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Condor of the Andes

Family photo before Frank leaving for war.

For his unsparing labors during the fighting he was awarded the "Condor of the Andes," the highest honor that is ever given to foreigners. In 1940, Dr. Frank S. Beck received "The Condor of the Andes" from the Bolivian government for his medical work during the Chaco War with Paraguay and his founding of Clinica Americana Hospital. This is the highest decoration given in Bolivia.

In 1932, with a war being waged between Bolivia and Paraguay, Beck was asked to provide medical assistance for tile Bolivian Army. The war was fought in a disease-cursed jungle area called the Gran Chaco-more realistically dubbed "the Green Hell." Soldiers died like flies from tuberculosis, malaria, intestinal infections. Beck, burning with malaria himself, fought to save casualties of both germs and bullets. He could operate only between four and six o'clock in the morning, after the clouds of mosquitoes had dispersed and before swarms of vicious gnats took over. He was recalled to La Paz to take care of a maternity case of the wife of President Tejada-Sorzano.