With suitcases, backpacks, materials, stimuli, and toys in hand, students from the Master’s in Speech Language Pathology (MSLP) Program of Albizu University embarked upon a Mission to Guatemala in October, 2017. A total of eleven students from Puerto Rico and Miami Campuses, along with faculty members flew to Guatemala to participate in the mission.
The MSLP Program was part of a group mission consisting of physicians, nurses, orthotists, and other professionals organized through Hearts in Motion. Each day the location requiring services changed, but the needs of the people of Guatemala remained constant. Daily, the MSLP students were met with families lining the halls awaiting their arrival and seeking help for their loved ones with speech and language, communication, and/or swallowing impairments.
The eleven students with supervision from faculty worked with a total of 202 children and adults in six days. Students helped families gain an understanding of the impairments or delays that were impeding language and swallowing skills for their children, parents or themselves. They empowered the families through information, tools from the environment, suggestions of activities, and carryover techniques to aid in and enhance the communication and feeding skills of the individuals.
Mahatma Gandhi said, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the services of others.” Our MSLP students have truly found themselves. They have set an example and have seen first-hand how compassion, drive, and love for what you do and who you serve can and does make a difference. Our students made a difference in Guatemala and will continue to make a difference in the world through their professional endeavors.