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Operation Giving Back

Opportunity Details


Partner for Surgery

Detailed Description

Partner for Surgery provides opportunities to lead a surgical team on a one-week mission in the western highlands of Guatemala, to serve the area's impoverished, rural population in need of surgical care. In these most remote areas of the country, the population is most in need of general, pediatric, and plastic surgeons.


Partner for Surgery provides a full spectrum of support for visiting surgical teams, arranging all in-country logistics (in-country transportation, accommodations, meals, local support staff, Spanish and Mayan language translators) and procurement of local supplies. Partner for Surgery pre-screens surgical patients and provides all necessary patient logistics (transportation, food, temporary housing), and our multilingual Health Promoters escort patients to and from surgery, translate/interpret, serve as patient advocates and assist with the follow-up.


Our surgical center is equipped with anesthesia machines, laparoscopic towers and autoclaves. There is a pre-op area, operating rooms, PACU and a small recovery ward. Additional on-premise lodging is available for patients and their family members.


The surgical team lead is responsible for recruiting all necessary surgical personnel, and procuring and shipping needed surgical supplies to the surgical center, including some “expendable” supplies. Although the team leader must assemble the teams, support in navigating the process is offered by Dr. Giordano, the point of contact for Partner for Surgery and an experienced surgical team leader. Click here to view some of the logistics and procedures involved in preparing a surgical team for a Partner for Surgery mission trip.

Location of Volunteer Opportunity:

Guatemala, Central America/Caribbean
Volunteer Toolkit Volunteer Toolkit

Contact Information:

Joseph Giordano, MD, FACS
Emeritus Professor of Surgery George Washington University
Phone: 202 364-1112
Direct Line: 202 669-1405

Agency Profile: Partner for Surgery

Agency Mission: Our mission is to provide access to surgical care for the most impoverished Guatemalans, living in remote areas.

Travel Assistance: Partner for Surgery arranges for in-country transportation, lodging and meals.


Opportunity open to:

Actively Practicing Surgeons, Retirees, Residents, International Surgeons, Family

Active Practicing Surgeons

Volunteers must provide a copy of their current medical license and complete an application.


Volunteers must provide a copy of their current medical license and complete an application.


Volunteers must complete an application.

International Surgeons

Volunteers must provide a copy of their current medical license and complete an application.

Religious Requirements



Safe and clean accommodations are arranged by Partner for Surgery. Meals are prepared on the premises to suit the needs of the team.

Other Information

Spanish language skills are very helpful but are not a requirement. Partner for Surgery will arrange for Spanish and Mayan translators. Partner for Surgery offers an opportunity for surgical team members to accompany patients back to their homes. Through this cultural experience team members can better understand the enormous impact disabilities and infirmities have on impoverished communities.

Other Specialties

anesthesiologists, nurses, surgical techs

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