This January will be my sixth mission trip to Guatemala and to say I am hooked is an understatement. Working with this group of volunteers is amazing, everyone is there for the right reason and that is to play a small or large part in making life a little better medically for the women and children of Guatemala. The medical staff see many many patients and the surgeons perform surgeries that are life changing and life saving and to be part of that is just awesome. Every year I come home feeling yes we did make a difference and realize how fortunate we are. I am very proud to be part of the support staff that helps this team do what they do best and that is to render medical treatment to those that would other wise have a more difficult life.
I have been a volunteer with COTA for several years and have had the opportunity to watch it grow from a small volunteer group to one of the largest medical/surgical teams that work in Guatemala. The teams that go now consists of approximately 125 volunteers (none of whom are paid). They do over 100 surgeries and treat thousands of women and children in the clinic. An effort such as this requires dedicated and skilled leadership, and COTA certainly has that. Many people devote hundreds of hours each year to gathering, organizing, and shipping medical supplies to Guatemala to make it possible for the doctors and surgeons to do their jobs. It is a joy to watch the Guatemalan patients receive much needed medical care, and to watch the volunteers who serve with humble hearts.
Children of the america's provides much needed medical care to indigenous women and children in Guatemala. I have traveled with COTA for the last 8 years - it is composed of the most amazing people that I have ever had the opportunity to work with. Teamwork rocks !!!
I have volunteered and traveled with COTA on the last six of their medical/surgical missions. While in Guatemala I am a nurse in the recovery room. The surgical specialties that we provide include plastics, orthopedics, general, and OBGYN. The teamwork required to complete a mission trip like this is beyond anything that could be taught - somehow we make it all work. The days are long and demanding, but the rewards are immense. Surgical procedure's that we provide, such as club foot repairs and cleft lip/palate repair, are life changing for their recipients. The look in the parents eye's after surgery speak volumes, even if we do not speak the same language. I am blessed to be a part of this organization.
As an organization COTA gets 5 stars in ALL areas. Organization is the constant concern of the Board and b/c of that commitment the concern filters down through all areas and allows the individual providers in their contacts with patients to take advantage of many other areas of COTA so that it's not just a stream from the Board down but can be diverted so that the patient can actually be the primary concern and all that filters back up to the Board and it's decision making.
Every January for the past 10 years or so, I've had the good fortune of spending a week with COTA volunteers doing medical mission work in Guatemala. This past January was no exception as we worked together in Salama where medical, surgical, pharmaceutical and dental care were provided. Over 8000 encounters were achieved in one week through cooperation, communication and a good deal of "elbow grease"!
In providing health care to Guatemalans and working alongside these wonderful COTA volunteers, one gains so much more than one gives!
A remarkable organization doing wonderful things for those in need in Guatemala. I have participated for about 10 years with this group and each year easily reconnect with past volunteers as well as develop new friendships. Every January when we travel to Guatemala, I eagerly wait to greet our in-country friends and volunteers, many of whom were former patients. The experience is life-changing!
Salama was my 12th COTA team! The committment and love for the women and children of Guatemala is the common bond shared by each COTA volunteer on every team. Every year I am amazed by the warmth and kindness shown to our team by the gracious people of Guatemala. I am humbled by the women we serve as they care for their family, seeking knowledge and reassurance from medical professionals and support staff. I look forward to serving on another team!
Working with COTA has been the most rewarding work my wife and I have ever done. As volunteer ARNP and pharmacist we have been truly blessed by working with the needy women and children of Guatemala. COTA is making such a difference in the lives of "the least of these". If you go your heart and outlook are changed forever. Can't say enough about all the COTA volunteers and their dedication. The biggest reward is on the faces and smiles of those we are serving. Hosting a foster child for medical treatment stole our hearts. We always look forward to returning each year with COTA. Please support COTA to continue this important work.
It has been an honor and privilege to be a volunteer in this wonderful organization. With very limited financial resources they are doing amazing things, changing the lives of indigent children and their mothers in Guatemala. It is an all volunteer organization, one that is worthy of your support.
I have been a COTA volunteer on the pharmacy team for the last 7 trips. Every year I am amazed at how 125 peiole from different disciplines, backgrounds and regions come together with limited resources in nearly unimaginably difficult working environments to provide exceptional healthcare for the women and children of Guatemala. All of this takes place without rehearsal, without meetings, without manuals and with rookie volunteers in critical roles every year. I have studied organizational theroy for twenty years and I have never seen anything that approaches this level of productivity. I work with amazing champions who are motivated by a greater good and who truly touch the lives and whose lives are forever touched by the indigenous population of Guatemala.
what a remarkable organization to be a part of. as a member of the clinic staff, we saw great numbers of women and children waiting patiently for their time to "tell their story". These families are so resilient and humble they put us to shame. It was an honor to take time to hear what was important the them and support their goals for better health for themselves and their families. They were so interested in learning how to be healthier and so happy to receive reassurance and affirmation. The most important gift we can share is time and compassion...isn't that what everyone needs. Thanks for the chance to share time with such beautiful people - the people we serve and the great staff we work with.
COTA medical mission of 2016 was very successful! We had all supplies we needed! Adequate OR staff. PACU limited space and staff slowing down our turn over of our room! The only obstacle to overcome on this trip and previous trips! Need OR's with better air conditioning when evaluating future sites.