We’re Supporting The Range of Motion Project’s Work In Guatemala

For the first time in her life, Maria, who is 6 years old, stood on two feet this past July. She was born without a foot and like 90% of people worldwide living with a disability in a developing country, she had never had access to assistive devices, including prosthetic care, until ROMP set up a satellite clinic near her rural town in Ecuador in early 2023. 

ROMP Ecuador patient, Maria, in Macas, Ecuador the day she received her first prosthetic leg. Photo credit: ROMP


The Cotopaxi Foundation first invested in ROMP in 2021, with funding focused on Quito, Ecuador and the opening of a new world-class facility there. After seeing just how impactful ROMP has been in Ecuador, the Cotopaxi Foundation is excited to announce a new grant to ROMP Guatemala. ROMP has worked in Guatemala for nearly two decades and is the largest prosthetic provider in the country. In 2022, ROMP relocated its clinic from rural Zacapa to Guatemala City, which is where the majority of patients and referral partners are located. In 2023, ROMP finished renovating their Guatemala City clinic, creating a state-of-the-art facility that will serve hundreds of patients this year.

ROMP patient, Manuel, received ROMP's 5,000th prosthetic device on August 30, 2023. Photo credit: ROMP


We’re excited about supporting ROMP as it improves prosthetic access in Guatemala—and equally excited about what this nonprofit has been able to accomplish in Ecuador with support from the Cotopaxi Foundation. With an additional grant from our Foundation 2022, ROMP was able to accelerate their plans to establish a satellite clinic in the Morona-Santiago Region of the Ecuadorian Amazon. This clinic is where six-year-old Maria received her first prosthetic leg and took her first steps. This mobile/satellite clinic model helps reduce geographic barriers, and is something ROMP is working toward replicating in Guatemala, Honduras, and Belize. 

Another program our grant will help support is the growth of ROMP’s Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR) program, which provides the most vulnerable patients with a customized, holistic intervention plan to help them regain mobility. With the help of CBR and their prosthetic devices, ROMP patients in Guatemala have gone on to start small businesses, go back to school, work at the Guatemala National Zoo, overcome crippling depression, and thrive in their communities in more ways. ROMP plans to bring the CBR model to Ecuador within the next two years. 

ROMP Guatemala patient, William, walking in his neighborhood with his mom and his sister. Photo Credit: Lauren 'LP' Panasewicz


So how does ROMP help Cotopaxi achieve its mission of ending extreme poverty? Disability and poverty are inextricably linked—people living in poverty have a higher risk of acquiring a disability due to lack of healthcare, nutrition, sanitation, and safe working conditions. Similarly, acquiring a disability can propel an individual and their family into poverty due to lack of employment/income, increased health issues, lack of mobility, and more factors. Disability can cause a cycle of poverty that is very difficult to break. 

ROMP Guatemala patient, Genesis, with ROMP Director of Development, LP. Photo Credit: Santino Martirano


And ROMP doesn’t just stop at providing prosthetics. Providing a prosthesis is part of a bigger rehabilitation approach that includes general health care, mental health, physical therapy, livelihood guidance, social integration, empowerment, and other services. When ROMP puts these puzzle pieces together, they see verified improvements in the overall health, mental health, mobility, and livelihood of their patients. 


ROMP Guatemala patient, Ezekiel, walking on two legs for the first time. Video Credit: ROMP

First and foremost, our partnership with ROMP is a powerful reminder that the lives and dignity of each patient ROMP serves matters and deserves to be celebrated, like Ezekiel, who walked on two legs for the first time in his life as a ten-year-old. Two of ROMP’s core values are community and sustainability. This partnership and Cotopaxi’s commitment to investing in ROMP Global builds community and sustainability around the needs of people with amputation in impoverished communities. We are all in this together.