One Day, One Clinic: Lifetime of Rippling Impact


When passionate hearts come together with good intentions, anything is possible. Everything can change. We can better the world.
Cuando corazones apasionados se mueven juntos con buenas intenciones cualquier cosa es posible! Todo puede cambiar por un mundo mejor.

~ Inscription on the walls of the Villa Nueva Clinic by Efosa Guobadia (English) & Mayor Edwin Escobar (Español)

The transformation and change in Villa Nueva, Guatemala and the surrounding communities are not mere words on the wall of a new clinic. The clinic exemplifies what happens “when passionate hearts come together with good intentions.” A healthier community is formed impacting not only their members but people throughout Guatemala City, Guatemala, El Salvador, and beyond. The healthier community evolved and continues to evolve through the ripple effect of compassionate accompanying relationships formed around a common vision to enhance people’s lives for a healthier world.

Move Together’s collaboration with the Municipality of Villa Nueva started with a connection in January 2017 between Evelyn Paiz, Mayor Edwin Escobar, First Lady Ginna Lopez, and CEO of Move Together Efosa Guobadia. They shared their passions and hopes for sustainable and increased access to rehabilitation medicine in Guatemala and the world. Mayor Escobar and First Lady Lopez were already committed and working on ways to increase access to quality healthcare in the municipality; thus, Move Together’s mission to increase access to quality rehabilitation medicine around the corner and around the world with community sustainability aligned perfectly with the Mayor and First Lady’s vision for Villa Nueva. Villa Nueva at the time had one physiotherapy clinic serving the 800,000 to 1,000,000 residents; therefore, the ideas and relationships formed with a common vision and intentional action opened the doors to the collaborative building and functionalizing a sustainable second physiotherapy clinic in the Villa Nueva Municipality.

On May 22, 2017, over 100 individuals from various walks of life came together to construct and functionalize a 3-building physiotherapy clinic in Villa Nueva at Mercado Concepción. The tremendous efforts included future patients, community members and leaders, Guatemalan physical therapy (PT) students, Guatemalan English/Spanish translators, and the Move Together family from the United States (US). The group from the states truly represented a family as they came together from diverse backgrounds and experiences with passionate hearts to share and receive the love of helping hands, encouraging words, and listening hearts. Many reflected afterward on the language of love experienced throughout the week that transcended all communication and cultural barriers. A smile, a hug, a simple touch, an engaged presence brought tears of joy, new hopes, and life-changing effects to all present. Over the week, local and US physical therapists and students treated 180 patients; local Guatemalan English students improved their English with native speakers; and Guatemalans and US individuals collaborated effectively functionalizing the new clinic for a sustainable future.

The impact of the new physiotherapy clinic in Villa Nueva, Guatemala did not stop when the US Move Together team left for the states. In the first six months of clinic operation, 4,968 treatment sessions occurred, and local PT students continue to be trained and gain hands-on experience with the local physical therapist. Also, the new clinic in Mercado Concepción now offers access to an occupational therapist. This part of the world, Guatemala to El Salvador and beyond, has truly experienced and continues to experience the increase and sustainable access to quality rehabilitation medicine from physical therapy to occupational therapy embodying our mission.

The sustainable future and the development of community within the clinic were extremely visible as Move Together returned with another group of PT students, PT professionals, and a physician assistant approximately seven months later in January 2018. The transformation of the clinic from bare walls to beautiful Guatemalan painted walls made as Bennett voiced a true Guatemalan clinic in Guatemala not a US clinic in Guatemala. This depicts well the empowering impact of the collaboration between the municipality of Villa Nueva and Move Together. The decor had transformed; additional equipment and supplies added; and the clinic is now staffed with one full-time salaried PT and about 15 local rotating PT students throughout the year serving the residents of Villa Nueva, Guatemala, El Salvador, and beyond.

Villa Nueva, Guatemala represents the beginning of our mission to increase access to quality rehabilitation medicine around the corner and around the world. The mission empowers the community which in turn empowers the world to advance the sustainable impacts of healthier movement for a healthier world.

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