About the Town

Nuevo Progreso, in the state of San Marcos in southwestern Guatemala, is accessible by a 5 hour bus ride along the coastal highway from Guatemala City, after a 7-hour flight from the U.S. The hilltop town lies fifty miles from the Mexican border. About 2,500 people live here with 25,000 more in the surrounding villages. Unemployment is around 50% with some finding work on the coffee plantations and the rest marginally self-supporting, living on the land. The people are warm, friendly and most appreciative of the medical care they receive - often walking days to get to the hospital.

Nuevo Progreso and the surrounding local villages that adjoin it have a population of approximately 30,000 people. However, the hospital is so well known in the surrounding area that covers about 200 square miles, it is estimated that the region has about 200,000 people who consider the hospital the first place to call whenever there is a medical emergency. Not included in those estimates is the fact that many people come across the border from neighboring Mexico and about 4,000 Mexican patients are also treated annually at the hospital.