Pucallpa, Peru

February 2011

Pucallpa, Peru is located east of the Andes Mountains on the Ucayali River, a major tributary feeding into the Amazon River. Being located in the Amazon jungle resulted in almost daily rains and 100% humidity. The lack of air conditioning for a few days in the operating rooms made surgery quite challenging. Fortunately, the air conditioning was repaired making the staff and patients very grateful for the basics we have at home.

The city’s history began in the 1840’s as a Franciscan missionaries’ settlement.  It now has access to the world through roads, railroad, and aviation.

Five months before Dr. Hobbs’ trip (September 24, 2010), Pucallpa experienced a powerful earthquake that registered 5.6 on the Richter scale.  There were no known casualties or damages and there was not any evidence that a quake had occurred.

Dr. Hobbs and the team were able to do cleft lips, cleft palates, burn contracture releases, hand surgeries, tumors, and reconstructive eyelid surgery

The gentleman in the following pictures had endured a cleft palate all his life and found it extremely difficult to communicate with people.   (He had endured being ostracized, mocked, and unable to get a good job.)  After the surgery corrected his cleft palate he was able to say “p’s” or other essential sounds which he had never been able to say. He was ecstatic! That is part of the reason for the smile on his face afterwards!