Baby rescue is the ultimate volunteer experience. At Hope of Life International, a Christian mission in rural Guatemala, a rescue team springs into action when news arrives that a baby is dangerously ill in a nearby mountain village. The mission, which hosts hundreds of volunteers from North America every month, sends a caravan of Jeeps, canoes and an ambulance to bring the child to its hospital. On the charity’s website, you can see photos of volunteers, their faces rapt with grim determination, walking down a steep mountain path or fording a river, holding tiny babies wrapped in blankets. A video shows dramatic scenes in which Carlos Vargas, Hope of Life’s founder, rescues a baby alongside volunteers, the music pulsing and urgent. “Every second, every minute matters,” Vargas says. “Maybe if we reach her an hour late, we lose her.” Hope of Life has scouts who work in these mountain villages, looking for sick infants. Although time is of the essence, when they find an ailing baby, the scouts do not bring them directly to the hospital. Instead, they alert the organisation, which assembles a team, accompanied by volunteers, to collect them. Many volunteers who come to Hope of Life are… Read full this story
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