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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

539 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

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.

1

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!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It was my second trip to Mission Guatemala in five years. I took my granddaughter who will be entering her senior year of high school and has taken Spanish and also traveled to Haiti on
mission with her church youth. The experience was more than I had expected. Dave and the staff are experienced and connected with the local Guatemalan community in partnership to improve on health, nutrition, education and recently aid in the recovery of the Volcano del Fuego eruption near Antigua.

Our team of 20 was comprised of team members from two Indiana churches having the opportunity to work hand in hand, experience the simplistic beauty of our surroundings, enjoy wonderful meal times and devotions in partnership with the Mission Guatemala staff, interns, and the Guatemalan construction staff on site of our project. We became one both in spirit and work as we did out job to further the educational building that will benefit countless students and teachers in the San Andres region.

Great trip, experience and people.

Patty McCormick, Zionsville, Indiana

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I spent a week with Mission Guatemala and it was a wonderful experience. Mission Guatemala is humbly meeting the physical and emotional needs of the people in Guatemala.

Rebecca Holzberlein H.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Mission Guatemala exceeds expectations in every area. They are safe, efficient, well organized and are working to meet needs in their community in a very holistic, loving and professional manner!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Our experience with Mission Guatemala was outstanding! Our work related to the ongoing construction of a school building for administration purposes in San Andreas - pouring/mixing concrete mortar and stucco, and applying such to the walls/ceilings. The staff and crew did an excellent job of explaining the purpose of our work and introducing us to those in the community who would eventually benefit from its completion. The construction crew was excellent - informed, safety-aware, and patient with us rookies. We shared lots of laughter with them, which made the experience all that more meaningful - and even concluded the week with a fun soccer match! Dave does an outstanding job of explaining all the initiatives in which MG is involved, and their purposes for each. - James Hinshaw -

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Words cannot express my gratitude to Dave and all the staff. The experience was life changing. The ornanization is fully transparent on how they handle donations and recycle...all above board and not wasting anything. The work site leaders were incredible making us all feel welcome and comfortable. Definitely will go again and will financially support the worth they do.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have traveled to Mission Guatemala on two occassions and am a proud supporter of the work they do. I can attest to the quality of work, the stewardship of resources, and the respect and dignity shown to the Guatemalan people. It is my greatest joy to work with the organization and I cannot wait to go back.

Terri Schooley H.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Mission Guatemala is an amazing organization to work with. The team is so compassionate about not only the Mayan people but their culture as well. They have helped them develop new feeding programs and showed them how to have safer water in their communities. Mission Guatemala also has a clinic with a local doctor that sees patients from around the San Andres community. As being a part of a mission team, we were taken care of in many different ways by Mission Guatemala. They made sure our needs were met while we were staying in Guatemala- transportation/housing/food etc. Cannot wait to travel back to help again.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Mission Guatemala continues their excellent work of blending the work of volunteers from the United States with the efforts of local people to meet the identified needs of the local communities. Our team of 8 was surprised to discover that they could work within their physical abilities to accomplish the tasks of construction. The support and guidance by the local team gave us what we needed to successfully perform the task before us.

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.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My week spent working with Mission Guatemala was a wonderful experience. I was very pleased with the well planned projects, transportation and meals, hospitality and care from the employees, opportunity to learn about the mission's history and current projects, and the fun cultural experiences.

By the end of my trip I felt like family with the Mission Guatemala employees, the team I traveled with, and the team we worked alongside. It was hard to leave, and I definitely want to return to help Mission Guatemala. It is a great organization with wonderful people!