Hospital Shalom

HOSPITAL SHALOM – San Benito, Peten, Guatemala

Mission: Operated by New Covenant World Missions, located in Canton, Ohio.

Mission Statement: Aiding in health and healing to the spirit, soul and body of mankind. Making disciples by sharing the love of God through Bible schools and community development programs. To provide medical care with excellence regardless of economic abilities. Encouraging other ministries by helping them build on our successes without committing our same errors. (John 10:10)

Profile: Hospital Shalom was founded by missionaries, Tim and Doris Spurrier. Construction began in 1996 and the out-patient clinics were opened in 2006. It became a full-service hospital in 2011. Hospital Shalom is currently operated by New Covenant World Missions and a local staff. The hospital employs approximately 30 Guatemalans, including 2 full-time general practitioners, an on-call surgeon, nurses, kitchen and cleaning staff, as well as administration personnel.

Hospital Shalom is a full-service hospital, open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for surgeries, in-patient medical and emergencies. Currently, Shalom Hospital is a 22-bed facility, with plans to open the second floor in September 2016. The first floor is set for remodel in 2017 to better serve the surgical area and promote improved flow throughout the area. The hospital hosts out-patient clinics from Monday thru Friday, 8 AM to 3 PM, and on Saturday from 8 AM to 12 noon.

Diagnostic equipment is available in the form of an ultrasound machine, two (2) X-ray units of which one is portable, an in-house lab and pharmacy.

Time Difference: -2 Hours (EST) March thru November; -1 Hour (EST) November thru March
Location: Shalom Hospital is located 350 miles north of Guatemala City, in the region of Peten, and approximately 60 miles from the Tikal ruins. This area is considered to be part of the Rain Forest.

Language: Spanish is the official language, spoken by approximately 93% of the population as either their first or second language. There are twenty-three (23) different Mayan languages, spoken especially in the rural areas. Most patients of the hospital speak Spanish. It is preferred for volunteers to speak Spanish, although the degree of knowledge depends on what role you would be serving in. Clinics and ER would require conversational Spanish, while Surgery would not.

Religion: The Roman Catholic Church prevails as the dominant church figure (78%), followed by Evangelical Protestants (38%) and other religions (2.6%) including Judaism, Islam and Buddhism. Approximately 11.6% of the people claim no religious affiliation.

Climate: January and February are generally pleasant – very little rain if any, with average temps of highs in the 70s to 80s and lows in the 60s. April and May are the hottest months, with the highs from the 90s to 100s and the lows in the 70s. The rains usually begin in May, but rain usually falls in the afternoon for no more than an hour a few times a week. October is the wettest month, with rain beginning early every afternoon, falling for several hours or even for a few days at a time.

Housing: All visitors stay in guest housing in one, two or three bedroom apartments, with max occupation of 2, 4 and 6 people respectively. All apartments are fully equipped, including full-size refrigerator, stove, microwave, crockpot, coffee pot and all kitchen utensils. Housing costs are calculated per day or per month. Monthly lodgers must also pay electricity. All apartments have air conditioning, and the cost of use is included in the rate.

Food: Meals are provided for a fee at the hospital. All food is provided for single volunteers. Two days of meals is provided for all volunteers. Couples and families must purchase further food for themselves or purchase their meals from the hospital. Meals can be prepared by housekeeping staff for a small fee. Local grocery stores are easily accessible with hospital staff assistance. Fresh fruits and vegetables are very inexpensive at the local market. Some spices, oil, flour, sugar, coffee, tea and light snacks are provided in the apartments to last for approximately one week. Water is available in the form of 5-gallon bottles, some provided by the hospital and more available for a fee. Propane gas is provided for cooking.

Laundry: Laundry facilities is available with washer and dryer for a fee per load. A clothes line and clothes pins are available if you would like to line-dry your clothes. Clothes can be washed by the housekeeper for a fee per load. Laundry detergent is provided for the first 7 days. You will need to purchase additional detergent after that.

Housekeeping: A housekeeper will clean your apartment every other day, except Saturday and Sunday; no service is available on these days. This service includes taking out trash, sweeping or mopping floors, and washing towels and sheets when needed. If you desire a more in-depth cleaning this can be requested for a fee.

Cell Phones: Cell phones are available at the ministry office for a $25 deposit, which will be refunded upon the return of the phone. It is rather difficult to purchase a cell phone if you do not have a Guatemalan residency. The phones provided will have minutes available on it. After the initial minutes are used, you will be responsible to purchase additional time. You will be informed of the best day each week in which you can buy minutes at a discounted rate. The cost is approximately $13 weekly, depending on your usage.

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