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About Us

The Ayacucho Mission is an annual health campaign serving the community of Ayacucho, Peru high in the Andes Mountains.  

Every year, our team of volunteers travels to Peru for a two-week campaign, delivering free medical, surgical, mental health and preventive care to thousands of impoverished, indigenous persons in Ayacucho City and in mobile clinics traveling to surrounding villages.   

We collaborate with local health care providers and nonprofit organizations, and provide monetary support and expertise to maintain numerous year-round projects and services in this community and in other places with great need.  

Finally, the Ayacucho Mission creates opportunities for health professionals, students and other volunteers experience the transformative influence of international service and collaboration with the goal to foster an enduring spirit of altruism and engagement in our volunteers.



What Volunteers Do

What exactly do physicians, nurses, pharmacists, translators and other volunteers do on the Ayacucho Mission to make a difference?  

 

Get a glimpse of the experiences of volunteers, from their own perspective.

Interested to learn how you can contribute as a volunteer or supporter?

Click 'Get Involved' to join the mailing list, donate to the mission, or learn about the application process.



Important Dates

A number of you have been asking about the 2018 Ayacucho Mission. As many of you know, Ayacucho is opening a new state-of-the-art hospital.  The locals are in the process of learning how to work in the new facility.  Because of this and other concerns, the planning team has decided to cancel the 2018 mission,  to allow our local partners to get settled. We are anticipating resuming in June of 2019.

 

We will miss working with all of you next summer and look forward to 2019!


 

Daily mission Activities

On the majority of days, volunteers and physicians load up vans early in the morning to travel up to two hours to Tambo, Quinua and other nearby villages. In collaboration with local residents and professionals, we establish temporary mobile clinics in the small health centers and outposts of these communities with very limited access to physicians. The line of patients often extends outside the building, as locals try to be seen by physicians of numerous specialties, including: family medicine, cardiology, obstetrics and gynecology, orthopedics,and psychiatry.

On the majority of days, volunteers and physicians load up vans early in the morning to travel up to two hours to Tambo, Quinua and other nearby villages. In collaboration with local residents and professionals, we establish temporary mobile clinics in the small health centers and outposts of these communities with very limited access to physicians. The line of patients often extends outside the building, as locals try to be seen by physicians of numerous specialties, including: family medicine, cardiology, obstetrics and gynecology, orthopedics,and psychiatry.

Mobile Rural Outreach Clinic

Another component of the mobile clinic is its mobile pharmacy. Volunteers work with a skilled pharmacist to dispense medications and vitamins prescribed by mission physicians, and educate patients about their regimens. The pharmacy also provides eye glasses, eye and ear drops, over-the-counter medications, toothbrushes, and toys for local children who have helped with translation in the past.

Another component of the mobile clinic is its mobile pharmacy. Volunteers work with a skilled pharmacist to dispense medications and vitamins prescribed by mission physicians, and educate patients about their regimens. The pharmacy also provides eye glasses, eye and ear drops, over-the-counter medications, toothbrushes, and toys for local children who have helped with translation in the past.

Mobile Pharmacy

Our mobile clinic in Tambo features a mental health clinic, each year comprised of psychiatrists, social workers and translators. Prolonged political violence has led to widespread mental health issues, including PTSD, for which there are very few local options for treatment.  Our psychiatrists provide brief counseling and referrals to COSMA, a year round mental health service organization our mission helps support.

Our mobile clinic in Tambo features a mental health clinic, each year comprised of psychiatrists, social workers and translators. Prolonged political violence has led to widespread mental health issues, including PTSD, for which there are very few local options for treatment.  Our psychiatrists provide brief counseling and referrals to COSMA, a year round mental health service organization our mission helps support.

Mental Health Clinic

In the regional hospital of Ayacucho, a surgical team sets up a surgical care unit. The team includes orthopedic surgeons, OB-GYN surgeons, plastic surgeons, and general surgeons. Medical students help facilitate patient movement, and mission nurses and physicians care for the patients pre and post operation--culminating in a hand-off to a local physician for follow-up care.  We identify a number of our surgical patients from our mobile clinics, and support the cost of transportation and lodging for the patients and a family member.

In the regional hospital of Ayacucho, a surgical team sets up a surgical care unit. The team includes orthopedic surgeons, OB-GYN surgeons, plastic surgeons, and general surgeons. Medical students help facilitate patient movement, and mission nurses and physicians care for the patients pre and post operation--culminating in a hand-off to a local physician for follow-up care.  We identify a number of our surgical patients from our mobile clinics, and support the cost of transportation and lodging for the patients and a family member.

Surgical Care at Ayacucho Regional Hospital

In Ayacucho, Tambo, and surrounding communities volunteers promote oral health through school outreach. Classes are individually visited in each local elementary and middle school, providing fluoride treatment to many hundreds of students each year, and discussing the importance of oral hygiene.

In Ayacucho, Tambo, and surrounding communities volunteers promote oral health through school outreach. Classes are individually visited in each local elementary and middle school, providing fluoride treatment to many hundreds of students each year, and discussing the importance of oral hygiene.

Oral Health Campaign

Within the surgical care unit is the plastic surgery team. Each day, surgeons perform multiple cleft lip and cleft palate operations. Patients range from infants to teenagers, often flown in for surgery from other areas of Peru.

Within the surgical care unit is the plastic surgery team. Each day, surgeons perform multiple cleft lip and cleft palate operations. Patients range from infants to teenagers, often flown in for surgery from other areas of Peru.

Plastic Surgery and Cleft Palate Campaign

After discovering surprisingly high prevalence of type 2 diabetes through a several year screening program, the Ayacucho Mission now supports a collaborative, year-round diabetes program run by a local registered nurse with support of Ayacucho physicians.   The Mission provides medications, testing supplies and provider education to support the program which serves dozens of diabetes patients throughout the entire year.

After discovering surprisingly high prevalence of type 2 diabetes through a several year screening program, the Ayacucho Mission now supports a collaborative, year-round diabetes program run by a local registered nurse with support of Ayacucho physicians.   The Mission provides medications, testing supplies and provider education to support the program which serves dozens of diabetes patients throughout the entire year.

Puericulturio Andres Vivanco Amorin Orphanage

The Ayacucho Mission has joined hands with Wasi Esperanza Rehabilitation Center, which provides rehabilitation, including physical therapy, occupational therapy to dozens of children with physical and developmental disabilities such as Down syndrome and cerebral palsy.  The Ayacucho Mission is helping sponsor a special education program for many of the children at Wasi who cannot access typical schools to ensure they continue to meet educational goals.   Our pediatricians, cardiologists and orthopedic surgeons provide medical consults to dozens of children at the center, while volunteers visit to share gifts and playtime with the children.

The Ayacucho Mission has joined hands with Wasi Esperanza Rehabilitation Center, which provides rehabilitation, including physical therapy, occupational therapy to dozens of children with physical and developmental disabilities such as Down syndrome and cerebral palsy.  The Ayacucho Mission is helping sponsor a special education program for many of the children at Wasi who cannot access typical schools to ensure they continue to meet educational goals.   Our pediatricians, cardiologists and orthopedic surgeons provide medical consults to dozens of children at the center, while volunteers visit to share gifts and playtime with the children.

Wasi Esparanza Children's Rehabilitation Center

Mission volunteers visit the Puericulturio (Orphanage) Andres Vivanco Amorin, which is the home to 80 children from Ayacucho.   Each year, the Mission provides medical attention to the children, funding to support their programs, toys and gifts sent from Mission supporters and wonderful recreational activities including field trips, horseback riding, soccer games and musical performances.  

Mission volunteers visit the Puericulturio (Orphanage) Andres Vivanco Amorin, which is the home to 80 children from Ayacucho.   Each year, the Mission provides medical attention to the children, funding to support their programs, toys and gifts sent from Mission supporters and wonderful recreational activities including field trips, horseback riding, soccer games and musical performances.  

Year-Round
Diabetes Clinic


Annual Report



Find out more!

Learn about Ayacucho, the Mission and our Team

Ayacucho, Peru   |   Leadership Team   |   Mission History


Ayacucho, Peru

Ayacucho is located in the central Andean Mountains of Peru, an area known for its extremely impoverished indigenous peasant population and the birthplace of the guerrilla group “Shining Path”.  Ayacucho, then, became the battleground for one of the fiercest guerrilla wars in the history of mankind.  This forced the displacement of thousands of peasants, from their homes and places of origin, to seek refuge in cities and settled in areas where no infrastructure was readily available to receive the massive migration.  Those who remained in Ayacucho were subjected to merciless killings by the guerrillas and to fierce retaliation by the army.  Thus, thousands of peasant lives were lost and thousands of survivors were left permanently disabled.  Furthermore, an entire generation of orphan children emerged from this civil struggle.  The beneficiaries of our Mission are these survivors and recent generations, whose strong commitment and hard work join our efforts to provide safe, evidence based, humanistic and culturally sensitive medical care. 

 


The Leadership Team

Cesar Aranguri, MD

Medical Director

caranguri@doctor.com

(714) 222-4870

 

Loretta Rihbany, RN

Director of Nursing Services

lrihbany@gmail.com

(562) 695-0083

John Billimek, PhD

Director of Volunteer Services

jbillimek@gmail.com

(949) 295-7126

Cindy Beisser, MD

Director of Pathology

pupmom@yahoo.com

James Phillips, MD

Director of Mental Health Services

james.phillips@yale.edu

Faisal Khan, MD

Surgical Director 

faisalkhanmd@gmail.com


Mission History

Although the joint participation of the Regional Ayacucho Hospital provides the Mission with physicians, supporting staff and facilities, the impoverished hospital’s supplies and equipments are very limited.  Without the Mission, patients in the region are held accountable for providing themselves with the cost of medicine, syringes, sterile gloves, sutures, and any other needed supplies, and many have virtually no access to health care

Our Mission accomplishes the following: a) provides medical care to an impoverished population; b) provides equipment, materials, and supplies to improve the medical system; c) provides psychiatric evaluation, treatment and rehabilitation to the mentally ill population; d) provides state of the art medical management to specific high risk patients as diabetics; e) provides assistance to local orphanage; f) provides dental services (a joint participation with the Peruvian American Dental Association (PADA); g) shares knowledge and organizational skills to allow the transition to a self-supporting regional hospital; h) fosters growing appreciation of the kindheartedness of our international volunteers; and i) fosters love and respect for Peru and Peruvians. 

Given that running our annual Mission represents steep operating costs, we are looking for donors that can provide us with monetary or medical donations that will help cover these costs.  Donations are deposited in our Endowment Fund and are tax deductible.  We gratefully acknowledge every donation, for your gifts are multiplied by the investment of valuable talent and hard work of hundreds of volunteers over the years.  On behalf of the volunteers of the Mission to Ayacucho, we kindly value any inquiries, questions, and/or desire to volunteer in our Mission, which are greatly appreciated.  Please do not hesitate to contact us for any additional information.