Usually, the Jesuit Medical Society would embark on excursions to Guatemala every year. From DFW Airport, a group of Med Society students accompanied by Mr. Von Schlehenried and Mrs. Sanchez would fly to Guatemala City and their service site. The purpose of the Guatemala trip is to provide food and donated medicine to the people of Guatemala. However, the Med Society’s trip was canceled due to several reasons.
INTERVIEW WITH MR. VON SCHLEHENRIED
Recently, I had the pleasure of interviewing Mr. Von Schlehenried about the Medical Society’s Guatemala trip and why it was canceled this year.
When was the last time the Medical Society participated in the Guatemala Medical Mission Trip?
“During the fall of 2019, we had many students applying to partake in the Guatemala Medical Mission Trip. We were planning on leaving during March of 2020. However, on the evening of our scheduled flight to Guatemala, the US and many other countries imposed flight cancellations due to COVID-19. In the following year, international flights were still canceled until the summer of 2021. This was when things got a little more stable. So, the last time we initiated the Guatemala trip was back in 2019.”
Why did the Medical Society staff choose to cancel this year’s trip?
“Initially, we were planning on going to Guatemala this year. We had students apply for it and laid out plans for the trip details. However, in the beginning of this year, I discussed the trip with other Med Society staff about the recent surge in the Omicron variant throughout the US. So, we decided to push the trip back another year. We usually work very close with patients in close quarters. As a result, the lead doctor of our team had a valid concern that under circumstances with Omicron, we would likely have students at higher risk. Also, we would not want to bring the Omicron from rural Guatemala back to Dallas. It was a very difficult decision to make, but I think that we ultimately made the right choice.”
What are your expectations for the trip next year?
“Due to the Omicron variant pushing back our trip, we are planning to be back on the ground in Guatemala in the spring of 2023! In preparation, we will continue to plan our trip details and logistics like how we did this year.”
Stay tuned to The Roundup for more Medical Society updates!