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Faith in Practice

Life Changing Medical Mission

For information:   www.faithinpractice.org

Faith In Practice is a non-profit, ecumenical Christian organization that seeks to improve the physical, spiritual, and economic conditions of the poor in Guatemala through short-term surgical, medical and dental mission trips and health-related educational programs.

Dr. Mark Hoeplinger examining a Guatemalan patient. Dr. Hoeplinger sees patients with ENT issues, but on each mission there are pediatricians, internists, primary doctors, obstetricians and other specialists.


Dr. Hoeplinger's wife Christine in her makeshift dental clinic rendering care to patients.



Buffalo-area ENT resident Dr. Aaron Hilton examining and treating a patient in Guatemala.


A young Guatemalan woman who has severe neurosensory deafness at the moment when the hearing aid was switched on, the first moment in her life she had hearing. Notice at the amazement on her face.


Sisters of St. Francis of Penance and Christian Charity

Chiapas Medical Mission

The Sisters of St. Francis of Penance and Christian Charity Medical Mission serves the needs of the indigenous people in Chiapas, near the town of Palenque, including the 125 villages in the parish.

There are nine indigenous groups with distinct languages within the state of Chiapas where most live far outside the mainstream of Mexican society. Access to health care for the indigenous people is obstructed by their language, their lack of money, distance from medical services and their mistrust of institutional health care. The need for medical assistant is great.

A volunteer team of medical professionals and translators visit for a week each February or March, and November. They see patients at the Sisters’ dispensary in Palenque or travel to the local villages to provide medical and dental care. Anywhere from 450 to 750 patients are treated during these visits. Common health problems include parasites, infections, untreated wounds, and difficulties related to excessive physical labor and poor nutrition.

If you are interested in learning more about the Chiapas Medical Mission, please contact Sr. Nancy Zelma, Medical Mission Coordinator, nzelma@stellaosf.org, 716-754-4311 ext. 9777#, or visit the Sisters website www.stellaosf.org