Dr. Axel Suquen was ready to go into a career in the military when an invitation to church one day turned his life around. His introduction to the Lord changed his outlook on life, and today he spends his days as a Christian soldier outfitted with the armor of God.
Suquen is the director of Asociación VIDA in Patzún, Guatemala, a ministry supported by the Luke Society since 1996. The ministry offers affordable dental and medical services in its Patzún clinic and brings a variety of community health outreach opportunities to the mountain villages of greater Tecpán.
Health education programs are aimed at empowering community members to promote health through disease prevention, proper nutrition and good hygiene. Suquen also offers assistance to certify midwives.
The ministry works with pastors in the region to build relationships, foster spiritual growth and assist with social needs.
Read more about the ministry and Dr. Axel Suquen in our profile series here: Profile: Patzun, Guatemala.
Dr. Axel Suquen
Dr. Alex Suquen’s visionary leadership is born from his energy, enthusiasm and determination. He is a passionate advocate for the disadvantaged in the region, determined to give them the same level of quality care as anyone else in the Lake Atitlán region. His desire to tend to the region’s physical health needs and spiritual wellness provides a perfect combination for his partnership within the Luke Society family.
Population: 14.9 million
Size: 108,889 sq. km, or slightly smaller than Pennsylvania
Capital: Guatemala City
Borders: Mexico to the north and west; Belize, Honduras and El Salvador to the east; Pacific Ocean to the south.
Religious groups: Roman Catholic; Protestant; indigenous Mayan beliefs
Primary language: Spanish
Literacy (age 15+): 81.5%
Physician density: 0.9 doctors per 1,000 people.
Population below international poverty line: 54.0%
Life expectancy: 72.0 years
Infant mortality rate: 22.7 deaths per 1,000 live births.
Major exports: Sugar, coffee, petroleum, apparel, bananas, fruits, vegetables, precious stones and metals
Climate: Tropical; hot and humid in the lowlands; cooler in the highlands.
Terrain: Mostly mountainous with narrow coastal plains.