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,
New Albany, IN
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.
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!!!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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!!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.