Bulldog women's soccer players Morgan Cox and Abbie Kaul were among a group of Butler University students that traveled to Guatemala in May as a part of a trip by The Timmy Foundation, a non-profit organization based out of Indianapolis.
The Timmy Foundation works to channel resources to sustainable health projects in developing countries. Partnering with established NGOs in Ecuador and Guatemala, The Timmy Foundation sends a group of volunteers every two-three months to perform medical relief in underserved areas. Additionally, The Timmy Foundation sends monetary support for our partner organizations to grow their outreach to the poor.
Cox, who enters her senior season with the women's soccer team in 2009, documented some of her experiences while in Guatemala:
"A group of about 20 Butler students along with medical professionals traveled to Guatemala with the Timmy Foundation for seven days. We took our own supplies along with medications, vitamins, and hygiene products. Abbie and I also took some soccer balls and equipment with us and left them at each of the communities that we visited! The Timmy Foundation has a partner school in Guatemala by the name of Pop-Wuj which is located in the city of Xela.
"We spent the first couple of days learning about the culture in Guatemala and hearing from the community leaders where we were going to visit. This was very important in order to understand the people that we were going to be meeting. Timmy's relationship with Pop-Wuj and our relationship with the Guatemalan people is definitely a partnership. It couldn't exist without the help of either side. It was important for us to understand that we are the same as the Guatemalan people except we have had the luxury of being born in a better socioeconomic situation.
"We spent the rest of our time running medical clinics. We had three full-day medical brigades in three different communities outside of Xela and one half-day brigade at Pop-Wuj's clinic in Xela. Each clinic was split up into a fluoride station, triage, doctor's office, and pharmacy. Only Pop-Wuj's clinic was actually set up for medical use. The other three clinics were set up in a school, house, and bakery. It was absolutely remarkable how many people we saw under such circumstances. We probably averaged seeing about 110 patients a day while working without light, in tight quarters, in un-sanitized areas, and in the rain.
"The trip as a whole is impossible to express in words. I believe it's one of those experiences that you can't understand unless you have experienced it. I am very grateful that I had such an opportunity that I will hold with me for the rest of my life. I learned so much from the people that I met, and I will always remember their wonderful outlook on life. They showed me a whole new level of love and compassion. The Guatemalan people are the most thankful and unselfish people I have ever met. It was definitely a life-changing experience, and I developed a whole new outlook on life and healthcare. This sounds so generic, but it just can't be put into words!"