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!
Last Friday, the Mission Guatemala team packed 137 Christmas baskets for the communities of Chuiquistel and Chuisajcap.
In early November, we had the chance to celebrate with students as they graduated from the local middle school in San Andrés Semetabaj! This group of 9th graders was also the fifth class to graduate from our computer lab since it began in 2015!
Mission Guatemala staff have been hard at work over the past weeks, preparing for our annual community Christmas party. This year, the "fiesta navideña" will be held in the community of Las Canoas Bajas!
Each November, in advance of the new school year beginning in January, members of our staff travel to rural communities in the San Andrés area to visit the students who have applied for a scholarship from Mission Guatemala.
We are excited to announce that another generous donor has offered $10,000 to match gifts made to Mission Guatemala from now till December 31st!
Happy Thanksgiving from Mission Guatemala!
Thanks to an incredibly generous donor, ALL donations made on #GivingTuesday, December 3, will be matched up to $10,000! Together, we can raise $20,000 in a single day—what a huge opportunity!
Mydelin is a tenth-grader from the town of San Andrés Semetabaj, and one of the 74 students in our "Becas Con Misión" middle and high school scholarship program.
We're so thankful to each one of our amazing supporters who came out last month to a benefit sponsored by Friends of Mission Guatemala in Greenville, South Carolina!
We recently said goodbye to a team of amazing volunteers from Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Sumter, South Carolina!
Recently, students enrolled in our "Becas Con Misión" (Scholarships With A Mission) program had the chance to express their artistic side during an art workshop with talented painters from San Juan la Laguna, a small town on the shore of Lake Atitlán!
Earlier this month, we were able to spend an excellent week working alongside an awesome group of volunteers from Trinity United Methodist Church in New Albany, Indiana! This was Trinity UMC's first time working with Mission Guatemala!
We had the privilege of reuniting with old friends—and of making many new ones—as we welcomed groups from Otterbein UMC in Hagerstown, Maryland; Saint Joseph UMC in Fort Wayne, Indiana; Assurance UMC in Huntersville, North Carolina; and Blaine Memorial UMC in Seattle, Washington.
Today is International Day of the Girl, and we'd like to take the opportunity to introduce you to one of our bright scholarship students, Heimy Paola!
The week of June 20-28, 2020 is currently open for a team! For more information, or to reserve this week, please click here to visit our reservations page!
Today we’re sharing pictures of our July volunteer teams and the incredible progress they made throughout the month!
Earlier this year, we broke ground on a new project at the elementary school in Chuisajcap, a small community in the municipality of San Antonio Palopó. With the help of our amazing volunteer mission teams, we will be working to construct a basketball and soccer court for the school and the 57 students who attend classes there!
Mission Guatemala summer interns gain practical, hands-on experience through international service as they actively participate in the daily work and activities of the volunteer teams.
Today we’re sharing a collection of photos of our amazing June volunteer teams and the progress they made this summer!
In August, we saw 446 patients in our clinic from 48 different communities across 9 separate states, or "departamentos." That's 40% of the country's states represented!
In late July, the students enrolled in our "Becas con Misión" scholarship program gathered at our clinic space for a morning of enriching and relationship-building activities!
On September 4, we made the first payment toward the purchase of our clinic space!
As we celebrate the 9th Anniversary of Mission Guatemala, we are overcome with thanksgiving for all that has been!
Earlier this year, we spent a week with an outstanding youth team from Zionsville United Methodist Church in Zionsville, Indiana!
Earlier this year, we shared an awesome week with two outstanding teams from Indiana! The groups hailed from Calvary United Methodist Church in Brownsburg, Indiana, and Park Memorial United Methodist Church in Jeffersonville, Indiana.
León is a ninth-grade student from the rural community of Caliaj Tecpan, and one of the 74 students in our "Becas con Misión" middle and high school scholarship program.