Volunteers in Mission – Guatemala 2015

  • Xenacoj: Home donated by Captain Cook Lions 49A
  • Market in Chichicastenango
  • 15 ft. by 18 ft. Relief Home
  • Kodiak Lions provided solar lamps
  • Fuel Efficient stove provided by Kenai Lions

A group of 18 Alaskans – youth, adults and retirees – will travel to Guatemala for ten day humanitarian mission, July 25- August 3, 2015.

Background/Hosts. The team will be hosted by Hope Haven International Ministries (HHIM) in Santo Domingo Xenacoj (near the colonial city of Antigua) and the United Methodist related clinic and school Salud y Paz (www.saludypaz.org) in Camanchaj. Both organizations are very experienced in receiving dozens of volunteer teams each year. Hope Haven (www.hopehaven.org) in Xenacoj operates a factory which builds custom wheelchairs for handicapped children that are distributed throughout the world. HHIM sponsors a sewing cooperative and an outreach program that includes home repairs and assistance to poor Mayan families. Salud y Paz (SYP) operates a comprehensive health program with medical and dental clinics and surgery, a pharmacy and a unique program that trains health aids to serve their villages, SYP serves 6,000 persons in their area; many Mayan families live on $1.50 per day or less. Check both websites for videos and general information.

The Tasks. In Xenacoj team members will do basic repairs to existing homes, conduct two days of vision screening for children, work with a local sewing cooperative to help the Mayan women produce goods for sale and work on two community health and literacy projects.. At the SYP clinic team members will conduct four days of rural medical and dental clinics serving about 50 persons per day. They will work with SYP workers fluent in Spanish and the local K’iche’ language. All team members will visit relief home built by the 2013 Guatemala Mission team participate in a distribution of custom wheelchairs for Mayan children, gifted by Alaskans.

Skill Sets Needed. The team needs at least one physician, one dentist, at least one nurse, a dental assistant, persons skilled in basic carpentry and sewing (experience on a commercial machine would be a real plus) and willing volunteers for other tasks.

Sponsors/Cost/Registration. This will be a “blended” team with participation from churches, service clubs and the broader community. The team has been endorsed by District 49A for participation and support by Lions Clubs. It has been endorsed and Funded in part by the Volunteers in Mission Program of the AK Conference of the United Methodist Church and St. John United Methodist Church in Anchorage. A number of individuals have made personal contributions.

Team members will stay in a gated guest house or in a secure hotel while in Guatemala. Cost will be about $700.00 for the ten days “in-country” that will include housing, most meals, all transfers and transportation and insurance. Airfare to Guatemala City is $1100 to $1400. Alaska air miles can be used on Alaska Airlines. The team will be formed by April 1st. For further information and a registration form Contact: Walt Hays/JoAnn Shore, haysshore@alaskalife.net, 907/631-4134 or 907/350-6259