Humanitarian Service Trip to Guatemala

 
Raised: $1,818.00
Goal: $2,500.00
 
 
 

Created by

Daniel Scott Pfleging

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Hi there. For those of you who don't know me, I'm Daniel.  The purpose of this page is to help me raise funds for my volunteer trip to Peten, Guatemala this December, 2012.  I am going t... more

 
 
 
 
 
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Updated posted by Daniel Scott Pfleging 17 months ago

As the trip approaches, the time has come to withdraw some of the generous funding I have received! I just want to thank everyone again who donated. You will be in my thoughts and prayers in the coming weeks and especially during the trip. You all made this a lot easier for me, which is allowing me to focus a lot more on the good I will do, and the work that must be done to help heal this community (and the world in general) from the violence, fear, and ignorance of a dark age in human history. But, I personally feel that light and dark are opposite sides of the same coin, and the important thing is to be aware of and accepting of both sides in order to evolve past such distinctions and illusions. Hope you are all well and having a good day.

 
 
 

Updated posted by Daniel Scott Pfleging 18 months ago

4% to my goal! 52 visits to the page so far. Not bad for a couple of days! I'm really pleased, so far. Thanks again to everyone who donated. I've been looking over some healthcare stats for Guatemala, and found some really sad things, but also some really amazing things. The scars of a 36 year civil war that decimated a non-combatant indigenous population are deep. According to some presentations done for a class at my school: alcoholism is rampant, especially among women since a large proportion of the male population is dead (many of them killed by Anti-Communist death squads which unfortunately were trained by, according to things I've been reading, American Green Berets). Apparently, children who weren't even born when the fighting was going on wake up every night with night-terrors. That's just some of the bad news (to say nothing of rampant malnutrition). But here's the really crazy part: according to what little knowledge of traditional Mayan medicine has survived the last 50 years of struggle, there are many correlations between their medicine and Chinese Medicine. Acupuncture points, concepts akin to Qi, as well as Yin and Yang. I obviously haven't even scratched the surface, and need to learn a lot more. I had no idea there was so much to the story of this ancient people. A few months ago my thinking was "I like traveling. I like helping. I like indigenous cultures. Why the hell not?" Oh, how things change.

 
 
 

Updated posted by Daniel Scott Pfleging 18 months ago

And we're off! Thanks to those who've visited and donated. You're amazing.

 
 
 

Created by Daniel Scott Pfleging on September 28, 2012

Hi there. For those of you who don't know me, I'm Daniel.  The purpose of this page is to help me raise funds for my volunteer trip to Peten, Guatemala this December, 2012.  I am going to provide free Chinese Medicine based therapies (such as acupuncture, moxibustion, and cupping) to the Mayan peoples of Peten, who cannot afford these services. We will also be training members of their community how to use some of our techniques so that when we leave we will have given them some affordable tools that they can adapt to their own medicine-ways to help keep their community healthy.  In exchange, I will have the great honor of taking part in some of their sacred ceremonies, as well as learning some of their traditional healing arts from their respected tribal elders and medicine men/women.

If you're anything like me, there's only one place you want to be in December 2012, and that's in a Mayan Village in the middle of the jungle, immersed in an ancient and beautiful culture, helping people do good things for other people.

In order to help you decide if this is something you'd like to donate to, I'd like to give you a little background on me, my academic trajectory, and perhaps answer some of the questions you might have regarding this endeavor.

 

- Who are you?

I'm Daniel Pfleging, a 28-year-old New Yorker (born and raised), currently working towards attaining my Masters degree in Traditional Oriental Medicine (MSTOM) at Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in New York City ( http://www.pacificcollege.edu).

As far as Master's degrees go, mine is in a league of its own when it comes to time commitment and money spent. At present, it is five and a half academic years (three and a half actual years, using trimesters instead of semesters), and close to four thousand hours. Most master’s degrees are somewhere around ninety hours.

However, I think it's absolutely worth it, because my intention is to use what I'm learning to heal people at a level which our current healthcare system fails to address, as well as to educate people about how to take control over their own health. I see it as a form of service for all the blessings I have had in my life, and a way to bring balance and new life to our healthcare system. The western system is incredibly advanced in many ways, but tends to place too little importance on living a healthy lifestyle, and relies far too heavily on dangerous chemicals and invasive surgeries.  Most people are unaware that in China, Chinese Medicine and Western Biomedicine are practiced side-by-side. There isn't a sense of one being "better" than the other, but that they support each other quite nicely.

My ultimate goal is to help cultivate an affordable, holistic, sustainable alternative and adjunct to the Western healthcare system for people who desperately need it, using a combination of as many healing modalities as I feel is necessary to address all the different aspects of a human being (physical, mental/emotional, spiritual).

The journey starts in NY with Chinese Medicine, but I have a strong feeling it will take some interesting turns along the way.

 

- Why Guatemala? Why not do some good in your native land?

Several reasons:

1. Many similar organizations exist in the US, but as far as I know, they don't take on students as volunteers. However, I fully intend to do lots of humanitarian work here in the states when I'm done with school, with many different underserved populations.

2. I heard about this trip first, and a lot of my teachers and fellow students will be there. I would like to share this experience with them, and also use it to help deepen and reinforce the things I'm learning while I still have these future colleagues and friends as constant resources.

3. This trip is unique, as it takes place during December 2012, the historic end of the Mayan Long Count calendar cycle that we’ve all heard so much about the last few years. This event won’t happen again for another 5,200 years, so I’d like to be there to witness something of such profound importance.

 

- Who cares about traditional Mayan folk medicine?

Where I'll be going, the people strive to live in ways that I strongly believe will be necessary to human survival as our society moves forward. I believe that much of what plagues our modern world in terms of chronic diseases and mental illness stems from a lack of connection to each other, our selves, and to the natural world. I am certain that indigenous cultures practicing their traditional medicines and living in harmony with nature hold some of the most crucial keys to ensuring both our planet’s and species’ survival.

It’s no secret that the rates of chronic diseases and mental illnesses (like IBS, cancer, MS, anxiety, depression, ADHD, etc) are rising and sadly becoming common even among children. As good as we’ve gotten with dealing with some aspects of these illnesses, there’s something we’re missing.  I think it’s imperative that we open ourselves up to the wisdom of indigenous cultures like the Maya if we want to get to the roots of these issues, and make a healthier world than this.

There has been lots of research in the past few years using traditional herbal medicines and shamanic healing techniques to radically and permanently transform the lives of people who struggled with substance abuse, depression, and other chronic mental and physical illnesses. I intend to combine these powerful techniques with the powerful set of skills I am currently learning to provide people with treatments that will positively transform their lives in a really big way.

 

If you see the value in things like Chinese Medicine, the wisdom of ancient cultures, and getting back in touch with nature, you'll agree that this kind of experience is not to be missed.  It is also the perfect opportunity for me to see the medicine that I study in action, helping to treat many conditions that I will never see in the more industrialized parts of our world, getting valuable insights into being the kind of healer that I want to be, and that I believe the world needs.

If you have any other questions, feel free to contact me at danpfleging@gmail.com.  For more information on the organization I’ll be traveling with, please check out the Healer2Healer website at:

http://www.healer2healer.org.

Thanks so much for taking the time to read this.  I wish you a long, happy, and healthy life.

 

- Daniel Pfleging

 
 
 
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Recent Donations (21)

$1,818 raised by 21 people in 18 months.

$500.00

Your friend

16 months ago

 
 

Have fun, learn a lot, good luck! :)

 

$18.00

Anonymous

16 months ago

 

$30.00

Thomas Meli

16 months ago

 
 

I wish you many beautiful laughs, learnings and synchronicities. I'm already excited for hearing stories when you come back! Blessings! -Tom

 

$30.00

marissa gessin

16 months ago

 
 

have an amazing time man!

 

$200.00

Anonymous

17 months ago

 

$20.00

jeanette montesano

17 months ago

 
 

cheers!!!

 

$10.00

David Foster

17 months ago

 
 

$100.00

Rio Ryan

17 months ago

 
 

Safe travels friend. I hope J and I meet you someday on another trip!

 

$25.00

David Fishler

18 months ago

 
 

$20.00

Eric

18 months ago

 
 

If the locals are meditating on the night of December 21st into the 22nd and they start disappearing into thin air. Then join them. And if they ate some mysterious plants before they began, then do that too.

 

1-10 of 21 donations

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