I just returned from my 6th trip to volunteer with ODIM. I am continually amazed at the growth they have shown. They incorporate local health providers and seek to preserve many of the local relations. Many people on our team have been 4 or 5 times. As short term volunteers we are well taken care of, everything is very organized and responsive to individual needs. The long term volunteers has mad a tremendous impact on the health and well being of the Mayans and it just gets better every year!!
Just back from a third amazing mission work trip with ODIM. This is an organization of caring people in San Juan and San Pablo La Laguna. They are making a significant difference in people's lives as they build new health clinics, respectable housing, and relationships. Their programs in health care and education are working to fill huge voids in those communities. The ODIM staff is not only caring, but hard working, intelligent, and responsive too. Travel to and around Guatemala, work, meals, cultural opportunities, excursions to other towns on Lake Atitlan, tourist days in Antigua - all set up and managed by ODIM and tailored to our needs. Even the emergency two day extension of our stay in Guatemala due to the ash cloud from a volcanic eruption that prevented jet travel was handled on the fly by our ODIM coordinator. If you want to experience God's work being done on Earth, you should consider a week of service with ODIM.
In the spring of 2015 I led a trip from a local UMC in a week of service with ODIM and was extremely impressed by their work. They tend well to the logistics of travel and provide great opportunities for encounter with the indigenous culture (through visits to co-ops, engagement with local families, and the hiring of and connection with local folks on their staff). If you are involved with a local church or a campus ministry group of some kind and are interested in travel to and service in Guatemala ODIM provides wonderful opportunities!
I served as a long-term volunteer for ODIM for a year and a half (October 2012-March 2014). I came to know ODIM after already having spent two years living and working in development in rural Guatemala and I was immediately attracted to the type of work that ODIM does. They offer much-needed medical services, community health education, and opportunities for locals to learn, grow, and (for some lucky go-getters) make a living helping their fellow villagers better their health.
More importantly, it is the way ODIM goes about its work that was most impressive to me. The long-term volunteers really work with the local staff and volunteer health promoters - as opposed to many other NGOs that don't seem to have the personal ties and strong foundation needed in order to build trust and tackle the big problems that are facing these communities. The short-term volunteers also have an advantage since they tend to come back year after year.
All in all, if you are considering volunteering with ODIM, I would HIGHLY recommend you do so! Or better yet- donate to their amazing cause =)
ODIM graciously hosted a team of graduate students that I volunteered with in Guatemala in 2012. ODIM is an outstanding organization that places the health, autonomy and respect for the local community they serve above all else. ODIM does a great job of building capacity among local community members in a way that fosters growth and independence in the community. I cannot say enough what a valuable experience my volunteer work with ODIM was and I strongly encourage others who wish to become involved to learn more about ODIM's great work and consider how they might be able to contribute.