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Review for Boca Costa Medical Mission, Guatemala, Melbourne Beach, FL, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

My first exposure to Boca Costa Medical Mission occurred in August of 2017. Up until this trip, most of my international mission work has been concentrated in Africa around an orphan empowerment project. This was my first experience in Guatemala, as well as my first medical mission endeavor. Having recently completed a Masters in Public Health, I assure you, I still had my program evaluation hat on while there! I can truly say that the work being done at Boca Costa Medical Mission fills a vital gap in providing healthcare to an area of great need. In addition to healthcare, Jim and Dianne Thompson along with Dr. Sergio and staff are working to build better health through prevention programs. Instead of just continuing to treat the high level of respiratory issues in the clinic, teams are brought in to install better ventilated stoves in the homes. This simple solution has already reduced clinic visits for respiratory issues, particularly in children. Anyone attempting to reduce poverty knows the key is education, especially for girls. This group has worked diligently to advocate for education and made great strides in spite of a culture that traditionally has not valued education for girls. As global health providers we always want to deliver culturally competent services, we want to do “with” and not “to” people. This program operates way beyond cultural competence; the people served have a deep trust and admiration for the staff of Boca Costa Medical Mission. From my experience, monetary donations are utilized in the best way to benefit the people. If you are looking to travel and serve there, the program is designed well and you will have wonderful, caring interpreters. I am grateful for people like Jim and Dianne Thompson who continue to serve in places that others will never go. It was a privilege to serve and I cannot wait to return!
Melissa Harrell, Goldsboro, North Carolina

Role:  Volunteer