Gomez Palacio Population (2010): 327,985
Gomez Palacio is a large city located in the state of Durango, in the country of Mexico. It is located about 550 miles southeast of El Paso, Texas and about 650 northwest of Mexico City. The city bears the name of one of the former Durango governors, Francisco Gomez Palacio y Bravo. Three early industries (soap, spinning and weaving, and shoe manufacturing) allowed for growth, but it was the establishment of the railroad that enabled expansion of those industries. In 1930, the Francke power plant, continued the industrialization process. With further development of the surrounding agricultural markets, Gomez Palacio became an important hub for the Country of Mexico. Many of the employees of the many industries established in Gomez Palacio, have a hard time affording eye care and/or eye wear, creating a large need for our services in this community.
To make serving this community possible, we have been graciously hosted by the Lions Club from Gomez Palacio since the very first mission trip in 1976. This trip would not be possible without their help. These wonderful members volunteer their time and money, planning months in advance to set up this week long mission service. They help arrange food, lodging, and entertainment for doctors and volunteers, and they even work alongside the volunteers to take care of the patients. Here you can see them hard at work:
The area offers a wide array of exciting venues and entertainment, and these amazing people make sure that we get plenty of opportunities to experience their culture. Throughout the years, the groups have experienced local soccer games, trolley rides, cock fights, Mexican Luchadores, Spanish-style bull fights, dances, sight-seeing, etc. The Lions Club members make sure everyone is well fed by providing breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily. These meals range from traditional Mexican tacos to their version of a hamburger and everything in between. They love to serve cake and coffee for a mid-morning snack and a dessert after lunch. Below you can see some of these food and entertainment options:
There have been many changes to this mission trip over the years including the number of doctors, opticians, and volunteers. Below you can find the most up to date rosters for each year's mission trip by clicking on the year.
Additionally, over the last few years, we have kept track of the amount of men, women, and children served, the number of glasses given out, and the amount of advanced cataract patients referred to an ophthalmologist for cataract surgery. You can find each year's breakdown by clicking on the year below:
Check out a video of this year's mission trip below.