If you’re passionate about you do there’s usually a driving factor something that gets you up and out of bed each day. Ask the employees of Hope Haven Guatemala what they love about their job and the most recurring answer involves the ability to empower others with the gift of a wheelchair. Many of them articulate how life-changing that is as they were also once in the position of receiving a wheelchair as well. (QUOTE)
What’s a day in the life of a Hope Haven Guatemala employee?
The days vary based on each employee with some arriving early for devotions and breakfast others carpooling and riding buses and others setting off straight to their task in the factory. Getting to work isn’t always easy (with uneven terrain chaotic bus routes etc.) but it’s navigated and simply part of a daily routine for this crew.
Throughout the week employees receive physical therapy administred by the on staff physical therapist (who is also present at distributions to fit and customize wheelchairs for recipients).
Employees manufacture parts cut sew and create upholstery maintain inventory assemble wheelchairs coordinate applications and distributions among many other things. Let’s start off by taking a closer look at who is working in the Hope Haven Guatemala office…
As a child Julia was a polio patient. She spent years of her life in a hospital and received her first wheelchair at age 3. She notes the emotion when witnessing a child at a distribution “It’s beautiful to see the children smiling when they receive a wheelchair or standing board.” Julia’s initial position at Hope Haven Guatemala involved some secretarial work along with working in the factory. In doing this she learned the ins and outs of building and assembling a wheelchair. Julia’s administrative talents transitioned her to a full time secretary role one that’s she now occupied for three years.
The majority of the time Julia can be found in the office communicating with local governments and aid agencies to identify people throughout Guatemala who are in need of a wheelchair. She also processes paperwork coordinates the logistics of distribution days and makes sure that all things administrative are maintained. On distribution days Julia is welcoming wheelchair recipients and their families assisting with paperwork and keeping the schedule on track. With her contagiously happy energy Julia welcomes and comforts individuals traveling away from home for their new wheelchair calming potentially stressful situations.
It’s easy to see that Julia finds joy in helping others and is working each day to see others discover newfound mobility. “Hope Haven is a blessing for people with disabilities ” remarks Julia with a smile.
Oscar works alongside Julia in the office also coordinating applications and distributions. His IT skills translate to a lot of work that requires digital savvy something heavily appreciated by fellow employees. He’s worked at Hope Haven since 2014 and
However Oscar’s journey to today was not an easy one. Over a decade ago Oscar was the victim of a shooting – suffering nine gunshot wounds. After time in the hospital Oscar returned home to recover. But recovery wasn’t so easy.
Oscar and Julia are an important key in the distribution process. Let’s move from the office down to the warehouse and meet Silvia….