About Us

  • Bette Wood Palovchik President, ShuarHands, Inc.

    The idea of being involved in humanitarian missions begins at an early age. Bette's mother, a registered nurse, and she became members of the San Diego Chapter of the Flying Samaritan when she was 16 years old.

    "I remember the excitment of arriving at the Aero Space Museum in the evenings to sort through donated medical items. I wondered when I would be able to travel with the volunteer medical team. My day finally came, and off to Cabo Colonet I went. There was so much to learn and my experiences as an exchange student to Mexico came to use. Seeing the misery and helplessness of many of the patients as they waited in that endless line, envoked deep compassion within me. I could make a difference."

    Bette completed her B.A. through SDSU, worked as an orthodontic assistant for several years, and then she married. While dedicating her time to her three children, she completed her teaching credential. She became fully-employed at a local rural high school in San Diego County. She completed her Master's degree at National University in 2002. After 25 years of teaching, Bette retired from full-time teaching. She continues to teach Spanish on a part-time basis in a small rural school. She dedicates her time to family (including three beautiful grandchildren and six granddogs), home projects, gardening, travel, and ShuarHands, Inc. Projects.

    The concept of ShuarHands, Inc.. was created in October 2006 with the assistance of her daughters Torrey and Tawny to provide humanitarian assistance to others.

    Bette Wood Palovchik

    Recent Recognitions:
    2021 Letter of Appreciation Arbor Day Society
    2019 Carta de Agradecimiento/Audiología Niños Shecanos, L. Fuentes
    2017 Inscribed cedar plaque of gratitude Pere M. Allawi/ R. Ayoub
         "Heaven's Joy" Kitchen, El Mina Lebanon
    2015 Hand-made thank you gift           People of Tacana
    2014 “Documento of Apreciación” Niños Shecanos, L. Fuentes
    2014 “Certificate of Appreciation” Women for World Health, D. Cucurny
    2012 “Certificate of Recognition: Medical Missions” Niños Shecanos: Guatemala
    2012 “Celebrate Literacy Award” Greater San Diego Reading Assoc.
    2011 Certificate of Appreciation Women for World Health: D. Cucurny
    2009 Appreciation of Service Tapestry Ninos Shecanos: Guatemala
    2008/09 Certificate of Appreciation Women for World Health: D. Cucurny
    2009 Humanitarian of the Year Back Country Messenger: Campo
    2009 Distinguished Service Award Division 31 Kiwanis: Campo
    2008 Certificate of Appreciation Plasticos Foundation: Dr. Nichter
    2008 Certificate of Appreciation Angeles en la Tierra: Guatemala
    2008 Certificate of Appreciation Ninos Shecanos: Guatemala
    2008 Plaque of Appreciation Rotary Club International: Ecuador
    2008 Most Likely to Receive Nobel Peace Prize MEHS
    2007 Nominated for "Teacher of the Year" MEUSD
    2005 Certificate of Appreciation Plasticos Foundation: Dr. Nichter


  • Torrey Palovchik Chacon: Vice President and Secretary

    Torrey holds a Master's degree in Spiritual Psychology earned at the University of Santa Monica, and a Bachelor's degree in Anthropology earned at California State University Long Beach. She has over 12 years’ experience in the management and operation of commercial real estate. She is currently a Vice President of a real state company based in Southern California. Torrey and her husband enjoy experiencing quality family time with their three children. Her involvement with ShuarHands, Inc. was a natural next step in a life-long dedication to volunteering and humanitarian efforts.

    Torrey and her husband Hugo were married in a Shuar ceremony in August 2007. They were the first foreigners to be granted this privilege in the Yaas Nunka Shuar Center located in Morona –Santiago, Ecuador.

    Torrey Palovchik Chacon

  • Travis J. Palovchik :Chief Financial Officer

    Travis served as an Arabic-speaking linguist in the United States Air Force following his completion of high school. Upon his honorable military discharge, he earned a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from SDSU. Travis works as a substitute teacher at a local high school, is an assistant coach for track/cross country, and holds a California real estate license. Being a strong athlete, he spent four + months walking more than 2500 miles on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT), starting in Campo, California. In 2015, he spent three months traversing Europe by bicycle. The following year he cycled from his home in Campo to the Grand Canyon in Arizona.

    Travis J. Palovchik

  • Tawny Palovchik- Founding Member

    Tawny is a graduate of California State University, Long Beach. She holds Bachelor of Science degrees in both Finance and International Business.

    Tawny lives in La Verne, California. Her interests include travel, hiking, sunshine, and dogs.

    Tawny Palovchik