FJA Members Shannon Del Prado and Skip Pita Support Missions for ProjectPeru
|Del Prado and Pita with other Project Peru supporters by the clinic sign in Peru||Del Prado and Pita (right) at Clinica Kausay Wasi in Peru|
Shannon Del Prado and H. Skip Pita, Pita, Del Prado & Muñoz, were so excited to get involved with Clinica Kausay Wasi, a health clinic for the poor in Peru, they had a medical team assembled by the end of their first informational session. When Shannon and Skip were planning that initial gathering in 2007, held at their Miami home, Skip had one thought in mind - invite as many doctors as possible! "I invited every doctor I knew," said Skip. Shannon’s parents, Guido and Sandy Del Prado, responsible for opening the clinic in 2003-2004, were also in attendance. "Shannon's parents were the reason we wanted to get involved, as they spend so much of their time at the clinic. They were at the initial meeting to be a part of a Q&A session, but ended up being an inspiration for everyone there," said Skip. Many teams from all over the country had traveled to the clinic, but it was important to Shannon and Skip to have a Miami-based team - they wanted to bring that spirit of volunteerism to Miami.
That evening they put the first Miami team together; and since, five south-Florida based Project Peru medical teams have travelled to Peru to perform free surgeries – including plastic surgery, orthopedic surgery and gynecological surgery. Just these five teams alone have performed approx 200 surgeries and procedures. In June 2012, the plastic surgery team returned from its third trip to Peru. Sixty-six surgeries were performed, including cleft lip and palate patients, burn victims and ear reconstructions. The next team will travel to Peru in June 2014, and there is a dental team in the works for 2014 or 2015.
The Coral Gables Congretional Church has also been a huge part of making the clinic such a success. While the missions to Peru are humanitarian and not religious, the Church has provided meeting space for the medical teams, stored medical supplies for the trips, and hosted fundraisers to raise money before each mission.
With Shannon and Skip's help the clinic continues to grow. "We had a Project Peru University of Miami Architect Team travel there to design the expansion of the clinic. The students dedicated the entire semester to the project!" said Skip.