Future Events

ShuarHands, Inc. representatives travel to our areas of focus (Lebanon, the Amazon Jungle in Ecuador and Guatemala) to talk to community leaders, review progress and determine additional need for humanitarian assistance. Please view the “Contact Us” for additional information.


Continued Support 2017-2022 El Mina, Lebanon

Maidat al Mahabba Soup Kitchen in El Mina prepares meals for families in-need at no cost. Many families are refugees, escaping war-torn area. In August 2020, a major explosion in Beirut destroyed homes and 300,000 people were displaced: we assisted to provide essential items (clothing, toiletries), cost of mini-house repairs, and the payment of utility bills in default. Meal production increased at the Soup Kitchen to meet additional critical needs: from 100 served in 2017 to 700 meals today. During the pandemic, hundreds of meals are delivered to the food insecure

Meals are prepared and delivered by teams of volunteers: a significant line forms to pick up meals and food commodities.
November 2021 through 2022 Tacana and Sibinal, Guatemala

ShuarHands, Inc. will continue to finance cataract and pterygium surgeries for indigenous citizens living in extreme poverty in the Western Highlands of Guatemala. All 146 patients will have received their surgery by April 2022. Improved vision leads to a return to an improved life. Volver a ver es Volver a Vivir
Please view expressive photographs on the Articles Page. Look under “Guate. Informe Proyecto Cirugia”.

Her surgery is completed after a 5-hour trip from her village to the capital. Recapturing her vision is life-changing: Volver a Ver es Volver a Vivir.

November 2021 Tacana, Guatemala

A new Hearing Center will soon open in Tacana. ShuarHands, Inc, Asociacion Ninos Shecanos, and Sound World Solutions have partnered to provide hearing assessment and hearing aids to those living in poverty: a first for this rural region.

October 2021 Tacana and Sibinal, Guatemala

Mr. Delfino received cataract surgery in October 2021. His brief story is below with translation: -Don Delfino M. tiene 63 años de edad, tuvo 6 hijos, es originario del municipio de Tacaná, departamento de San Marcos, y campesino de profesión. A la edad de 6 años quedó huérfano de papá y mamá, eran 5 hermanos y cada uno se fue a vivir con un familiar, Don Delfino se fue con un tío quién a su temprana edad lo llevaba a cortar café a las fincas ubicadas en el hermano país de México, nunca ingresó a la escuela, nos cuenta que de niño siempre soñaba con comprarse ropa y juguetes, pero que nunca se atrevió pedirle al tío tal situación, su única diversión era ver los pájaros en la montaña. -Don Delfino contrajo matrimonio a la edad de 17 años con la Sra. Alejandrina G. Dedicándose en toda su vida a cultivar tierra ajena. Hoy agradece a las personas generosas que le ayudaron a mejorar la visión, él dice con mucha alegría que volvió a vivir

-Don Delfino M. is 63 years old, had 6 children and is from the Municipality of Tacana, Department of San Marcos, and a farmer by profession. At the age of 6, he became an orphan. There were 6 children, and each one went to live with a family member. Don Delfino lived with an uncle who took him, at a very young age, to cut cofefe in the fields located in the brother country of Mexico. He never entered school. He told us that as a boy he always dreamed of buying clothes and toys, but he never dared ask his uncle. His only amusement was watching the birds in the mountain. At age 7, Don Delfino married Ms. Alejandrina G., dedicating their lives to cultivatiing distant land. Today he thanks the generous people who helped him have better visión. He says, with extreme pleasure, that he has begun to live again.

Ms. Adelina received cataract surgery in October 2021. Her brief story is below with translation: -Doña Adelina nació en el municipio de Tacaná en el departamento de San Marcos hace 65 años, a la edad de 3 años se enferma su padre y queda huérfana de papá creciendo con los cuidados de su mamá de origen campesino, ambas analfabetas. Doña Adelina contrajo matrimonio con el Señor José Santizo, procreando 12 hijos. Al momento de realizarse la cirugía en la Ciudad Capital de Guatemala fue la primera vez que ella conoció la capital de su país. Muy alegre manifiesta el agradecimiento por darle la oportunidad de mejorar su visión.

-Doña Adelina was born in the Municipality of Tacaná, in the Department of San Marcos, 65 years ago. At the age of 3, her father became ill and passed away. She was raised by her mother, a farmer, both iliterate. Doña Adelina married Mr. José Santizo, raising 12 children. The first time she became familiar with the capital of Guatemala, was upon having her surgery in the capital. She is very pleased and expresses gratitude for giving her the opportunity for improved visión.

October 2021 Tacana and Sibinal, Guatemala

After screening for cataracts and pterygium in July, 32 of the 146 patients now have unclouded vision. They traveled by bus with a companion, from their local village to Guatemala City (5 hours), for their critical surgery, which was performed by experienced Cuban Ophthalmologists. All transportation, lodging, meals, medicine, sunglasses, and the cost of surgery were covered by ShuarHands, Inc.

September 2021 Macas/Yaas Nunka, Ecuador

ShuarHands, Inc. is pleased to assist families and children in the Amazon Jungle. We help children succeed in school by providing food commodities, medical check-ups and needed medicine, clothing, school supplies & toys.   

July 2021 Tacana and Sibinal, Guatemala

Ninos Shecanos, with the assistance of ShuarHands, Inc., coordinated an ophthalmology screening mission. 385 patients were examined, with 146 selected for cataract/pterygium surgery. Reading glasses and basic eye medications were distributed, as needed. These women and men reside in the Western Highlands and experience poverty or extreme poverty. Surgeries will be scheduled for October 2021 in Guatemala City.

April 2021 Yaas Nunka and Taisha, Ecuador

Loss of human life, houses, animals, and crops, following major flooding in the Amazon, leaves indigenous Shuar in despair. ShuarHands, Inc. helped to re-establish, rebuild, and stabilize their lives follow this disastrous event.  

July 2020 Amazonia, Ecuador

Many families in the Amazon Jungle were suffering from food-insecurity and illnesses during the Covid-19 pandemic. ShuarHands, Inc. coordinated with local tribal leaders to bring food, medical personnel, and medicine to families in-need via canoe.

Sponsored by ShuarHands, Inc., Shuar leaders and medical personnel arrive to remote jungle areas to distribute food, provide medical care and medicine to those-in-need.

April 2020 Taisha, Ecuador

A fire swept through a family’s home in April. By September 2020, with community support and help from ShuarHands, Inc., the new house is completed, including animal pens and a small corn field.

March/April 2020 Tacana and Sibinal, Guatemala

During the time of the pandemic, ShuarHands, Inc. continues to assist the communities of Tacana and Sibinal. Community meetings provided citizens with information regarding available hearing assessment and hearing devices; Community Garden expansion; and food commodity distribution.

Local community members gather to hear important news.
Lic. Luis Fuentes, Director of Ninos Shecanos, assesses patients, places the hearing aid, while giving instructions on usage.
Community members experiencing food insecurities received various commodities, including rice and beans.
Community members are planting new gardens. Malnutrition is reduced as various nutritious crops flourish.

July/August 2019 Comitancillo and San Marcos, Guatemala

Many people living in extreme poverty have difficulties obtaining necessary medical and dental services. Our Policlínica, located in the Western Highland of Guatemala, provides affordable services (medical, dental, psychological counseling, and pharmacy services) at reasonable pricing. The need to develop an Audiology Program became evident during our several mini-medical missions. ShuarHands, Inc., with the dedication of Niños Shecanos, opened an Audiology Center in July, 2019, servicing both children and adults. We are seeking donations for the purchase of hearing devices. Please contact us for additional information.


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The construction of the Audiology Center began in June, 2019. It was promptly completed in July, 2019.


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An experienced Audiologist examines a rural farmer’s ear to determine the extent of his hearing loss.


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Our Audiology Team from the Policlinica in San Marcos, traveled to Comitancillp, an indigenous community, to provide screenings.  Previously no audiology services have been available to families residing in remote areas of the Western Highlands of Guatemala.


June, 2018 El Mina, Lebanon

ShuarHands, Inc. embraced the expansion of “Heaven’s Joy” soup kitchen, now renamed “Think of Others” Association, located in Northern Lebanon.  Their new site is larger, thus able to accommodate more families, assuring food security for families-in-need.  In addition, reconfiguration (see below) will provide a designated area for those who need medical attention.





February/March, 2018 El Mina, Lebanon

 ShuarHands, Inc. has partnered with “Heaven’s Joy”, also known as “Bonheur du Ciel”, a well-organized soup kitchen located in northern Lebanon established by Father Majdi Allawi.  It is dedicated to providing meal assistance to refugees displaced by war-torn countries. 
The philosophy of the soup kitchen: Welcome all who arrive and treat all with respect.
The only payment is: A Thank You.




Ms. Sanna, our local assistant in Lebanon, respectfully delivers financial support to a lead member of “Heaven’s Joy/Bonheur du Ciel” soup kitchen in El Mina, located in northern Lebanon. ShuarHands, Inc. funds are used to replenish their pantry, purchase supplies and/or assist with rent and utility costs.

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Volunteers prepare plates with generous proportions while several families patiently await their delicious meals.


“Heaven’s Joy/Bonheur du Ciel” provides nutritional packages to assure food security for those-in-need.

July to Present, 2017/2018 Tacana/Sibinal,  San Marcos, Guatemala

 Our “Greenhouse/Community Garden/Protein Project” in remote poverty-stricken villages in the Western Highlands of Guatemala is flourishing. Products are abundant and strengthening daily nutrition, and the well-being and health of all community members, especially pregnant women, and children. To create a more balanced diet, our ShuarHands, Inc. team introduced and funded a new project, the “Protein Project”. Guatemala Coordinator L. Fuentes and an animal husbandry expert presented the concept to local community leaders. The idea was quickly embraced and rabbits were selected as the desired protein. Local educational meetings were held by animal husbandry experts in two communities: Tacana and Sibinal, focusing on care, feeding, breeding, skinning, and meal preparation of protein. Later cages were built, rabbits were purchased and delivered.  From the rabbit pelts, women are creating items for home/family use (blankets, jackets, footwear, caps, etc.); with additional pelts items to sell.  This is a popular project which is quickly expanding.




Local community members ready to participate in the “Protein Project”.


One of several local educational meetings funded by ShuarHands, Inc.
  Classes are presented by a qualified animal husbandry specialist.
The focus: proper care of rabbits and cage construction.


Rabbits purchased by ShuarHands, Inc. were delivered to the communities of Tacana and Sibinal, in the Western highlands of Guatemala. Goal: to improve diet/reduced malnutrition

Pleased community members receive their “Protein Project” rabbits.



September, 2017 Tacana/Sibinal, San Marcos, Guatemala


During the inception of our “Protein Project”, a major earthquake (7.8, lasting 1 minute 33 seconds), caused significant damage to structures in the Western Highlands. Our project was delayed as home and roads were repaired.  ShuarHands, Inc. provided assistance: food and clothing.



The day following the strong earthquake, ShuarHands, Inc. funded the purchase of basic food products and clothing for those-in-need. Local volunteers arrived to outlying rural communities to distribute care packages.


A care package now in her hands, eases recovery from the earthquake.


Guatemala coordinator L. Fuentes delivers a care package to a
family in Tacana, San Marcos recovering from the earthquake. 
They also welcome their “Protein Project” rabbit.


December, 2017 Macas, Morona-Santiago, Ecuador


A young indigenous Shuar family receives financial assistance from ShuarHands, Inc,  to insure food security and to provide stability in their lives.


April/May 2017, El Mina, Lebanon


One of Father Majdi Allawi's goals is to establish 16 soup kitchens across Lebanon.  The need is tremendous, mainly as a result of more than 2.5 million refugees migrating from war-torn areas into safer areas.  ShuarHands, Inc. is pleased to be welcomed the "Pilgrim" or founding member of the El Mina site kitchen.  President Bette and Coordinator Coussaie met with father Allawi and Director Ayoub during their two-week visit to Lebanon. The depth and strength of their commitment to assist those living in poverty, parallels the established goals of ShuarHands, Inc..

The philosophy of the soup kitchen is to welcomes all who arrive, and all are treated with respect. The only payment is: A Thank You

Ms. Sanna, our local assistant in Lebanon, respectfully delivers financial support to a lead member of “Heaven’s Joy/Bonheur du Ciel” soup kitchen in El Mina, located in northern Lebanon. ShuarHands, Inc. funds are used to replenish their pantry, purchase supplies and/or assist with rent and utility costs.






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ShuarHands, Inc. President Bette and Coordinator Coussaie volunteering at "Heavens Joy" Soup Kitchen


Time is taken to memorialize and thank volunteers.



Heavens' Joy" soup kitchen Director Ayoub receives a donation from ShuarHands, Inc. representatives which will replenish their food pantry.



Founder of the "Heaven's Joy" Soup Kitchen Father Majdi Allawi and Director Ayoub provide a strong thank you toShuarHands, Inc. President Bette and Coordinator Coussaie for their generous and continued support.


During the first fundraising event for "Heaven's Joy" Soup Kitchen, ShuarHands, Inc. representatives receives an inscribed cedar plaque, in recognition of being Pilgrim supporters in the development of the El Mina Soup Kitchen.



ShuarHands, Inc. Vice-President Torrey creates beautifully hand-crafted toys/stuffed animals which have been delivered to Lebanon, Guatemala, Spain and the United States. Each creation brings joy to children living in stressful and unpredictable situations.



December, 2016 Al Mina, Lebanon



Mr. R. Ayoub, manager of “Heaven’s Happiness”, respectfully receives
a donation from ShuarHands, Inc. from our assistant Ms. Sanna.

ShuarHands, Inc.
provided a donation to “Heaven’s Happiness,” a soup kitchen located in northern Lebanon. Our goal is to assist refugees who seek security from war-torn regions. Through our coordinator C. Agha, and Al Mina resident Ms. Sanna, we are developing additional mini-programs of assistance for families living in-need.

September, 2016 San Pedro, San Marcos, Guatemala


4-year old Marina and her mother check-in at the Policlínica in San Pedro, ready to begin their 5-hour trek to Guatemala City for her second hip surgery. The first one was completed in July, 2015. The surgery was completed in Mid-September in Guatemala City. After complete recovery, Marina will walk and grow normally. All costs for both surgeries were covered by ShuarHands, Inc. : personalized transportation, meals, lodging, medications, x-rays, post-op appointments and physical therapy.

July, 2016 San Marcos, San Marcos, Guatemala


Juan (on the right) and his brother are enjoying life in park in Guatemala City. In 2015 Juan received severe burns as he fell in a pot of boiling water. (Please read “The Boston Globe” articles in our Article Page). Juan’s post-operative recovery has been remarkable. He is now pain free: running and playing.

June, 2016 Al Mina, Lebanon

ShuarHands, Inc. , through coordinator C. Agha, provided much needed assistance to refugees who have sought safety and security in Lebanon. A tri-fold plan developed: outstanding refugee debts accumulated at local grocery stores were paid; medical debts at local pharmacies were also paid; and a generous financial donation was provided to soup kitchen “Heaven’s Happiness” in Al Mina, located in northern Lebanon. A sign posted in the soup kitchen reveals their philosophy:

"The price for a meal is a Thank You"


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Coordinator Agha spent several days volunteering at the “Heaven’s Happiness” soup kitchen in Al Mina, Lebanon. ShuarHands, Inc. donations stocked their pantry and warehouse. Pictorial children’s books were also donated to children. Addition outreach is being planned.

January to April, 2016 San Marcos, Guatemala and Boston, MA

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Juan, his father and younger brother, in front of his home in the Western Highlands of Guatemala (left). Juan and his father, at Shriner’s Hospital for Children in Boston, awaiting his second surgery (right).

November/December, 2015 San Marcos, Guatemala

A successful medical mission was made in November/December 2015. We were fortunate to be accompanied by two Cuban doctors, thus being able to provide medical attention to children with Dr. Catherine, and adults. ShuarHands, Inc. covered the costs of the majority of the medications. Approximately 300 children and 400 adults, all who live in impoverished conditions, in our 5-day visit to the western highlands. Several young patients have received follow-up care: Two have received an evaluation from a pediatric neurologist; one boy visited an audiologist and received treatment. He now hears; and an 8-year old boy who with severe burns, has traveled to Boston for needed surgical procedures. Please see the articles in the “Boston Globe” written by Tom Farragher or see our “Articles”page.
In addition, we visited several community garden sites, including a newly formed woman’s co-op of approximately 50. They build the fences, prepare the land, plant and tend to the crops. Once the harvest is ready, it is divided among workers and the surplus is sold in markets, and then shared within co-op.


Dra. Catherine reviews x-rays of a possible undiagnosed spina bifida patient. ShuarHands, Inc. president seeks medical history from a concerned mother.

Members of the woman’s co-op proudly demonstrate their garden plot.


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A community celebration was held in rural Tacana giving thanks to Luis Fuentes, ShuarHands, Inc. president Bette and Dra. Catherine. The mini-irrigation project is now completed and food security has improved for thousands of indigenous people.

August, 2015 Sibinal/Tacana, San Marcos, Guatemala

An ophthalmologic/optometry mission was funded by ShuarHands, Inc. for approximately 400 people of rural Sibinal. Severe eye irritations/problems are common: air-borne contaminants are prevalent.


Patients wait to be evaluated by ophthalmologists/optometrists in the rural highlands of San Marcos.

May and June, 2015 Sibinal, San Marcos, Guatemala

In May approximately 10 rural farmers attended a five-day agricultural conference which has enhanced their farming knowledge, funded by ShuarHands, Inc. ShuarHands, Inc. covered the costs of medicines and medical personnel transportation for a follow-up medical mission in June to rural Sibinal, San Marcos. Medical care for 85 patients was provided by doctors and personnel from our Policlinica.

February/March 2015 San Marcos Region, Guatemala

In late February, ShuarHands, Inc. president was accompanied by pediatrician Catherine and Internist Mary to Guatemala. During our nine day visit, we traveled to four rural impoverished communities, 321 children and 331 adults received free medical attention. Three patients are receiving follow-up care (see update below). The costs of their transportation, meals and lodging to/from Guatemala City for medical evaluations, exams and lab tests, physical therapy, and medications are being covered by ShuarHands, Inc.

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Doctor Catherine and assistant Savanna care for a young patient, while Doctor Mary enjoys a warm conversation with a local farmer from the community.

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Eyeglasses for an enthusiastic elderly man are checked by ShuarHands, Inc. President Bette. A concerned mother receives pertinent medical information about her children.

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The young boy and girl hold small bags of school supplies and toys provided by volunteers at Pine Valley Academy and ShuarHands, Inc.

Patient Update

Two-year old Marina needs double hip replacement in order to develop and walk properly. Pediatrician Catherine contacted Operation Arco Iris in Guatemala City. The right hip was successfully corrected in July, 2015 and received needed physical therapy. See her update below.


-Guadalupe, age 14, was identified as needing to have an evaluation by a cardiologist. Parents and coordinator Fuentes traveled to Guatemala City for an evaluation. Results are pending.

-Norma, a 19 year-old woman nearly completely immobile has severe and active rheumatoid arthritis. She and her parents have visited a specialist in Guatemala City (a six-hour trek one way). She is now receiving medications and the family has been trained to provide daily physical therapy. She has also received a wheel chair. We are hopeful her mobility will improve.


During our medical visit, we observed the success of our Greenhouse/Community Garden Projects. An abundance of nutrition-rich vegetables are being harvested and shared among community members: women and children being first to receive products. Our Projects are located in five different rural communities (Tacana, San Antonio, Sibinal, La Democracia, Malacatan) where extreme poverty, malnutrition and stunted growth were evident during our previous visits.

Three sites require irrigation in order to increase agricultural productivity. The communities of Tacana and Sibinal have successfully completed their projects. We have funded the final site in Malacatan and the project is in its final stages.

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After land studies by Guatemalan agronomists, local farmers built greenhouses and planted community garden with funds from ShuarHands, Inc.

January to May, 2015 Macas, Morona-Santiago, Ecuador

With the assistance of a generous donor, ShuarHands, Inc. provided a comprehensive assistance program for two indigenous Shuar children who were severely burned by their father. Services included: clothing, food supplements, school supplies, medical and dental visits, and professional counseling. The project is on hiatus as we evaluate their present needs. Funds are also assisting a few Shuar students to continue their post-secondary school educational goals.

December, 2014 San Marcos Guatemala

ShuarHands, Inc. will fund a “Holiday Celebration” for our 24 Sponsored Children: gifts, food, drinks and entertainment will bring a smile to all family members..


December, 2014 Malacatan and Tacana, San Marcos Guatemala

Two mini-medical and dental missions were held in Malacatan and Tacana in December. The services were funded ($1,000) by ShuarHands, Inc., with medical/dental personnel from our Policlínica in San Pedro.


September, 2014 Tacana, San Marcos Guatemala

During our recent medical visit to the area of Tacana, San Marcos, general extreme malnutrition causing stunted physical and mental growth was noted in many children. Thus this region was selected for our second Greenhouse/Community Garden Project.

Several community members, including a local agronomist, examine possible water sources, essential for the development of the next community gardens.


July/August/September, 2014
Malacatan, San Marcos Guatemala


View the beginning phase of the “Greenhouse/Community Garden Hunger Project” in the rural and poverty-stricken community of La Democracia, Malacatan, San Marcos. Community members support our comprehensive project: agronomist and environmental oversight; sustainable food via community gardens; clean water; medical and dental support; solar paneling development; and educational classes for community members.

Our first “Garden Project” is complete. Community members from Malacatan are actively maintaining and harvesting crops from the newly created Community Garden. The well-being and health of all community is improving.


August, 2014 Tacana, San Marcos Guatemala

ShuarHands, Inc. provided funds for 17 people, age 50 to 88, to receive Cataract and/or Pterigeum surgery. The cost of their transportation, lodging and meals were also covered.


Late March/April, 2014 San Marcos, Guatemala

ShuarHands, Inc. and Niños Shecanos, with the cooperation of the Guatemala military, local and provincial politicians orchestrated a multi-functional medical mission in the remote village of Tacana. Five ophthalmologists, two optometrists and one general doctor participated, and 377 patients were attended. Per doctors’ orders, glasses were distributed, as well as antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medications. Approximately 140 patients are in need of additional services. ShuarHands, Inc. and Niños Shecanos are coordinating follow-up treatment for those in-need.

Our sincere appreciation to our generous donors for providing funding for this complex mission. Our gratitude to Dr. Catherine and Mr. Randy for their financial support; Director Luis for his outstanding ability to coordinate missions to assist those living in poverty.

Patients gather in the western highland community of Tacana, and await appointments with the ophthalmologist, optometrist or general practitioner. These specialists are rarely available for residents in remote regions.

Patients are examined by our Guatemalan medical team in rural Tacana, Guatemala


March, 2014  Cuenca, Ecuador

ShuarHands, Inc. President Bette participated as a coordinator and translator on a reconstructive plastic surgery mission with Women for World Heath. Over 60 surgeries were performed, with several of the patients being Shuar indigenous people from the province of Morona-Santiago. ShuarHands, Inc. provided financial assistance for transportation, food, housing, and clothing for those having traveled great distances by bus. In addition, two young Shuar brothers who received severe facial burns by their now imprisoned father, returned for additional surgery. A compassionate volunteer was moved to provide assistance to improve the boys’ lives. A proactive plan of support has been created.

A comprehensive action plan is formed to assist Shuar brothers.

Shuar patient and his sister appreciate housing and travel assistance.


February, 2014  San Marcos, Guatemala

Pediatrician Catherine, Director Luis and Bette traveled to remote poverty-stricken villages in the western highlands where nearly 500 children were examined; approximately 60 were orphans and abandoned children.  The most prevalent concerns were pneumonia and other serious infections, parasites and malnutrition, dietary and reduced appetite concerns, and skin and muscles irregularities. All treatment and medications were free: Dr. Catherine supplying many of the medications, and ShuarHands, Inc. covering the cost of others, $460.  Children received a small bag of school supplies provided by ShuarHands, Inc. and tooth brushes and tooth paste supplied by Pediatrician Catherine and Dentist Marty.

Young orphaned/abandoned children all were seen by our pediatrician.

A mother from Comitancillo brings in her four children for evaluation.
Each receives school supplies, stickers and games, in addition to dental items.

An indigenous mother explains her concerns to Dra. Catherine and ShuarHands, Inc. President Bette.


May 2013 San Marcos, Guatemala

After waiting one year, 13 year-old Fredy and 7 year-old Breiner received their cornea transplants. Licenciado Luis provided transportation, lodging and comfort for the family.  Both boys now have complete vision thanks to a generous donation by dra. Catherine and Randy.


Post surgery: Breiner with his father, Fredy with his mother and Lic. Luis.


January/February/March 2013 San Marcos, Guatemala

With financial donations of many supporters of ShuarHands, Inc., and with the vital coordination efforts of Niños Shecanos, we were able to provide assistance to families following the 7.4 November 2012 earthquake: food supplies and pure water, vitamins, wool hats and gloves, blankets, masks, eye drops and lotion. Our Policlínica provided free medical check-ups and also housed professionals offering no-cost PTSD counseling. Construction supplies for rebuilding have been distributed to the most in-need.


Family receives food
Construction materials used
Displaced children receive warm caps

December 2012 San Marcos, Guatemala

Three motivated women visited: Hazel, a microbiologist; Sandra, a well-known artist and author of children’s books; and Lura, a travel agent and author.  A well-attended interactive presentation entitled “Safeguarding our Water Supply” was presented to state water authorities. More than 400 children and their parents received motivating, inspirational and interactive classes on water safety. Children enthusiastically received coloring books designed by our team.



Dr. Hazel and Bette:

Interactive panel discussion

Artist Sandra creating portrait   
Lura interviews Mayan women

October/November 2012 San Marcos, Guatemala

Dra. Catherine returned to work in remote towns treating 248 children.  The most serious cases were the arrival of a 7-hour newborn in distress, and a burn young victim.
Over 53 pounds of school materials were collected by caring and generous students from Pine Valley Academy under the guidance of Director Connie. Supplies were distributed to students following their medical exams.


ShuarHands, Inc. President
Bette with newborn
Pine Valley Academy Students
preparing supplies
Guatemalan students receiving
school supplies
Our satellite wellness clinic provides medical and dental services in San Pablo, located in the jungle region. In addition, a long-range educational dental program is established in 10 schools in the municipalities of San Marcos, San Pedro, San Antonio, and Esquipulas Palo Gordo; areas most affected by the November 2012 earthquake. Approximately 3,000 students will receive treatment. Dra. Catherine, Lic. Luis, the area education director, the area medical director and ShuarHands, Inc. President Bette met with the governor of San Marcos to discuss this comprehensive project.

Meeting with San Marcos

    Government officials

Summer/2012 San Marcos, Guatemala

Two doctors volunteered to treat families living in poverty or extreme poverty: In May, pediatrician Catherine treated 671 children living in remote areas near San Pedro. At least 1/3 had pneumonia and other infections, most had parasites.
Gynecologist Mary treated more than 200 women in remote villages: infections, STDs, chronic illnesses lacking proper management such as diabetes and hypertension were concerns. Breast, pelvic and Pap examines were done on many. Medical intake training was provided to local nurse’s assistant students.
My niece Adreanna, age 17, volunteered in July.  She worked in the Policlínica assisting us with the screening process for Asimedic’s reconstructive plastic surgery project, sponsored by Plasticos Foundation. She also visited several village families becoming aware of various living standards and cultural differences as she delivered school supplies to children living in extreme poverty.


Dra. Catherine with Patient
ShuarHands, Inc. President
Bette assisting family
Adreanna working in Policlínica

November/December 2011 San Marcos, Guatemala

Families living in poverty and extreme or absolute poverty lack the ability to afford basic human needs, which commonly includes: clean and fresh water, nutrition, health care, education, clothing and shelter. Therefore our continued goal is to provide assistance for those in need.

ShuarHands, Inc. is working in co-operation with Niños Shecanos Association to provide a worthwhile program entitled "Sponsor a Guatemalan Child". For only $240/year, you can assist a child and family in need. Please view our "Donation Page" for information and the application form.

With corporate donations received in September 2011, ShuarHands, Inc. developed a wellness medical clinic dedicated to providing service to the poor and the extremely poor. Our clinic was developed with the guidance and oversight of Mr. Luis Fuentes, Legal Counsel and Director of Niños Shecanos Association, in San Marcos, Guatemala.

Our "Policlínica Social Asociación Niños Shecanos' is a non-profit self-sustaining social clinic providing services to adults and children at reduced fees. A well-stocked pharmacy, complete laboratory, dental office, and education center are housed within the same facility. In addition, a mobile medical unit, which will travel frequently to remote rural areas, is a critical component to our outreach program.


During Construction
"Policlínica" Entrance
Reception area



December 2010 San Marcos, Guatemala

Three organizations are combining their efforts to provide a comprehensive food program for the malnourished children in Guatemala: ShuarHands, Inc., Niños Shecanos and Division 31 Kiwanis Club of Southern California.  Lt. Governor Mills accompanied ShuarHands, Inc. president to San Marcos, Guatemala to investigate the critical needs first-hand.

Children living in extreme poverty
Children living in extreme poverty
Kitchen and dining area

Many children are malnourished and live in extreme poverty in Comitancillo and Coxaque as seen in these photos. During their visits to remote areas, food packets were delivered to several needy families. Families readily shared health and education concerns for their children. The Vice- Mayor and church leaders support our proposed program to reduce malnutrition in children living in extreme poverty.

Home-bound grandmother receives a food packet
Mayan widow is pleased as Lt Govenor Mills presents her with food supplements
Political leader embraces food project concept.
Political leader and vice mayor supports our proposed program to reduce malnutrition in children living in extreme poverty.
ShuarHands, Inc. is working in co-operation with Niños Shecanos Association to provide a worthwhile program entitled “Sponsor a Guatemalan Child”. Please see “Donation Page” for application form.
Sponsor a Guatemalan Child
Vice-president Torrey’s sponsored child
School supplies and materials were donated for students

August 2010 Yaas Nunka, Ecuador

With the donations that ShuarHands, Inc., has received, we provided doctors and medicine for a two-day medical clinic in the jungle. The two doctors, a medical assistant and medicine arrived via chartered plane. Approximately 96 patients were seen. Two serious cases were immediately tended to: a newborn with breathing problems and young child with severe infection in his penis.

Doctors prepare for the two-day clinic
Our volunteer dentist instructs a Shuar patient about oral hygiene
The physician examines several Shuar children complaining of stomach pains.
ShuarHands, Inc. purchased $830 of school supplies and materials for the students living in remote jungle areas of Morona-Santiago. In addition, more than 150 pounds of addition materials were transported into the jungle. Material were distributed in a town meeting.
A Shuar mother was distraught as her new born was experiencing respitory problems. ShuarHands, Inc. evacuated them to a hospital in Taisha where the infant fully recovered.
School materials are display and then distributed to Shuar students.

September 2009 Yaas Nunka, Ecuador

Shuar students of the "Escuela Nanchiram" in the Amazon Jungle prepare to receive needed school supplies.

August 2009 Ecuador

Approximately 150 pounds of school supplies, including approximately100 backpacks, 250 pens, 700 pencils, erasers, 30 boxes crayons, various styles of lined paper, construction paper, art supplies, paints and brushes, rulers, solar powered calculators, rain ponchos, soccer balls, etc,. were transported from the U.S. into the Amazon jungle via chartered plane. In addition, ShuarHands, Inc also purchased $500.00 additional school items in Macas. One medical doctor accompanied ShuarHands, Inc. President on the flight into the Shuar Center. With the $500.00 of medicine purchased in Macas, 138 patients were treated in two days. All patients needed anti-parasitic medications. Many Shuar, both young and old, had various infections as a result of machetes cuts, scrapes and/or insect bites. Many women had complaints of moderate to severe body pain All women and children were given vitamins.

ShuarHands, Inc. president Bette and coordinator Shiki pack and count school supplies brought from the U.S.

This heavy box containing school supplies is bound for the Amazon Jungle.

All school materials and medicine is loaded into the chartered plane. Doctor Patricio enters the passenger side.

Coordinator/Nurse Shiki documents family members to visit the doctor.

After examining a patient, Dr. Patricio prescribes medication.

A blood sample is taken from a young patient by Nurse and Shuar leader Shiki

This four-month old undernourished child with a cleft lip was referred to Macas.

Bette is seated in the clinic with a family seeking medical attention.

December 2008 San Marcos, Guatemala

ShuarHands, Inc. goal is to, “improve the medical and educational infrastructure for populations in need in developing countries.”

ShuarHands, Inc is coordinating humanitarian efforts with Niños Shecanos, a non-profit Guatemalan organization which provides assistance to the extremely poor in the Department (province) of San Marcos. President Bette traveled to Guatemala in December of 2008 and April, 2009. ShuarHands, Inc provided much needed school supplies for students. Funds were also used to provide transportation and meals for the extremely poor that were being seen at a local clinic sponsored by Women for World Health.

More than 100 pounds of school supplies were donated to Niños Shecanos through their program called”Madres Guias” (Mother Guides).

These “Madres Guias” will distribute the supplies to outlying communities in San Marcos.


“Madres Guias” are pictured with the donated school materials.

President Bette poses with two of the 19 “Madres Guias”


After their medical examinations, Guatemalan patients present their bus and meal certificates to a representative to receive financial reimbursement offered by ShuarHands, Inc.


President Bette shares some notes with patients.

Ninos Shecanos director Luis Fuentes presents a banner of appreciation to ShuarHands, Inc President Bette.

August 2008 Ecuador

The summer of 2008 was filled with many activities: the graduation of seven indigenous students from nurse’s training, the second annual “Indigenous Artisan Fair of the Amazon”, delivery of school supplies into the Amazon Jungle, and work in the medical clinic. View the pictures below for more information.

ShuarHands, Inc provided scholarships for seven adult indigenous students, both Shuar and Achuar, to become nurses. These graduates now act as first responders in many medical situations in the Amazon regions of Ecuador.

As per tradition, ShuarHands, Inc president Bette Palovchik is assisting Coordinator Shiki in preparing to receive his certificate during the formal graduation ceremony.

Coordinator Shiki is congratulated by professors and doctors.


The graduates celebrate their accomplishments.

Two scholarship recipients proudly hold their certificates with ShuarHands, Inc president Bette Palovchik.

In August, the second annual “Artisan Fair of the Amazon” was sponsored by ShuarHands, Inc. in Macas, Ecuador. Artisans from four indigenous groups were represented: Shuar, Achuar, Quichua and Cofani. Entertainment included well-known musicians, dancers and singers from the Amazonia.

Professional dancers performed on both days.

The music and singing united the people.

ShuarHands, Inc. president Bette poses with Kirup, a Shuar warrior and dancer.

Thanks to having received generous donations to our non-profit organization, ShuarHands, Inc. purchased $600 of school supplies and $500 of medicine. President Bette Palovchik traveled into the Shuar Center via a ten-hour bus ride, followed by a nine hour canoe adventure. Fourteen full boxes were carried to the Shuar Center. During her 10-day jungle visit, she worked in the medical clinic with coordinator Shiki, distributed school materials, and met with local tribal leaders. She also experienced the Shuar woman’s daily routine.

Near Puerto Morona, all passengers must cross the suspension bridge while the bus is ferried to the other side.

Most passengers had arrived at their destination but not us!

Traditional Shuar structures are seen along the trek.


Local Shuar view the passing of canoes.

The canoe, the 14 boxes of school supplies and medicine and a tired president arrive to our destination in the Amazonia.

All supplies are carried from the river to the Shuar Center.


All medical supplies purchased by donations to ShuarHands, Inc. are presented to the Shuar community.

Coordinator/nurse Shiki and Bette demonstrate some medical procedures.


Many patients walked several miles to arrive at the clinic for needed medical attention

All wait to receive medical care.

Many children have walked with their families several miles to arrive at the clinic for needed medical attention.


As a result of generous donations to ShuarHands, Inc., all students received school supplies. The enrollment has grown significantly from 124 in 2007 to 274 in 2009. The increase in attendance is attributed to improved medical care, availability of school supplies and a renewed interest in education.

Students and parents are preparing to receive needed school supplies.

Coordinator Shiki distributes school supplies.

A young Shuar student and her father thank Bette.

March 2008 Macas, Ecuador

The Shuar community of Nunkui-Nunka generously donated 40,000 square meters of land to ShuarHands, Inc. for the future building of a fully-equipped children’s hospital.

The community’s president Elias Wasump and ShuarHands, Inc. president Bette Palovchik sign the legal documents.

The next step was for a contractor to review preliminary construction plans, with the assistance of a senior nurse on staff at an existing facility.

President Bette Palovchik distributes donated backpacks containing medical supplies to each of the 7 scholarship recipients.

December 2007 San Luis, Ecuador

President Bette Palovchik met with the Education Director to discuss the coordination of a bi-national teacher seminar.

She also met with the 7 Shuar students who had been awarded academic scholarships, through ShuarHands, Inc., to attend basic medical and first aid classes.

President Bette Palovchik meeting with the Education Director (seated on far right)


September 2007 Yaas Nunka, Ecuador

ShuarHands, Inc purchased several needed items for Escuela Nanchiram.

A Shuar man ensures all 10 whiteboards arrived in the community safely.

Regional Director Roman Shiki installs the school’s first computer.


August 2007 Yaas Nunka, Ecuador

Coordinator Roman invited representatives of ShuarHands, Inc to travel to the interior of the Amazon jungle to observe the Shuar way of life, their school and clinic.

In addition, ShuarHands, Inc. contracted a Shuar pediatrician to accompany the group so that all jungle community members could be seen by the doctor. Needed medicines were also purchased.

On August 9, 10, & 11, ShuarHands, Inc. sponsored the first ever Indigenous People of the Amazon Rainforest Cultural Fair. Held in Macas, Ecuador, Artisans of the Shuar, Quichua, and Cofan people came together for the first time in history to share their handcrafts, music, food, and traditions.

Six members of ShuarHands, Inc. arrived with donated school supplies via chartered plane.

ShuarHands, Inc. member Hugo Chacon and his mother drink heartily from a bowl of Chicha presented to them during a Welcoming Ritual.

Curious children gather around ShuarHands, Inc. CFO Tawny Palovchik.

As eager community members observed, ShuarHands, Inc. members sorted and prepared over 500 lbs of donated school supplies.

A generous donor provided funds that allowed ShuarHands, Inc. to purchase much needed medicine for the Shuar community.

Dr. Juan Chau Masuk fills a syringe with an antibiotic combination in order to treat a patient with a Chicken Pox-related infection.

A concerned father looks on as the doctor evaluates his son.

While waiting outside the clinic door to see the doctor, mothers used some of the donated medicine to treat their children for lice.

A Shuar family took the stage to share their traditional dress, hunting customs, dance and song with the audience.

Three Quichua ladies dazzled spectators with their dancing and singing. Each woman held a handmade piece of pottery.

Cofan Claus Crillo is an accomplished musician.

A Celebration of Beauty pageant was held on the last night of the cultural fair. A woman from each of the tribes present was invited to take the stage. Each woman had an opportunity to sing, dance, and answer questions posed by the judge. Shown here, from left to right, are the traditional costumes of the Quichua, Cofan, and Shuar.

April 2007 Macas, Ecuador

In April, a second meeting was held with approximately 30 local representatives (25 Shuar, 3 Quichua, and 1 Cofan) to update the Artisans on the recent accomplishments of ShuarHands, Inc., address questions and concerns, and to plan next steps.

Over 200 pounds of school supplies, obtained through private donations, arrived in Ecuador.

Coordinator Roman Shiki acted as moderator and director of the Artisan meeting.

With biographies in hand for each student, Coordinator Roman and political representative Elias thoughtfully prepared a backpack full of supplies for each student.

Each student received notebook paper, erasers, pencils, pens, hair ties, and small toy. Students living a greater distance from the school, or who had recently been orphaned, received a rain poncho, solar calculator, protractor, coloring pencils or flash lights.

After approximately 160 filled backpacks were encased in water-proof bags, they were transported by taxi to the bus terminal.

To reach their final destination, the backpacks would be driven 8 hours by bus until the road ended.

From there, the bags were transferred to a large canoe for an additional 10 to 12 hours (depending on the strength of the river level and current).

December 2006 Macas, Ecuador

In December, approximately 30 artisans and several local political representatives met to discuss, guide and to create goals for Shuarhands, Inc. The meeting lasted approximately 4 hours.

Representing ShuarHands, Inc. were President Bette Palovchik, Vice-President Torrey Palovchik, and Coordinator/Regional Manager Roman Shiki.

Bette Palovchik, with the support of Roman Shiki, addresses questions and concerns of the Artisans.

A young Shuar artisan adds her signature to a petition document supporting the Mission Statement of ShuarHands, Inc.

A Shuar woman expresses her enthusiasm and gratitude to Vice President Torrey Palovchik at the conclusion of the meeting.