In October 1994, Dr. Robert Michler fulfilled his vision of providing heart care services to indigent children and young adults in developing countries and training local medical personnel by organizing the first Heart Care International mission trip to Guatemala City, Guatemala. Dr. Michler turned to his network of medical personnel to volunteer their vacation time to staff this trip. At the same time, he enlisted the help of the Second Congregational Church in Greenwich, CT. for financial and logistic support.
The trip in 1994, involved close 50 medical personnel and saved the lives of 38 Guatemalan children and reinforced Dr. Michler's commitment to fulfilling this vision. The lasting legacy of Heart Care International in Guatemala is palpable not only through the lives that were saved, but in having played an integral role on the opening of the Pediatric Heart Center in Guatemala City, led by Heart Care International partner Dr. Aldo Castaneda. Today, children suffering from congenital heart defects are treated at this state-of-the-art medical center in their home country. The center is staffed by local Guatemalan medical and technical specialists.