Mission Trip to Los Cabos San Lucas, Mexico
January and April 2002
Anureet Bajaj, plastic surgery resident; Lolita Hesquibal, scrub tech; Rohini Bajaj dental student, translator; Demeree Andreason, mission trip coordinator; Troy Andreason, plastic surgery attending; Norbort Collins, plastic surgery attending
Los Cabos is located on the Baja Peninsula of Mexico. Los Cabos refers to Cabo San Lucas and its sister city, San Jose del Cabo. Both cities are well-known tourist destinations because of the beaches, fishing, hiking, and golf. What most American tourists don?t see is the large population living in poverty on the outskirts of the city. Over the past two years, a group of Loma Linda physicians and nurses has made several trips to Cabo to provide reconstructive surgery to the people of Cabo. Our efforts have been coordinated through the help of a local group, Amigos de los Ninos.
Amigos de Los Ninos is our host organization in Cabo. The group was started in 1989 by the people of Cabo and is dedicated to providing medical care, supplies, and medicines to the children living in the barrios surrounding Cabo. The group arranges for physicians to come to Cabo and treat the children or to send the children to the US for specialty care. Amigos de Los Ninos is nonprofit organization and relies on charitable donations to fulfill its mission. Dr. Troy Andreason and Dr. Dan Mills arranged for the first group of Loma Linda physicians to go to Cabo several years ago. Since then, the tradition has continued to grow.
We completed seven surgeries during our trip in January 2002. These included burn scar revisions, ear reconstruction, cleft lip, and cleft nasal rhinoplasty. An important accomplishment wasn't the surgeries themselves. We were also able to establish ties with local physicians and patients, ensuring success for our future missions.
Cabo San Lucas - April 2002
Goals - April 2002
The goals of the April 2002 trip were to continue the work of the January trip. Drs. Hamlin and Punjabi performed 14 operations during this trip, in part, due to the patient contacts made during the January trip.