Who We Are

Our Founders

Tom Heaton

Since 2000, Tom has had a strong connection with the country of Guatemala  and has worked to help make a difference in the life of the Guatemalan people.

Tom, who is a United Methodist Pastor from the Indiana conference, has two sons adopted from Guatemala.  For several years, he helped the working poor of Guatemala through the sales of fair trade crafts through a nonprofit he formed called Mayan Traditions.  Profits from the sales of the crafts were returned to Guatemala to help orphanages and children’s related ministries there.  In the fall of 2008, Bishop Michael Coyner appointed him to do work with the poor of Guatemala.

Tom formed Mission Guatemala in the spring of 2009.  Mission Guatemala has been approved by the IRS as a charity.  Mission Guatemala is a United Methodist related ministry that operates a clinic and a preschool feeding program in San Andrés Semetabaj, Guatemala.  Mission Guatemala is currently trying to discern new projects it can start in the San Andrés area to help improve the quality of life for the indigenous people of Guatemala.  Guatemala is one of the poorest countries in the western hemisphere ranking fourth in the world for child malnutrition.

Tom is a 1982 graduate of the University of Evansville.  Prior to being called into ordained ministry, he served as advertising office for a Midwest bank holding company.  He received his Masters of Divinity degree from Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis.

Dave Burns

Dave Burns is from Tallahassee, Florida, but if you ask him where home is he would tell you Guatemala.

Dave has been living in Guatemala for 4 years spending his days working to improve the lives of the indigenous Mayan people. Four years ago he learned about our project in San Andrés and he knew he wanted to be a part of it.

Dave has been working with Mission Guatemala since September 2010 and has made a huge contribution to getting the clinic open.  Dave has construction knowledge, great relational skills, and has a heart for helping people.  He will help us with general operations and in hosting teams when they are in country.

Dave… you have been a tremendous gift to Mission Guatemala!