Guatemala SANA Children's Project was founded in 2009 to help support the work of Dr. Rafael Espada who was a heart surgeon in Houston, Texas, but returned to his homeland to serve as Vice President of Guatemala from 2008 to 2012. Since leaving office,
Dr. Espada continues working to bring health care, education, and development to the rural areas of Guatemala.
SANA is involved directly with providing healthcare and education services in Santa Maria de Jesus, a town of 30,000 people. The town lacks sufficient electricity and clean water; has limited educational opportunities and limited employment; and all citizens suffer from chronic malnutrition. More than half of the people live in bamboo huts with dirt floors.
SANA provides a healthcare clinic offering medical and dental services. We operate a preschool to teach children Spanish so they may enter school. We also provide education in the community and assist with food bags, clothing, and building healthy stoves as funds are available.
Santa Maria is located in the mountains south of Guatemala City on the side of the Agua Volcano (approximately 6,800 feet above sea level). Guatemala is only 2-1/2 hour flight from Houston but Santa Maria exists in conditions similar to the 1800s in the United States.