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2018 Top-Rated Nonprofit

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 Centers –Mission Guatemala operates two school nutrition centers in the San Andrés Semetabaj area, one providing a hearty mid-morning snack and the other a nutritious lunch each school day. Mission Guatemala provides the ingredients for the meal as well as a staff cook to supervise the members of the community that participate in each day's meal preparation. For the past 6 years, the daily lunch program has been located in the community of Nueva Esperanza, but beginning in July 2017, will be moving to the community of Choquec. This daily meal is supported by Mission Guatemala's child sponsorship program. Mission Guatemala's daily snack program is located in the Escuela Kikoten elementary school in San Andrés Semetebaj, where the school's 120 students each receive a hearty, nutritious snack each morning.

• "Como Saludable" Wednesday Lunch Program – Through our “Como Saludable” (Eat Healthy) program, 781 students in 7 rural public elementary schools receive a hearty and nutritious meal once a week, with Mission Guatemala providing the ingredients and supervision, and the parents and teachers from the community cooking and serving the meals.

• "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

519 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Arionne Y.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Listen. This organization knows how to coordinate mission/service opportunities. They were gracious and capable hosts. As the group leader I always felt I could rely on their staff in providing a safe and fulfilling experience for my group. Their leadership was steady and trustworthy. They always made sure we had support and guidance during the construction project, which was a huge relief for volunteers who are novices in construction. Moreover they go above and beyond to provide culturally enriching outings and activities that allow you to learn about Guatemala’s people, culture and history. That is critical to being able to meaningfully offer service. I would HIGHLY recommend this organization for volunteer mission/service experiences.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

well run organization doing amazing things WITH the people of Guatemala. I hope I have the chance to go again.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This was my second year with Mission Guatemala and again they made the experience for myself and our team memorable. The prior planning and communication made for a seamless arrival. The group accommodations are top notch! Mission Guatemala does an excellent job of mixing in cultural activities with work which provides for an overall outstanding experience. You know that the trip has been successful when team members are already talking about "next year" halfway through the experience! I also like how Mission Guatemala involves the local community, hiring foremen and buying food and materials locally to stimulate the economy. I would highly recommend Mission Guatemala to anyone looking for an international mission trip...you will not be disappointed.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Mission Guatemala is a well run program, offering a nice balance of cultural, work and sightseeing experiences through the week. I learned about the people, their struggles and their proud culture. It focuses on meeting people where they are at and working with them in providing and improving different areas of their lives. I would recommend working with this non profit to any one wanting to do good in the world and I look forward to returning to Guatemala in the future to continue to participate in the work of Mission Guatemala.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Mission Guatemala is doing great work in rural Guatemala. We spent a week there in April of 2018 helping with construction of a building for local teachers and also observed their medical and nutritional programs. The operation is very efficient, purposeful and well directed.

Gaye Myers R.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

A team of 10 folks from my church of various ages and abilities worked with Mission Guatemala last week. This is a very well run organization. We had a wonderful place to stay that was clean and lovely. Meals were provided and very delicious. On non working days, they provided opportunities to sightsee and learn more about the culture. Our worksite offered activities that were demanding but could still be done by a senior citizen. We worked with the local people, some who spoke English and some who did not and so there were 2workers who were available to translate for us. Our church sent a team 2 years ago who enjoyed the same great experience and we anticipate sending teams in the future. Thank you Mission Guatemala!

1 Sherry H.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Our team's objective was to work on a teacher's administrative building in the San Andreas community near Panajachel. We had excellent, patient supervision from the construction crew and we worked hard each day. We were rewarded with delicious meals and fine coffee, comfortable lodging that looked like a vacation retreat, and a new appreciation of the Guatemalan culture that we'll never forget.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

There are not enough words to express how amazing Mission Guatemala was to work with. Every leader and staff we worked with were so kind and compassionate and willing to help us every step of the way. We are so grateful to have experienced a life-changing week in Guatemala.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

A group of 11 youth, young adults, and adults from Castle Rock Colorado came for a week. We stayed in the beautiful compound near Panajachel Guatemala, where our lodging was fantastic, our food exceptional, and our hosts tremendously experienced and available.
The group toured the medical clinic, classrooms, sewing school, computer lab, and pharmacy. Detailed attention of the very well organized program was offered in an interesting and helpful way.
Our group worked on a construction project throughout the week, laying block and pouring foundation for a teacher's meeting space in the area. We were instructed, supervised, and encouraged in our tasks by professionals who clearly knew what they were doing and who were fun to work with. We also met members of the local education board who were genuinely thankful for our work and presence.
Opportunities to explore the nearby town and region were offered as a part of the experience including expert presentations by Mayan cultural, spiritual, craft, and technical leaders. This proved to be a very rich introduction to a beautiful country and wonderful people.
We could easily work with Mission Guatemala again and recommend this group with our highest endorsement.
Rev. Rob White - Senior Pastor, 1st United Methodist Church, Castle Rock CO

Volunteer

Rating: 5

A life-changing experience with an organized, thoughtful organization.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My experience at Mission Guatemala was beyond fantastic! The staff were so very kind and personal, the days of the week were planned out & organized, the river house was beautiful, and the opportunities provided to work with the various schools were incredible! I would most definitely consider going on another mission trip at Mission Guatemala in the future!

Cathy W

Volunteer

Rating: 5

If you are looking for a way to serve, go no further than Mission Guatemala. Their model is centered on justice,not charity. They listen first to the needs of the community & thenwork out the details with the Mayan community so they have some skin in the game. They employ and support local Mayans in numerous ways. Most of all, even though you are usually working side by side on a construction project with their Mayan crew the focus is on relationships. I cry every time I leave. This is how Godmeans for ya to be...in community with one another. The food, the accommodations atRiver House and the planned activities on the non work days plus some cultural activities they bring in at night truly give you an overview of the Mayanculture.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Mission Guatemala is helping to improve the health and educational opportunities for children in the surrounding communities of Panajachel. They have a great facility, transportation from and to the airport, food is amazing, and great staff. In going to Panajachel twice, I have had the opportunity to work in two Mayan communities. The first was laying tile at a school for two large classrooms. My trip in February, we completed two projects- building forms for pouring a concrete roof and then pouring the concrete, and painting a school inside and out. I would recommend Mission Guatemala to any team looking for a mission opportunity aboard!!!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Fantastic experience and organization! The impact that this team is having on the educational and nutritional system among the local Mayan population is incredible.

Jane Lanford S.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Mission Guatemala lives by the 3 Simple rules if John Wesley, founder of Methodism and the Wesleyan traditions: Do no harm, Do good, Stay in love with God. This keeps them focused on the very best for the Guatemalan people. They also give all they have to the mission teams who come to Guatemala to work with them.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My third trip to Guatemala with Mission Guatemala and it was as special as the first (and second). A first class organization Dave has worked hard to build trust and community with the locals served by mission Guatemala. I can’t wait to go back and hope to continue to do so for many years.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Words fall short describing the work Mission Guatemala does for the communities around them and the loving care extends beyond to everyone they meet including volunteers. It often happens that you go on a missions trip to give however I this case I think I received more then I gave. Largely in part of the amazing leg work, research and preparation done by mission Guatemala before we arrived. I can't wait to go back.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As Christians (as Andy Stanley says: Jesus Followers), we are called by the Commandment to Love Others as Ourselves, and the Commission to spread His teachings throughout all the nations of the earth. Our team of women and men some of whom had been to Mission Guatemala a number of times, and for a few this was the first.
We found that Love was spread onto us by the children we were there to serve. We had God's Grace rained down upon us as we worked to improve a school, and the school leaders, parents and community leaders came to us with their humble home-made gifts and thanks that meant more than any self-congratulations. This Mission's multiple outreaches have a common thread that weaves a beautiful fabric, not unlike the Mayan artisans'. From early childhood nutrition, scholarships for children to continue education, access to a clinic for healthcare and eye care, feeding programs that instruct mothers as they prepare school lunches, and physical projects that test the missionaries' skills and capacity - the children, families, communities are all impacted. We were also doubly blessed with another project where we shared labor with 80 plus teachers from around the district who worked side by side with us for a long day of concrete work at a new structure where they could have office/work space. The shared joy is indescribable. Our day with the scholarship children similarly was something that allowed them to show their gratitude while enjoying a full day of activities and engagement. Finally Mission Guatemala does a superb job of rounding out the missionaries' understanding by providing varied elements of cultural immersion so that we leave with a fuller, clearer mind-picture of what they are about and what and how our service is of value in respect of the commandment and the commission.

Karen Dennis G.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love Mission Guatemala. Their heart and efforts are about helping the San Andreas area improve the life of children. They believe in doing their work correctly, not just checking the box. The whole staff has a love for the community which is obvious in everything they do. The volunteers' work is very hands on. This is my third trip to Mission Guatemala and I can't wait to go back!

1

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.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Mission Guatemala has been a blessing to the Mayan people in San Andres and the surrounding communities. Most of the MG staff are from the local community and are paid to provide services to the mission team members. This is my 4th year to work a week on community school projects (concrete play area, classrooms, and 2 school bathrooms). We work alongside local skilled personnel who are very willing to teach us their construction methods. The school children are so much fun to play with on breaks. The MG feeding programs provide healthy food for school lunches. Hosting more than 40 mission teams a year, MG can complete large projects that benefit the whole community. The medical, pharmacy, and vision programs at the MG clinic serve many families from San Andres and the surrounding Mayan communities.

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Ginger L.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I recently returned from my second trip as a volunteer for Mission Guatemala. Our team of ten had a wonderful experience. Personally, I was inspired by my team and the staff of Mission Guatemala. This organization has expanded beyond the medical clinic, continuing to add programs that are lifting up communities in this area of Guatemala. Every day we saw how the people in these communities trusted and appreciated the leadership of MG, welcomed our team of volunteers and committed there own efforts to help in achieving the goals of MG. I highly recommend Mission Guatemala if you are looking for a volunteer experience or donating to a very worthwhile organization.