sundays at Houston, TX, locations. Meetings are for:
• Becoming culturally and spiritually prepared
• Being introduced to SOS mission entry protocols for entering indigenous communities
• Covering the "nuts and bolts" of the trip such as packing lists, safety protocols, airport logistics etc.
• Being assigned to a specific Clinic Station and trained during a Clinic-In Service to perform with confidence one's duties and responsibilities regarding your Station.
• Participate in a Mock Clinic to practice your skills on volunteer patients before departure
• Being commissioned and sent forth by the faithful to serve Our Lord and His people.
• Attending a three hour mini-retreat to refocus on the spiritual nature of the mission.