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2020 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Children of the Americas (COTA)

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: International, International Development, International Relief

Mission: COTA enhances the health and wellbeing of underserved women and children in developing countries through international collaboration.

Target demographics: Mayan women and children

Geographic areas served: rural Guatemala

Programs: donated medical/surgical/dental and orthopedic services

Community Stories

102 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Board Member

Rating: 5

My wife and I have volunteered with COTA since 2007 as part of the dental team. The work although demanding, is rewarding and the need is very great. We find it inspiring and a privilage to work with such a dedicated group of giving individuals. COTA works to relieve suffering and improve the lives of individuals that otherwise would have little chance of receiving care. We are grateful to be a part of the COTA family of volunteers and to have the opportunity to serve with them.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer with COTA since 1994. Though I have volunteered with many non-profits throughout the years, none has captured my heart in quite the same way. The amazing accomplishments on behalf of the women and children in Guatemala are a testament to the dedication and commitment of its volunteers. I consider it an honor and privilege to be part of this organization.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Over 100 people from diverse backgrounds travel annually to Central Amercia for a week long medical/surgical mission. The logistics can be daunting as this is the largest Team that travels to Guatemala. Challenges encountered build camaraderie, resolve and a tremendous sense of accomplishment. Team members return year after year, not only to help the people of Guatemala, but to grow individually and collectively as part of the COTA family. COTA Volunteers prepare year-round for this trip, but also maintain an active Stateside program to connect children in need from developing countries with specialized medical care here in the States. I'm extremely proud and honored to be a part of this wonderful organization.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am very proud to be associated with COTA. This is a group of volunteers who travel to Guatemala, work under difficult conditions, treat all patients we can and refuse all payment. All money raised for COTA goes to patient care; we have no paid personell.
We come from diverse cultures, diverse religions and all economic levels. We wokk together only to provide the best possible medical care for this needy population.

Bonnie38

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Having the opportunity to go to Guatemala as a registered nurse is very rewarding. Only knowing 6 persons on my first trip to meet approx 100 skilled , talented & giving people to work & make a difference in less fortunate women & children. To know how organized and hard working people are and with limited resources is astounding. It is a reminder to me how blessed I am. To much is given much is expected.

Bonnie Bennett

George Q.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am an orthopedic surgeon who has done charity work in the U.S. for decades, all the while looking for an organized, dedicated, and efficient organization with whom I could share my expertise abroad. Children of the Americas is just what I had been looking for and I am honored and gratified to work with such a wonderful team. My first mission with this team was so well organized, I was able to perform 31 surgeries in four days for people who otherwise would not have had access to such care. I do believe that we have changed countless lives forever and feel blessed to have had the opportunity. I am returning to Guatemala in three weeks to provide follow-up care and, no doubt, will return on many more COTA trips in the future.

Bob and Barbara Buss

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have spent approximately 20 years working as a nurse with COTA in Guatemala. To meet the families who come to be cared for is extremely humbling. Many travel several hours to get to the site, either on a "Chicken Bus" or in the back of a pickup truck, just for a chance to be seen. Every year we see situations which are easily and readily treated in the US, such as hernia repairs, burn scar releases, wound care. We in the US take this care for granted. To many in Guatemala, because of the economics and difficulty traveling, that care is not available.
Especially heart wrenching are the malnourished children and elderly we see each year. Many are so malnourished, they are not candidates for anesthesia and surgical repair. We work to get them connected to a nutrition program so they can have surgery either later with our team or with another surgical team who works in their area.
Our rewards are the hugs and smiles we receive from the families when they have been given some help and some glimmer of hope.