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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

531 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Sydney V.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was very impressed with how everything was planned and organized, but still maintained a healthy degree of flexibility. I was also amazed to see how many connections within the surrounding communities existed, especially considering the relative youth of this organization. Everybody was so nice and did a lot to make sure we were comfortable, working hard, and learning about the people and the culture. It was such a meaningful and transformative experience, and I hope to have the opportunity to work with ten again in the near future!

William9

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Mission Guatemala is a wonderful organization doing good work in places where it is desperately needed. Our group was there last week. Pastor Tom Heaton and his co-workers, especially Dave Burns, were wonderful hosts. Not only did they put us to work helping build a playground, installing stoves, and distributing food to feeding centers, they also gave us a taste of Guatemalan culture by introducing us to Guatemalans who served us wonderful food, sold us native handicrafts and cloths, played us indigenous music, and showed us the stunning scenery around Lake Atitlan. Heaton and his crew make a trip to Guatemala easy--everything ran as smooth as silk. Very professional and friendly, and fun to be with. My students are eager to return.

Scott234567

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My church has been involved with Mission Guatemala since it's beginnings. We saw the dream and beloved in Tom Heaton as the executive director. His abilities to network, vision and resourcing is astounding. Our week this year working in Guatemala was well organized. We never had a need that wasn't fulfilled. Mission Guatemala has had an explosive year or growth. In 12 months they opened a medical clinic with a full time doctor seeing patients 5 days a week, a fully equipped dentist's office with a dentist seeing patients 3 days a week.thye opened a preschool serving 35 ofthe poorest children in the area giving them educational opportunities they never would have had. Four and five year old Mayan children who speak Cachique orsome other Mayan language are learning Spanish and English. This prepares them adequately to enter public school in Guatemala. In addition the mission has opened a feeding center in a nearby village serving up to 150 children a balanced meal once a day. Mision Guatemala's health ministry has moved into pre emotion with nutritious foods made available, hygiene resources and education and the installing of high efficiency wood burning stoves. The stoves eliminate breathing smoke as the families do over. An en fire on the dirt floor of ther kitchen. In addition less firewood is needed blessing the community.

I cannot say enough about the good Mission Guatemala is bringing to San Andre and Panajachel and the surrounding villages. They hire locals to lead projects and have 7 locals indigenous to Guatemala on their staff. Tom Heaton and Mission Guatemala are world changers.

Support this charity and make a world of difference to some of the poorest people in the western hemisphere.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

You are never too young or old to go on a mission trip to help these people in Guatemala. I am living proof. As the youngest going on this trip (I'm not even 16), I had doubts that I would really be able to do anything. I was way wrong. I definitely felt like I was making a difference in those peoples' lives. I installed stoves for families. Many of whom had nothing but a campfire to cook over. It was truly amazing to see how legitimately grateful these people were for the little that they had. I think that that's a reality check anyone could use. You never realize how fortunate you are until you see the conditions in which others live.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This was an experience that helped strengthen my faith in Christ, reaffirm the direction that I am moving through Christ and helped me learn about a unique culture and environment I was not familiar with. Mission Guatemala helps the people in San Andres, Pana and surrounding communities with long-term and permant assistance. They provide a great understanding of the circumstance in which the Guatemalan people are currently living in and how their program assists them. They give volunteers an opportunity at hands on experiences in serving. You can get as involved as you like with a wide varieties choices for people of all skills and talents. Mission Guatemala also gives you some authentic opportunities to experience Mayan and Guatemalan culture and history. The Mission Guatemala team is made up of kind and compassionate individuals that truly live the mission of being the hands and feet of Christ. I found them to be genuine in their love for the people they help and those who come to assist.

Richard234

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I enjoyed working with this organization because they were so organized we always had somehthing to do from shopping, working and eating together. We could divide into two teams and still have plenty of work to do. The people were very friendly and helpful from Tom Heaton and David Burns to the cooks and the other Guatemalan workers: ElMer the driver, Angel the caretaker and Delia the assistant cook. They were all enjoyable to work with and talk to. I always knew what the agenda of each day was. Very helpful for me.

Scott C.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

From the time that our group of eleven landed in Guatemala City to the time that we left a week later was the most amazing experience anyone could ever imagine. Tom met us as soon as we landed in Guatemala City and began to go over the events that would transpire in the upcoming week which included taking in the beautiful sights, learning more about the culture and the people of the small communities visited. We visited numerous communities where Tom and his staff has started to help the people of that region whether it was maintaining a feeding center and/or delivering and installing the high efficiency stoves. Later we would learn This would change the lives of many natives that would never had gotten the chance to do so especially if an organization like MG had not been able to help. Some of the great things that this organization is doing that others are not, they are going to the leaders of the individual communities to find out what their needs are in that community. The other part of it, is going to the individuals themselves to make sure that what the leaders say is correct. The last thing that I would like others to know if choosing this organization for donations and or planning a mission trip for your church etc., is to know that in a short amount of time, (less than a year) Tom and his staff ARE making a difference in the communities and the lives that they touch everyday of the year.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The experience I had with Mission Guatemala (MG) was amazing. Tom and his crew took great care to ensure we experienced and received from Guatemala as much as and possibly more than we were able to give. I loved the variety in the tasks we were able to complete and I loved how MG takes a special interest in building relationships. It is not "give, give, give" it is more like "give and build for the future". I especially like that MG uses women from the communities where the feeding centers are housed to help make the food, thus making it a learning experience for the whole community and hopefully in the future sustaining so that the full time cook provided by MG can be tasked to assist elsewhere.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Mission Guatemala has a working clinic with Doctors, a Dentist and a social worker. What they have accomplished in a year is amazing! The staff is accomplished, efficient and professional in every position. They have an eighteen year old Social Worker who is experienced beyond her years. The entire Mission Guatemala team is dedicated and will do what it take to accomplish their goals!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Mission Guatemala is mission in ACTION!! Our group of eleven did meaningful and powerful work all day every day! Tom and his staff were there every step of the way to ensure the success of all of our projects. It was obvious that Tom has spent many months building relationships within the community. We partnered with local resources and the respect and trust for Mission Guatemala was evident everywhere we went. We can't wait to go back!!!

Vicki N.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I found that no matter how big or small the task you are given to do, each job is extremely important to the mission and to the people it helps. Everyone is so grateful for any little thing done to help them, it is truly humbling experience. Anyone that gets an opportunity to go help out at Mission Guatemala should jump at the chance. I know I'm ready to go back.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This was an incredible week. They took care of us and I was particularly happy because I brought my 14 year old daughter and I felt comfortable with her not needing to be right beside me at all times.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Just finished my week on a mission trip to Mission Guatemala. It has been a fantastic week! Our group of 11 was able to do many mnay things. We broke into smaller groups and installed stoves, weighed and measured children, delivered food to a village displaced by recent storms, painted a home, built furnitire and installed dental equipment.
The MG staff was fantastice! They gave us instruction and directionthen let us work. We had plenty of time to interact with the local people and learn we are all trulybrothers and sisters. What a blessed experience!

Susan234567891011

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I spent a week with Mission Guatemala helping to install stoves that vent out the roof and use very little wood. In addition, I assisted in the building of a house for a single lady. In listening to what the mission is doing with the medical and dental clinic plus the feeding center for 100 kids, I feel that they are going about their work in an organized way. They are not trying to do everything at once. I feel that they are truly doing God's work.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Tom Heaton and his team are doing incredible things in Guatemala. The lasting gifts that are being shared are amazing. Mission Guatemala's medical clinic helps between 300-400 monthly that would not otherwise get medical care. The feeding program provides meals for 100 kids 5 days a week. The joy and love Tom and his team have for the people of Guatemala is something everyone feels when spending time there. I would 110% recommend Mission Guatemala in the future. I can't wait to return.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I just got back from a week in Guatemala working for Mission Guatemala and I wasvery impressed by this organization! They are doing wonderful work and are so appreciated by the Guatemalan people being served by them. We were primarily installing stoves into homes which either didn't have stoves at all or which had unventilated stoves. It was so inspiring to see the wonderful reception that Mission Guatemala got in all of these neighborhoods. People came running out to greet us and to thank us for their stoves. Clearly Mission Guatemala is appreciated! It was also wonderful to see the many (about 90) children that Mission Guatemala is feeding daily in Nueva Esperanza and the 20 or so children attending the Mission Guatemala pre-school.
Many Guatemalan people of all ages would come out of their homes and smile and wave as we drove the truck by with new stoves to install at their neighbor's homes.

Stephanie2345678

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was blessed with the opportunity to serve alongside the Mission Guatemala staff for 6 days this fall. It was an amazing opportunity to work alongside their team as they serve the people of the San Andres & Panajachel communities. The work that they are doing for families & children is amazing.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

Participated with volunteer team to assist mission staff in installing efficient, properly-vented wood-burning stoves in the homes of poor residents of the area. Very good basic instruction in stove assembly on first day. It's too bad all of the stove components had to be stored in secure areas down a flight of stairs from where we loaded them onto the pickup truck for delivery and assembly, which made for some additional hand-toting each piece, some of which were very heavy. I suggest the mission purchase, or ask for donation of, a heavy-duty dolly.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

The difference that Mission Guatemala has made in just one year of operation is amazing. The work - and the outpouring of support from so many congregations - speak to the power of being church in the world by working collaboratively in communities to assess and support basic needs. I believe that Misison Guatemala will serve as a model for how to assure that missional efforts really meet the needs of the persons they are meant to serve. My team left Guatemala knowing the impact we had on the persons served, and motivated to continue our support of the efforts of Mission Guatemala.

Michelle23456789101112

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I went with a Methodist church group to help build more efficient cook-stoves for Mayan women living in villages near Panahachel, and to work on improving the fence and play ground equipment for villagers.
Organized materials other groups have sent or brought down. Entertqined the chileren one afternoon at La Nueva Esperanza.