Here in Cusco, it is particularly gratifying to have our patients step forward to help with translation. Often it is to untangle my rudimentary Spanish, but we also have many patients from the high Andes who only speak Quechua. Whenever we have a Quechua family who cannot understand our translators, there always seems to be another mother who speaks both and steps out of the gathered assembly to translate for us.
And the families! Peru seems to have a particular abundance of caring extended families. Patients who have traveled two days for their surgery often have friends or family here with whom to stay, and tias (aunts), tios (uncles), and primos (cousins) who visit them in the hospital.