Hands Across the Americas

Medical Missions

Hands Across the Americas is committed to providing free medical care to communities in North, Central and South America where people are living in extreme poverty and do not receive or have access to adequate healthcare. Teams of volunteers including doctors, nurses and support personnel embark on annual medical missions to provide medical attention and healthcare education.

Cusco, Peru

Cusco, PeruHands Across the Americas completed our fifth medical mission in Cusco, Peru in August 2012.  The organization took a team of 42 volunteers, comprising a team who specialize in general surgery, pediatrics, gynecology, internal medicine, optometry and dentistry, as well as several nurses and non-medical volunteers. This year, the team served people in 5 remote locations outside of Cusco who are living in extreme poverty. This was the first year that we performed surgeries on the Peru mission and it was a huge success.  Our surgeons assisted and trained 22 local surgeons, made 100 patients rounds and conducted 5 lectures on surgical techniques.

The Primary Care physicians treated approximately 985 people and dispensed about $40,000 worth of medications.  In addition, the eye doctors did 285 eye exams, performed 6 cataract surgeries and treated 8 people with glaucoma, providing them with enough medication to last for one year. We also distributed 500 pairs of sunglasses, 800 reading glasses, 10 wheel chairs, 15 canes and 6 walkers.

Hands Across the Americas has touched people from all over the world.  Our volunteers are from all over—people from the United States, Colombia, Puerto Rico, Panama, Turkey, and Peru have attended the Peru missions. We also invite college and high school students to join us. Our young adult volunteers are very important members of the team and we are pleased that we are contributing to helping our younger generation give back.

Read about a teacher, student and recent alumna from Garrison Forest School experience on the Hands Across the Americas Peru Mission. Read More

Bucaramanga, Colombia

Bucaramanga, Colombia In 2008, a team from Hands Across the Americas held a town meeting in Bucaramanga, Colombia.   The room was full of people from all professions, ready to embark on a mission to help a community without access to appropriate medical care. Today, five years later, Hands Across the Americas is still in Bucaramanga, executing our commitment to help families who are less fortunate.  We can see the output of our work and would like you share with you some of our accomplishments.

From 2008 to 2013 we have:
• Provided medical care to approximately 10,000 people
• Dispensed about $300,000 worth of medicines and medical supplies
• Distributed 3,200 reading glasses, 2,800 sun glasses, 35 wheelchairs, 30 walkers and about 50 canes

In addition, on our missions we have found many individuals who needed more help and we quickly act to fulfill our mission of “changing lives one person at a time.” 

  • We found a single mom with three children living in extreme conditions in one room.  All three children were sleeping in a single bed with no sheets.  One of the children had polio and was disabled in a wheelchair.  Hands Across the Americas acted to improve the living conditions for this family by purchasing bunk beds, sheets, clothing, a chest of drawers, fans and food.
  • An 85-year old man who was living alone with a loyal friend, his dog, came to receive medical care and we found out he was living in extreme conditions. We went to his house to assess what he needed and acted to provide him the essentials, ranging from dishes to a mattress, clothing, food and medicine.
  • A woman entered our clinic carrying her 18-year old quadriplegic son in her arms.  Hands Across the Americas provided her with a special wheelchair.

These are some of the many testimonials that attest to the difference we make.  It is these faces we take home with us and cannot wait to come back to improve the quality of life for these wonderful and deserving people in some small way. Read more ...

Cali, Columbia

Cali, ColumbiaThe Hands Across the Americas 2008 surgical medical mission to Cali, Columbia was a huge success due to the broad range of specialists that enabled the team to help more than four thousand patients over six days. Fifty-seven medical and non-medical volunteers provided help to women and children by performing surgeries, conducting routine medical exams, dispensing medications, providing vaccinations, and education on several wellness issues to promote health. Read more ...