Sunday, March 19, 2017

Our Mission . . .

Excerpt from Trip Report:  Our first mission trip to the Dominican Republic was in 2009. While it was OUR first experience, the road map by which we traveled had been well established by I.L.A.C., Institute for Latin American Concern, back in 1972. Originally developed for religious groups to offer opportunities for priests, seminarians and students to experience the problems of people living in developing nations, over the years this focus had been expanded to include a variety of services and surgical specialties to include SOfA's (our) hernia repair focus.

Our small team arrived and were humbled by the extreme level of appreciation that we experienced during the week.  Prior to the trip, we each had our own vision of what we would see and experience. And while each one of us would likely share similar stories as they related to our personal interactions with the people of the Dominican Republic, without exception, we would each say that we experienced a level of “conscientization” that the original founders of I.L.A.C. intended. And while some would say that we gave of our time and talents, we would say that the gifts we received were far greater than anything we could give.

In 2009, in our first year, we completed 56 hernia repair surgeries and 5 small procedures.

Since 2009, SOfA has completed annual mission trips to the Dominican Republic and El Salvador. We organize small groups of volunteer surgeons, nurses and medical professionals to perform basic, but life changing surgeries.