We have enjoyed celebrating 10 years of "doing all the good we can together" over the past few months, and we have one last area to share! The final core area of Mission Guatemala's work that we want to highlight is our Community Outreach with Volunteer Mission Teams.
We continue our 10th Anniversary celebration by sharing highlights from our support of educational programs, another of the core areas of Mission Guatemala!
Today we celebrate the miracle that Mission Guatemala is, thanks to the support and generosity and tireless work of each and every one of you who have been a part of our family and who have helped to write Mission Guatemala's story over these past ten years!
At the beginning of September, for the first time since the pandemic began, we gathered our staff together in one place at our clinic property in San Andrés Semetabaj.
Join us as we welcome Dr. Bob Sekijima, one of the newest members of Mission Guatemala's Board of Directors!
As our 10th Anniversary celebration continues this month, we highlight Mission Guatemala's nutrition programs, which is another of our core program areas!
Tricia served with us on the Mission Guatemala’s staff team in 2013-2014, helping to coordinate volunteer groups who served with us in-country. She joined our board earlier this year.
The Mission Guatemala Board of Directors is an integral part of the leadership of Mission Guatemala. Today we welcome Ken Hundley, our board president, to the "From the Boardroom" series!
When Mission Guatemala first began, our primary focus was on setting up a small medical clinic and pharmacy, where we could provide quality, respectful and loving medical care to improve the health of our brothers and sisters in San Andrés Semetebaj and beyond.
Fran Black, the secretary of Mission Guatemala's Board of Directors, kicks off our “From the Boardroom” series! She has been a part of Mission Guatemala's board since its inception, selflessly serving as secretary for much of that time.
Join us each Tuesday during September for our "From The Boardroom" video series!
On September 9th and 16th, Tom and Dave will be hosting ZOOM conversations where you can add your questions, comments, thoughts and stories, as we continue to celebrate all that has happened over the past decade!
Much like in the United States, COVID-19 has turned the education world upside down here in Guatemala. In mid-March, schools were closed and in-person schooling suspended by government directive, forcing students and teachers to find alternative ways for schooling to continue, in order to keep the entire school year from being lost.
This week, we began distributing our new waterproof PPE items to medical professionals in the Guatemalan public health system, beginning with the CAP (Permanent Government Clinic) here in Panajachel!
Here in Guatemala, we are continuing in the fight against COVID-19, with cases on the rise and with the government unable to control the virus in the hospitals, much less in the Permanent Government Clinics (CAP) of each municipality. There are now confirmed cases in all parts of the country, and the population has begun to enter a crisis of despair, of no longer knowing what to do, of whether they should continue with the protective measures implemented by the government or just let whatever happens happen.
A limited amount of these awesome t-shirts are still available!
We're excited to continue sharing more pictures and stories from our staff members, each of whom has adapted to the changes required by this unprecedented time, and who are contributing in so many meaningful ways to Mission Guatemala's goal to continue to "do all the good we can!"
This week, we're sharing a story from Daniel Ben, Mission Guatemala's Team Coordinator.
After having sewn more than 1,500 face masks over the past three months, our staff has now begun creating new pieces of personal protective equipment for medical professionals across Guatemala! In this picture, our staff member Denis tries on one of our new water-proof scrub tops—and we're making scrub pants, too!
This week, we're sharing a story from Devora Cumes, Mission Guatemala's “Becas con Misión” Scholarship Program Coordinator.
Last week, we delivered boxes of food supplies to families across many of the communities where we serve! We focused especially on families who are part of our "Niños Chispudos" (Kids With A Spark) early childhood nutrition program and our "Becas Con Misión" (Scholarships with a Mission) scholarship program.
Over the past week, we delivered boxes of food supplies to families across many of the communities where we serve! We focused especially on families who are part of our "Niños Chispudos" (Kids With A Spark) early childhood nutrition program and our "Becas Con Misión" (Scholarships with a Mission) scholarship program.
To help meet this need, members of our staff worked this week to pack over 200 boxes of food supplies, in addition to cleaning and hygiene articles. These supplies will be shared with families across the area where we work, focusing especially on those who are part of our "Niños Chispudos" nutrition program and our "Becas Con Misión" scholarship program.
This week, we're sharing a story from Elías Garcia, Mission Guatemala's Construction Projects Supervisor. In these photos, Elias, who normally is seen working alongside our volunteer teams on construction sites in the communities, works to iron and sew the masks that Mission Guatemala is providing to healthcare workers.
In addition to providing these essential items of PPE to government medical clinics, we have also had the opportunity to distribute face shields and masks to the volunteer fire departments...
For several weeks now, the Mission Guatemala team has been producing PPE for healthcare workers, including these face shields. This aspect of personal protective equipment is vital, as it provides an extra layer of protection for those working within the healthcare field, and in addition, protects the people those healthcare workers serve.
Over the next several weeks, we'll be sharing pictures and stories from our staff members, each of whom has adapted to the changes required by this unprecedented time, and who are contributing in so many meaningful ways to Mission Guatemala's goal of "doing all the good we can!"
COVID-19 UPDATE: Last night, the president of Guatemala announced the complete closure of the country, effective immediately and lasting through Monday, May 18, at 5:00 a.m. As reason for these drastic measures, the president cited the day's record high of 176 positive tests for COVID-19 within the country, which represented a 194% increase over last week's totals.
Mission Guatemala's clinic doctor, Dra. Lidia Balán, and her husband Dr. Rodrigo Samines, have spent time over the past several weeks delivering Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) manufactured by Mission Guatemala to public medical clinics in several towns and communities throughout the Department of Sololá. We're excited to share this story from Dra. Lidia with you today!
We knew we could count on you!
Next Tuesday, May 5th, nonprofits around the world are participating in #GivingTuesdayNow, a global day of charity organized as an emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
I came back to Guatemala on a half-empty plane the day before the Guatemalan travel ban was implemented on March 16, a flight which ended with the odd new travel experience of each of our body-temperatures being checked by gowned medical personnel before we were allowed to exit the plane. Two weeks later, I emerged from self-quarantine at the River House in Panajachel to a strangely silent country.
On this Easter Sunday—one different from any other that we have experienced—we find hope in the words spoken to those waiting outside the tomb where Jesus had been buried.
On this very different Maundy Thursday, we're reminded of Jesus' words to us: "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another." (John 13:34, ESV)
Here in Guatemala, our staff members continue to work—in the field, in our medical clinic, and at home—as we meet this new challenge head-on. At our clinic in San Andrés, we continue to be open on a limited basis to attend to emergencies and patients with greater need. We're taking every precaution available to reduce the risk to each other, as well as to the communities we serve.
As local residents follow the directives of Guatemala's president and of local municipal leaders by staying home and helping to "flatten the curve," the numbers of patients being seen at our clinic are much lower than normal. Even so, we believe that it is still of critical importance to remain available in order to help limit the distance that patients have to travel to find care, thereby limiting their potential exposure to COVID-19.
After being closed Tuesday and Wednesday following President Giammattei's announcements, and after reviewing the situation and the continued need for local medical care, this morning we have re-opened Mission Guatemala's clinic on a limited basis, in order to be able to attend to emergencies and patients with greatest need.
Ingrid, who is from the rural community of Pacaman, is an 11th-grader and one of the nearly 100 students currently receiving scholarships through Mission Guatemala’s “Becas Con Misión” (Scholarships with Mission) program.
We recently spent an amazing week with volunteers from three congregations in two states!
The new school year is underway in Guatemala, and we couldn't be more excited to see our amazing middle and high school scholarship students achieving their educational goals through the support of our "Becas con Misión" scholarship program!
Please join us in welcoming Burns Gutzwiller to the Mission Guatemala team!
After celebrating our first-ever high school scholarship graduates in 2018, we now have 17 students pursuing their high school diplomas through our scholarship program!
When we began our "Becas con Misión" scholarship program with just a few students seven years ago, we had a hope that the program would grow over time. However, we could never have imagined that by 2020 we would begin the new school year with nearly 100 students enrolled in this amazing program!
We have a new mailing address!
We were excited to host our first mission team of the year earlier this month!
We’re thankful to every one of you who has helped make 2019 an incredible year! Here’s to a "nuevo año" and a new decade of loving our neighbor and “doing all the good we can!"
For the 9th year in a row, we had the privilege of celebrating Christmas with children and families in a local community! This year, we celebrated “La Navidad” in the community of Las Canoas Bajas!
As Christmas nears, we are excited to share these pictures from our 9th annual Christmas basket distributions!