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boca costa medical mission guatemala

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Boca Costa Medical Mission, Guatemala
September 5, 2013

I have been part of the Boca Costa Medical Mission since it first arrived in Guatemala in 2003. Liitle did they know 11 years later they would be the go to clinics in this jungle area. The inhabitants, displaced Maya, work seasonally in sugar cane and coffee fincas. Cultural differences, language barriers, and poverty prevented their access to medical care in nearby towns. Dilapidated attempts at centers for health were overgrown with tropical plants or overtaken by the bat population. The Government of Guatemala was unable and in some cases unwilling to sustain and staff these modest buildings. Overpopulated and without any substantial infrastructur, the BCMM has grown and provides basic needs medical care to thousands each year. This is accomplished by maintaining 2 clinics that are staffed by local trained nurses and health promoters from the area. They are are supported by this non profit organization opening their doors 10 days per month. They also host medical and construction teams. Once basic needs are met such analgesics, creams etc are provided like those you are able to get at your local pharmacy and anitiparasitic treatment (deworming) is offered, referrals and financial aid is provided to the clients who need to go to the larger towns nearby to see doctors, get diagnosis, and even receive surgery. Not only have cultural, language and barriers of poverty been overcome but the next generation of this area is learning to live within and without their local villages. In 2003 most patients who visited the clinic had never been outside their village. Now they are aware of services in nearby towns and all the way to Guatemala City. A 14 year old girl came with her newborn niece, Catarina. The infant feeding program was established as Catarinas' mother died during childbirth. Assistance for local midwives became part of the program too. A 40 year old with a benign abdominal mass weighing almost 11 pounds was one of their first surgical emergencies. All children and adults with cleft lip and pallet have been served and now only the newborn with this congenital abnormality have the need. Parents know they can come straight to the clinic and they will be referred to other non profit or private intituitons and they need not fear social stigma or financial inability to pay for basic globally available health care. School antiparasitic programs with teachers documenting change of entire class behavior after deworming has led to deworming programs partnering in theory with the WHO and the Global Network of Neglected Tropical Diseases. To continue bringing the third world Boca Costa de Solola up to 21st century global health standards help them. If you've been there write a review.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Help them find and train more local nurses and health promoters with sincere attitudes of helping this area not those just looking for a way out.

More feedback

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

MY ROLE:
Volunteer

Servants 4 Him Inc
September 5, 2013

I say I am a client served because Servants for Him volunteers have been my neighbors for several years in Guatemala. There is no home in the neighborhood that is more open and welcoming than theirs. I myself work in Guatemala but my home is like a sanctuary, a way to get away from the daily grind of helping the poor. But that is not the way of the Servant for Him volunteers. I have met volunteers, volunteer team members and full time folks who have been here more than 10 years. All are welcome. Can anyone say that for themselves. I don't think so. The gift of hospitality is what the Bible says it is, a gift. Servants 4 Him has it. l Their light shines in the darkness of need and despair and in friendship and and open door policy. The open door may not solve a problem but it is a place to go, to talk, to resolve through empathy and friendship.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I wish they were not moving out of our neighborhood to somewhere more open and serving.

More feedback

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

A lot

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Likely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

MY ROLE:
Client Served

MIRACLES IN ACTION INC
July 19, 2013

Literacy is important to Miracles in Action. They built a library in the remote Mayan village of Xojola Guatemala where there is also a community clinic that is visited a few times a year by international medical teams. Books and possibly some computers will be arriving this year and the library gives this village a unique opportunity that would not otherwise be available by providing a safe, dry, and secure place to house the materials donated.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Promote literacy and global knowledge while teaching the importance of maintaining the Mayan languages and culture This is something they probably already are doing as it is so important to the next generation of rural Maya.

More feedback

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

MY ROLE:
Professional with expertise in this field