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Catalina’s Story

By September 14, 2019Stories
Catalina Ixcopal, shown with mission nurses Arabelle Reed and Gillian Manchip

Catalina Ixcopal, center, with PfS mission nurses Arabelle Reed and Gillian Manchip


Catalina Ixcopal is a Partner for Surgery patient whose efforts to get medical care are, unfortunately, typical of the 1,000 individuals we will serve in 2019. Eight years ago, Ixcopal noticed a mass growing on her shoulder. After two more years, it was creating significant discomfort. She worried it was malignant. Catalina went to the National Hospital and was told they could not help her.

Then last May, she heard a radio announcement saying that one of our rural triage teams would soon be in the government health center near her community. Catalina decided to attend because she knew PfS used community health promoters who spoke the local Mayan languages and trusted us to help her. Sure enough, Catalina was assured that surgery was possible. Accompanied by the health promoter, she journeyed to Antigua where her non-malignant mass was removed.

Standing between PfS team nurses Arabelle Reed and Gillian Manchip, Catalina expressed her feelings, saying “Thank you so much. The quality of care is amazing and someone was always looking after me. I don’t have any pain, I don’t feel sick, and I haven’t felt like this for many years.”

Interested in how you can help rural Guatemalans like Catalina? There are lots of ways you can get involved, from a variety of ways to donate or volunteer on a mission to simply helping us get the word out on social media. To learn more, visit our How You Can Help page.