Kimberly first went to Guatemala in the early 1990s when the civil war was raging to visit her sister who was working for Witness for Peace. Her sister was accompanying refugees through the Ixcan jungle to ensure refugees’ safety during their returns from southern Mexico. Kimberly was a bilingual journalist at that time in south Texas.
Kimberly later returned to Guatemala as a nurse for two medical missions with Refuge International in the early 2000s. First, she served as a MSN student at a suburban clinic in San Raymundo close to the capital. Later, she served as a DNP student at a remote clinic in northeastern Guatemala near Belize.
One Nurse at a Time helped fund the second trip where Kimberly was one of three providers who saw more than 500 patients in five days. The clinic was held in two-story thatched hut Refuge International built in a mountain area where no roads lead in and out. Volunteers had to travel two hours by boat to reach the clinic. On the fifth day volunteers hiked with medical supplies up into the mountains to bring the clinic to the people. This was Kimberly’s favorite day because she was able to catch a glimpse of how the humble, Kek Chi people lived.
During her second medical mission with Refuge International, Kimberly also conducted research for her DNP with Guatemalan lay midwives about nursing interventions to prevent postpartum hemorrhage, the leading cause of maternal death in the third world. Results of the study will be published in the American Journal of Maternal Child Nursing in January 2012.
Kimberly would like to continue returning to third world countries to serve as a nurse and to conduct research. She is eternally grateful to One Nurse at a Time for contributing to her life’s work and dreams.