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Mission Guatemala Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Human Service Organizations, Human Services

Mission: Mission Guatemala Inc., is a faith-based 501(c)3 non-profit organization with a mission to help meet the basic needs and improve the quality of life of under-served Guatemalan people through health, education and nutrition initiatives and missionary service.

Geographic areas served: San Andrés Semetabaj, Guatemala and surrounding communities

Programs: Medical Clinic – Mission Guatemala operates a medical clinic 5 days a week in the community of San Andrés Semetabaj. Patients pay a small fee for consultation with the doctor and have access to any needed medicines at a greatly reduced cost. Mission Guatemala works to ensure that no one is denied access to the doctor due to a lack of resources.

Eye Clinic – In 2015, Mission Guatemala was excited to be able to open an optometrist’s office at our clinic space in San Andrés, thanks to the help of Dr. Alisha McAfee, who also served as the clinic's first optometrist. The eye clinic is fully equipped to provide high-quality care including complete eye exams, new eyeglasses, visual health evaluations and a complete selection of eye medications, and all services are provided at a reduced and affordable rate.

Nutrition Programs – According to the World Food Programme, 47 percent of children in Guatemala suffer from chronic malnutrition, which is the highest rate in all of Latin America and the Caribbean and one of the highest rates in the world. Over the years, Mission Guatemala has worked to help combat this through our nutrition programs, which are organized with community collaboration.

• Full-Time Nutrition Center - Mission Guatemala's daily snack program is located in the Escuela Kikoten elementary school in San Andrés Semetebaj, where the school's students each receive a hearty, nutritious snack each morning.

• "Niños Chispudos" Early Childhood Nutrition Program – While our full-time nutrition centers and Wednesday lunch programs help school-aged children, they do not address malnutrition in children who are not yet old enough to attend school. During a child’s critical early years of development, the effects of malnutrition can be especially devastating, leading to stunting, anemia, and chronic infections and sickness.

For this reason, Mission Guatemala coordinates the "Niños Chispudos" (Kids With Spark) Early Childhood Nutrition Program which utilizes the Chispuditos® food product. Chispuditos® is a soy/corn based atol, or porridge, developed by The Mathile Institute in order to provide a daily nutritional supplement for children in Guatemala. Our "Niños Chispudos" program is open to all mothers with children aged 6 months to 6 years old, and provides Chispuditos® as well as free medical care for their children at Mission Guatemala's medical clinics. In addition, any young children suffering from malnutrition who are treated in our clinic are referred by the doctor to the "Niños Chispudos" program.

Community Stories

563 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Mission Guatemala team were fantastic host for our Aldersgate UMC mission team. They are really focused on doing work that lifts up their community and release them from poverty and despair. They had everything planned perfectly for the 9 days that we spent with them. We love all of the staff! It was a huge blessing for each of us and a great experience to be able to serve the people of Guatemala. We will be back!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have spent the past week at the River House working with Mission Guatemala. We continued working on a project started by another team building classrooms in Xequistel, a community located near the town of Godinez. During my week with this team I saw beauty that took my breath away, poverty that broke my heart, met people that were kind, patient, humble and generous. I saw and felt God's presence daily. Even though I tumbled into bed physically tired each night, my spirit was refreshed.

No doubt about it, you will work on this trip but you will also learn about Guatemala and the people that make up the community where you are staying. You will learn about all of the wonderful things the clinic is doing, have time to experience a few cultural activities and hopefully like we did, get to have a day to enjoy a boat ride and brunch at a beautiful restaurant. Daniel, Abby and David are wonderful as well as all of the crew that drove us around and guided us, working side by side with us at the school. Such a wonderful group of people that we had the opportunity to be God's hands and feet with last week.

I was nervous about being able to do the construction work but the team was great with instructing, had a lot of patience and always found something for me to do. I surprised myself with all of the new things I learned. We all enjoyed the after lunch mini soccer games (I was a spectator). By the end of the week it was hard to believe that we had only known the team for a week.

The lodging is great - the gardens are beautiful, and Delia and Leo are wonderful cooks. Our devotions that our Pastor and Youth Director led were a great way to close out most of our evenings and reflect on the day.

If your experience is half as good as mine, it will still be a 5 star memory. I don't have any pictures of us working - because we were busy working :) but they should be up on the Mission Guatemala website before too long.

I am pleased to be a part of this organization.
Dios te bendiga,
Sharon
Trinity UMC
New Albany, IN

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Mission Guatemala has some of the most genuine, hard-working, and compassionate people I have ever gotten the privilege to know! Their mission statement, "do all the good you can," is heavily reflected in their work, and it was such a pleasure to spend a week experiencing how this organization seeks to improve the lives of people and communities in the beautiful country of Guatemala.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

After leading several VIM team experiences connecting, serving, and growing in Christ in Guatemala we were feeling called to serve with a new partner. The Holy Spirit lead us to Mission Guatemala. We are so thankful that we headed that call and followed that voice!!

Mission Guatemala takes seriously its UMC roots and works very diligently, efficiently, and in resource responsible ways to "Do all the good...." The routine application of the "Platinum Rule" of meeting people where they are is not lip service at Mission Guatemala. Rather, it is a powerful tool that serves to make personal engagement resonate with the culture, emotional, spiritual, and physical needs/experience of the served. Thus, amplifying the impact of that engagement on all committed to the process. Working with Mission Guatemala and the people of Guatemala is a deeply rewarding, soul satisfying experience.

The staff are great folks that are very easy to plan with, work with, and speak to frankly about the conditions in Guatemala and the operations of Mission Guatemala. I am anxiously awaiting my next opportunity to spend time with my many new friends/partners in Christ at Mission Guatemala!!!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Mission Guatemala is a well organized nonprofit agency where volunteers experience both culture and hands on activities to serve local communities. Staff members always patiently guiding volunteers with safety is the number one priority.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am totally impressed with the works and accomplishments that Mission Guatemala has done for the people in this beautiful country. Through their dedicated staffs, I had the opportunity to learn about the people, the culture, and the accomplishments. I am looking forward to return in the near future.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Mission Guatemala was amazing to work with and all the staff is so nice. This was my fifth mission trip and one of the best I’ve experienced. I would definitely recommend this nonprofit if your interested in being a volunteer or just want to donate to a great cause.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I recently returned from a week with Mission Guatemala. I was fortunate to help chaperone a group of youth from our church and to serve with my son. It was my first international mission trip but it will not be my last. Mission Guatemala is well run organization dedicated to providing assistance, education and nutrition those in the communities they serve. I would highly recommend this organization.

1 Aaron C.7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The entire week went smoothly from pickup at the airport to arrival at the river house, meals, worksite travel and projects. Mission Guatemala doesn’t just give handouts but focuses on partnering with the communities they serve to empower the community. I can’t wait to go back again. Great for adult, youth and multi-generational groups

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I just returned from a week with Mission Guatemala and we had an amazing experience with 7 of our Sr High youth. Not only were they able to accommodate a rather late request to join them but the accommodations, food, and planning were exceptional. We worked hard during the week but on "free" weekend days they organized really fun and interesting events in the area that is absolutely beautiful as well. The translators and foremen are the best, very engaging, patient, and interact well with youth as well as adults. Our team would often play soccer with them after lunch if time allowed and that made for some good laughs and fond memories.

Purified water is available at all times, hot showers, bugs were a minimum, weather perfect, and what beautiful people we got to serve and serve along side.

They helped us organize an evening "in town" with our group by arranging 3 tuc-tucs to come pick us up. They also ordered a birthday cake from a wonderful bakery in town to help us celebrate an 18th birthday for one of our youth.

Music or devotions are up to you to plan on your own so just be aware of that but if you have any reservations that a trip like this may be too difficult for some that enjoy creature comforts of home, I would recommend MG for sure. My experience was part vacation and part mission work.

2 Kimberly Strickland W.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Mission Guatemala is the best! My church has been sending teams to work there for many years. This year I helped chaperone the first ever JCUMC youth team. The staff and foremen were awesome working with our youth. Every member of our team wants to return next year!

2 theotheryou1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This was my ninth year to serve as a volunteer and hopefully I still have a few more years left in me even tho I am 76. They make me feel so safe and comfortable doing all that I can. I feel this is a perfect nonprofit and the good they do is outstanding in so many ways.

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

There was a review written recently by a 16 year old. She was the youngest in our group and I was the oldest at 69 years old. Mission Guatemala is organized so well that we can all do our part with success and great feelings of helping the people we came there to share love, grace and perform the manual work that is needed. Thanks Tom and Dave for making it possible!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Mission Guatemala's model of working with the communities they serve is excellent.
We do not have one concern about the allocation of resources and how they are managed.
Day after day they are serving the Lord.
Great Job!

Kristen Paige R.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I’ve worked with mission Guatemala every summer since 2015! They truly care for the communities and people of Guatemala. I’ve fallen in love with the organization and what goes into it!!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My daughter and I had such a good experience taking a trip to Mission Guatemala with others in our church! The group does a great job helping groups prepare to come by communicating and providing planning information. The River House is a beautiful, peaceful place to stay, and the meals provided were delicious. I really appreciate the way Mission Guatemala provided us with background information about the country's history and how they work collaboratively with local organizations and people, aiming to do something truly wanted rather than intrude. It was great to see how team members of all ages were able to take directions from the local foremen as we worked on the construction project--they patiently taught us what to do, and we learned about local methods. It was exciting to see the impact the clinic and nutrition programs are having. I believe Mission Guatemala has a good system for doing work trips that are beneficial to both the community where they minister and the teams that come. I gained an appreciation for the beauty and history of Guatemala and of God's love for and work this area.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This my second trip to assist in a dental clinic which is part of the growing services to the people of San Andreas area. Mission Guatemala is well organized and implements their programs in partnership with the Mayan people. I plan to continue to support this organization with my time and money.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Mission Guatemala has a very special place in my life. From the people on staff to those leading the construction projects, everyone in the organization is so pleasant, friendly, and helpful. I have formed relationships with the staff and construction crew which make me feel like I am at my 'home away from home' in Guatemala.
Volunteer teams are extremely well taken care of in terms of housing, transportation, food (even special diets if needed), and safety. For anyone who has not been on an international mission trip, it is a great place to start!
An important and effective practice of Mission Guatemala is to inform volunteers of 1.) the historical context of Guatemala and how that has led to economic struggles, and 2.) the history of the organization and various programs that are currently in place. Teams are also given the opportunity to learn about and experience components of the Mayan culture during their week of service.
While the most common form of service for teams is construction work, Mission Guatemala creates an enjoyable environment for working and makes sure there is a place and a task for everyone to contribute to the project. During my latest visit, the ages of people on our team ranged from 6 to 70 years.
I cannot say enough about how great Mission Guatemala is and the good that is done in the communities served by the organization. So don't take my word for it, experience it for yourself!

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Mission Guatemala is a wonderful nonprofit that works diligently to understand and foster relationships with various communities in the San Andres Semetebaj area of Guatemala. Once communities share what their needs are, Mission Guatemala finds ways to assist in addressing those needs focused around healthcare, education, and nutrition. The organization is very mindful of employing Guatemalans and sharing the Guatemalan culture and history with teams that come from the U.S.

Mission Guatemala gives each volunteer team personal attention and experiences that help them understand how the organization operates and its various projects/areas of focus. The opportunities teams have to work and serve directly with Guatemalans and explore the culture help to develop a greater appreciation, understanding, and respect for the country and people.

The Mission Guatemala staff is extremely friendly, welcoming, well-organized, accessible, and willing to answer questions. I always felt safe and informed. I never want to leave Mission Guatemala because it feels like leaving part of my family.

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1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have returned from my 8th mission trip with Mission Guatemala. I continue to be inspired by their work which empowers the local communities in the municipality of San Andres, Semetabaj and focusses on improving the health, education and nutrition of the people. They navigate the changing and developing needs of the communities in very humble ways, seeking nothing in return except the vitality of the community. The presence of teams coming from the United States speaks volumes of love. It's one thing to send money. It's a much deeper action to actually show up and bear the burdens shoulder to shoulder with the people of Guatemala. This mission will change your life.

1 Duane G.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I just completed my second mission trip with Mission Guatemala. Both times, I have found Mission Guatemala to be a Christian organization dedicated to serving the people of rural Guatemala through feeding programs, education, healthcare, and construction. Furthermore, they made sure that the mission teams were well taken care of, learned about the country and culture, worked hard on their missions for the week, better understood the purpose and needs of Mission Guatemala, and had a meaningful and life-changing experience.

1 Jon S.3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

From the interaction and friendship of the locals, to the stops at the local children's school, this experience was nothing less than life-changing. Daily work on the school district office allowed us to work one-on-one with the Guatemalan workers, exchanging some ideas and learning about their needs and daily life. Participating in daily Bible School activities gave us a glimpse of early-childhood education. In addition to sometimes helping us appreciate what we have, the experience also showed us that sometimes the simplicity of life has it's rewards. From an extra day in Antigua and San Juan, the organization of daily activities was also an additional benefit. Thanks Dave, Leigh, and all my fellow co-workers for adding to a quality week.

1 Gina R.4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Mission Guatemala is a very well run organization with a clear vision on how they want to contribute to the Guatemalan people. Dave is an amazing leader who truly knows the meaning of "roll-up your sleeves". The River House is a beautiful, peaceful place to stay where we can reflect on the day's activities and re-energize. The efforts of all of the staff to make each volunteer group feel special, secure, and appreciated. The food is AWESOME and I truly believe that a cookbook should be made of Delia's recipes. What I'm most impressed by is the partnership between Mission Guatemala and the communities they serve. Earning the trust and respect of the Guatemalan people is not an easy thing to do but the staff have done an amazing job of winning people over. I also really appreciate the sharing of Mayan traditions and history as part of the experience.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Our team of 12 had a wonderful week (Feb. 10-16) serving at Mission Guatemala in San Andres Semetabaj, Solola, Guatemala. We got to see the completion of the 2-year project on Casa del Maestro (offices for teachers) that we worked on last February. Plus, we started a new all-weather athletic field for a local girl's school closer to the medical clinic. This was my 6th year and it was a real pleasure to again work with the dedicated staff, most of whom live in the community where they serve. Mission Guatemala asks communities to define their greatest need, and then they bring together volunteers and resources to help meet those needs. The communities participate in completing the projects so that it is a win-win when a project is finished. MG is providing employment for staff workers, which helps their families and communities. We are signed up for next year and I am looking forward to another opportunity to serve my friends in Guatemala.

Previous Stories
2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is my fifth year at Mission Guatemala and our team had a great week serving the people of Guatemala. Every year the program for serving the local community expands. The key component is that most of the staff is local that are paid a living wage to run the medical and construction projects that accomplish significant projects that serve their neighbors. Our team did carpentry work this year on our project. The MG team are like family to us and it is a privilege to work with them to improve their community. Accommodations, transportation, and housing are excellent and I look forward to returning again next February.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

Our church mission group thoroughly enjoyed working with Mission Guatemala. Their energy and passion for the local people was touching. They have worked within the community to earn respect and trust and it shows in how the locals respond to the mission groups that serve with Mission Guatemala. The work is meaningful and the history shared was valuable.
Their attention to detail was impressive and comforting to those who have not served internationally before - including making sure language and culture were not barriers.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We had a great experience working in the community of San Andres on a new administration building for the school district. The entire experience was well organized and staff was willing to teach us the skills needed to complete the tasks assigned. This was my third trip with Mission Guatemala and I would highly recommend them.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My 14 year old son and I just returned from a trip to Guatemala with other members of our church. We learned so much about the Mission Guatemala programs (medical, nutrition, scholarship, etc.) as well as the Mayan history and culture. This was an amazing and humbling experience. We spent the middle of the week helping build La Casa del Maestro for the local teachers, but still had time on the weekend to see the local villages, visit a women's weaving cooperative, and an artisanal ceramic shop. We could not have had a better experience. Mission Guatemala is so well organized and does so much good for the local communities. I highly recommend Mission Guatemala, and hope we can go again in a few years!!!

Steven Lee S.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My mission trip was fantastic! It was more than I expected. The trip was fulfilling spiritually and emotionally. Dave does an excellent job and has some amazing people working with him. The clinic is impressive and the number of students fed through the lunch program is more than our group imagined. Meeting the school children was a heartwarming experience. The construction work is also an impressive project. One of the most memorable events was participating in the installation of a new wood stove for a Mayan family. Their gratefulness and happiness will stay in my mind forever. I look forward to helping Mission Guatemala in the future and hope to return. God bless Mission Guatemala!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My wife and I co-led with another couple a mission work group to Mission Guatemala in San Andres Semetabaj, Solola, Guatemala, arriving July 28, 2018 and returning August 5. Our group of 21 people, mostly from Old North United Methodist Church in Evansville, IN and ranging in age from 15 to 74, had room and board at the mission's River House, just outside of nearby Panajachel. Along with 20 other people there from a church in Indianapolis and with the help and supervision of 10 locals hired by Mission Guatemala, we labored Monday through Friday to finish a building being built for use by schoolteachers from that area. Also during the week we got a chance to visit the mission's clinic in San Andres to learn about their medical services, nutritional program and scholarships for jr. high and high school, which is not funded by the Guatemalan government. On the Sunday before and Saturday afterwards we visited nearby areas around beautiful Lake Atitlan, where we saw local crafts and their making, especially textiles, pottery and paintings. One evening we had a presentation on Mayan spirituality and culture. Each evening we had opportunity for group devotions and reflection on our experience. Evenings also gave opportunities for other activities, individually or in a group, including going into town for coffee, ice cream, etc.
Our group had a wonderful time, bonded through our experience, loved our interaction with the local Mayan people (including 80% of the mission staff), enjoyed the beauty of the land and its culture, had our vision of the world expanded, and grew spiritually through our service in the name of Christ and by receiving God's grace in so many ways. The church has signed up to come back to Mission Guatemala in June 2020 and already has a volunteer leader for that team, a 42-year old social worker and mother, whose Guatemalan adopted son was on this trip too. They had a great time, and the rest of their family plans to come in 2020. Some other group members may also return, but we want others from our church to experience this life-transforming ministry. This is a truly wonderful mission that embodies God's love.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This great nonprofit provides a very meaningful experience with the Mayan culture in rural Guatemala. It gives volunteer work teams a great 5-weekday experience working on projects--primarily building projects--that village people choose and that get visitors working along side local Mission Guatemala staff, who do an excellent job of guiding the visitors on how to do things and learn new skills. They provide safe and very pleasant lodging for teams and all the meals, which are very good. Their "River House" is a mile outside Panajachel on beautiful Lake Atitlan. They also arrange really good cultural experiences--including opportunities to buy locally-made items and respectful exposure to a Mayan religious ceremony--on the weekends and a couple of weeknights. Its staff--both the indigenous folks who make up the majority and the young-adult Americans who guide the programs--host the teams well and are very accessible to interact with. They arrange everything needed, including transportation to and from the airport and essential transportation during the week. They also help arrange easy, inexpensive rides into Panajachel in the evening for those who want to do this.
Joseph Easley, Evansville, IN
At Mission Guatemala Mar. 25-Apr. 2

jerichoking

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a pastor I love working with Mission Guatemala. I always know the work we will do will have great meaning and lasting impact. I also know that the people that travel with me will forever be changed by their experience. Mission Guatemala is changing lives for those they serve and for the people serving. Thanks again for another great week ... See you again soon!

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Every encounter with Mission Guatemala allows me to walk away with a greater sense of what it means to live my faith. Counting the days until I can return!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Our home for the past week was Mission Guatemala. Myself, my wife and 2 children went to volunteer to help with a project called the House of the Teacher. It is an administration building for the teachers of the district. We came home tired and sore from the hard work, but also came back different. We all have changed a little. We where welcomed by the local Mayan people and found out what their needs were and how Mission Guatemala is helping to meet those needs. We learned about the Mayan and Guatemalan culture through visits to 2 different local communities. We experienced this culture through shopping, eating and working with these people as well as playing soccer and baseball with the children.

We came home different and exhausted but fulfilled and blessed. We left with tears and new friends. We now have a home and family in Guatemala and will return soon.

Thanks for all you do and to do all the good you can! We are excited about our return in 2 years!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Fantastic organization reaching out to those in need.

Taylor L.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

They make it so easy to help and do a great job letting you experience the culture authentically!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Outstanding group of leaders at Mission Guatemala. Fantastic group to work with. Daniel exceeded every expectation I could have had - strong with English language, knowledgeable about all aspects of Mission Guatemala, humorous, great personality, caring. Many others working with our team connected quickly and had the same skill-sets. Fantastic week of work and scheduled sites.

Christine Butler T.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I spent a week serving the people of Guatemala through Mission Guatemala. I can’t even explain how amazing the experience was for me and my son. Dave Burns & Daniel are amazing and had everything planned out for our trip. The living arrangements are so nice and the food absolutely wonderful. Everything went so smoothly at the construction site and the time spent with the children at the school. I hope I can return one day soon.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Mission Guatemala is the most amazing, helpful, pro-active non-profit I have ever worked with! I have been to Venezuela, Costa Rica, worked with Habitat and several other non-profits.

Their team and staff are so amazingly friendly and positive. They do not come to the country with their mind set on this is what we are going to do or think we should do. They actively work with the leaders in the community and cater their food donations, construction and work within the schools to what the community actually needs.

I highly recommend others to donate and participate in working with Mission Guatemala!

Deborah F. M.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Mission Guatemala is a top notch organization being Jesus' hands and feet in this beautiful country. They provide many needed services to the people of Guatemala, provide jobs to Guatemalans and give those coming to serve the wonderful experience of working alongside these beautiful people. Volunteers coming to serve receive an education about the culture, strengths, and challenges of the Mayan people and receive blessings tenfold of spending time in this sacred place.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

First, the country is beautiful and Panajachel was great! The people are wonderful and friendly.
Second, the River House was spectacular. Food amazing, property and accommodations were excellent.
Third, the staff: Dave and Daniel became like family! Delia (chef) and her staff were non stop amazing. Dave lives there (on site) and knows the people personally - it was amazing to see kids run up to him and jump into his arms! (granted he's over 6' tall, so they got an amazing view from his shoulders!)
Fourth, we learned so much. Not only about the country, but the Mayan people, the community's needs, the mission itself, and about ourselves personally.
Last, the work...it was hard (but if you have limitations, they still have work for you!). Yet, even just mixing concrete, we all made a difference. The work MG does is amazing and we are proud to have supported their mission.

This was a life changing experience. It was hard coming back to US with all our abundance. I miss the simpler life.

If you are considering MG, DO IT! The staff made it easy, safe and a learning experience. If you are nervous about being out of the country, this is a great group to work with. We took 10 youth and 8 adults - not one issue!