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2018 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Children of the Americas (COTA)

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: International, International Development, International Relief

Mission: COTA enhances the health and wellbeing of underserved women and children in developing countries through international collaboration.

Target demographics: Mayan women and children

Geographic areas served: rural Guatemala

Programs: donated medical/surgical/dental and orthopedic services

Community Stories

76 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Board Member

Rating: 5

Fantastic organization doing good works in Guatemala for women and children.

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Board Member

Rating: 5

Remarkable Organization doing good works for underserved Guatemalan women and children. Honored and humbled to be a part of the Team.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

It has been an honor to travel and work with this wonderful organization. I have found a place to park my heart with the warm and welcoming people of Guatemala. I look forward to returning in January of 2020 to continue our good work on behalf of the women and children.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

Children of the Americas is an all volunteer 501(c)3 organization that has changed the lives of thousands of indigent women and children in Guatemala. Each January, a large team of surgeons, anesthesiologists, clinic physicians, nurses, interpreters, and other medical professionals travel to a different rural area of the country to provide free medical and surgical services to indigent women and children. It has been a pleasure and an honor to be a part of this wonderful organization for the past 22 years.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

Each and every volunteer is so passionate about helping the women and children of Guatemala. Truly a pleasure and privilege to work alongside the members of this group.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Wonderful program. Well organized and provides opportunity for surgical/dental/primary care to women and children of Guatemala.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have made 7 trips to Guatemala as an orthopedic surgeon with Children of the Americas. I had looked for years prior to finding this Team of organized, efficient, skilled volunteers for a way to make a difference and impact the lives of others. This cost-effective group allows me to function as a fully-practicing orthopedic surgeon providing ambulatory, surgical, and orthotic/prosthetic care for those in greatest need. I truly believe that, in doing so with this group, the blessings I receive outnumber the (surgical) donations I provide!

AudacityRN

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have traveled with COTA for several years, and am always impressed by the compassion, genuine selflessness, and willingness to do anything in our power to improve the lives of the people of Guatemala. Each and every volunteer is upbeat, respectful of the culture, and truly honored for the opportunity to serve the communities that we do. The group is well organized, and ship in almost every supply that we need, requiring very little from the people we serve other than space and time. The relationships we have forged with patients, families, and medical staff in Guatemala is life changing. I can't imagine traveling with another group!

1 Denise E J.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Ive been a volunteer with COTA for the last 2 years. I look forward to seeing not only the teams from all over but for the many patients we are there for to help change lives. I love travling with COTA. All patients in whom we see are Thankful to God for him sending us to them to get the help they desperately need. I am honored and pleasured to be apart of a great organization.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is a very caring organization. My daughter and I went with COTA to Huehuetenango in Guatemala last January. My daughter helped in triage where her team saw more than 1,500 patients! I worked in the OR where we were able to perform 129 surgeries. The Guatemalan people are so kind and friendly. Their smiles and thank yous will stay with me forever. I have been able to see some of the kids that have had cleft lip repairs by COTA in the past and the difference is amazing! These kids have less of a scar than I see many kids in the states after the same surgery. I love how many families that have been helped by COTA in the past, take time to volunteer with COTA on these trips. There is no sense of entitlement, just heartfelt appreciation for COTA changing their lives for the better. My daughter and I can't wait for January to come so we can volunteer with the COTA team again!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered as logistics support (read: cooked in the hospital kitchen) for this year's Children of the Americas mission to Huehuetenango, and the experience was unforgettable. This is a team of people who care deeply about the population they serve and have a lot of experience doing so. This was apparent in all aspects of my experience with them: pre-trip communications were detailed and gave me a good idea of what I could expect, and the trip itself was very well planned, organized and executed.

Because I was back in the kitchen, I didn't have much contact with the patients that the medical team served this year. I did have a number of great conversations with some of our local translators, though, who by and large were clients on past trips. I think it's fair to say that COTA had a dramatic impact on these peoples' lives.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I traveled with COTA for the first time in January 2018. To say that I was impressed is an understatement. The work that this team does is no less than life changing. I am very grateful for the opportunity to work alongside all of the COTA volunteers and to serve the people of Guatemala. My biggest regret is not joining the team sooner. I fully intend to serve again next year.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

After 4 years I look forward to working with the talented, caring, and dedicated medical and non-medical volunteers who go to Guatemala to provide medical care and surgical procedures to the underserved women and children

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The 2017 trip was my first year with COTA. I went with the group as an interpreter.
This is a remarkable and extraordinary volunteer group of caring, dedicated and hard working people and I feel honored and blessed to have been a part (albeit small) of this trip and to be able to help where I could. COTA is very well organized and it is truly amazing to see what was accomplished and how many women and children were helped in the space of 5 days.
I consider it an honor and privilege to be part of this organization and look forward to next year and many more to come.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

In January 2017 I made my third trip to Guatemala with the COTA organization. During that week COTA provided much needed medical care to women and children who would otherwise not receive medical care. Many families traveled far and long to receive dental care, medical advice, and vitamins. For many the doctors advised the patients on hygiene, treatment of current ailments, and how to perform self-examinations. The care, surgeries, and medical equipment that the organization provides for many greatly improves their lives and gives them hope for the future. The organization and its volunteers work tirelessly throughout the year to replenish supplies and prepare next years trip. Many who have benefitted from COTA have returned to help on future trips which is a testament to the impact this organization makes.

Norman N.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've spent the last 4 years traveling to Guatemala with this group. To say that I look forward to the trip every year would be an understatement. The week of giving something back to the world has been one of the most rewarding and grounding experiences of my life. It is a wonderful example of selflessness and teamwork and I look forward to continued participation in the future.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is a wonderful organization dedicated to providing healthcare and services to the people of Guatemala. I was fortunate to be a volunteer on the trip in January and returned even more in awe of this hardworking group of people than I was last year. Time and resources are devoted entirely to delivering care to patients who come from miles away for services they might not ever receive if not for this weeklong program.This is a team of people who make serving others a core part of their lives in both the US and abroad.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a nurse and 2017 was my 5th year to travel with COTA. I am amazed at what happens in the short amount of time this group spends in this beautiful country. I also help during the year to prepare for this yearly medical team. It takes a lot to make this happen. Many items are taken to be donated such as walkers and wheelchairs for many that were previously carried everywhere by their families. Supplies are also donated to the hospitals that offer space for our team as well as to local charitable organizations. Every year I have traveled with this group I have been humbled by their generosity as no one, including the president or board members, make any money. Everyone covers their own expenses and everything else happens with donations and fund raisers. The gratefulness of the those receiving surgeries, examinations, medicines, prosthesis or dental care cannot be put into words. The women and children who receive care are truly deserving. I see lifelong friendships form among team members. I see all of these volunteers leave knowing they have been involved in a group that truly makes a difference. I look forward to continuing to be a part of this organization.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I went on my first medical mission 14 years ago. I had been in Central America before while I was in the Army. This was just gonna be a adventure for me. But I got here and saw the need and I was hooked. Then came me two boys. They are happy and healthy. I'm blessed and have a duty to give back.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This was my second year with COTA. It's just a great group of people with really big hearts, taking care of a very appreciative, very deserving patient population. It's really a pleasure and a privilege to be a part of it. And if Mike and Omer are reading this, I just bought 4 brand new sen retractors off amazon to bring down for next year...sweet.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Again this year a group of 120 non paid volunteers headed to Guatemala to join with the caring people in Retalhuleu to help those who need medical care. With members from Guatemala, Ohio, Colorado, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Kentucky and numerous other states, these people joined together to lend a hand. Many on this team have worked together for years and others were strangers. That's why it was so amazing when they immediately became such a united group all serving each other and the people of Guatemala. I have worked with Children of the Americas for twelve years and am always amazed at how this many people can pull it together in one week to set up a medical team that will see nearly 2000 patients requiring consultation with a primary care doctor, surgery, dental care, ultra sounds, prescriptions, and orthotics. We are all blessed to be a part of this endeavor.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been privileged to work with this all volunteer group since 2006. We are called upon to serve those who are marginalized by poverty, disease or circumstance. Working side by side with the wonderful people of Guatemala, I find that we transform not only those whose needs we serve, but ourselves as well, making the world a better place one child at a time.

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1 beatty

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is my third year with COTA. Each year is better than the last. I love the culture and the people of Guatemala. I was blessed this year to experience serendipity. While vacationing at Lake Atitlan prior to the trip through multiple events I was put in touch with a widowed woman and her young son that had never walked. $125 dollars and 6 days later this child was in surgery and will eventually be able to walk. The community leader and Canadian volunteers visiting Guatemala hiked the three hours up a mountain to the village to back pack the child down to public transportation. Six hours later on a local bus got the child, the mamá and community leader arriving at Retalhuleu. COTA provided housing and food while "mi familia" awaited surgery. This same journey happened in reverse after surgery but a village closer to public transportation will care for the family until the child is able to go back to his village.

$125 dollars- something that I spend on a dinner out changed someone's life forever. I know that my financial support and my time makes a difference with COTA. I am lucky to be part of this organization and am impressed with the board and my fellow participants