2017 Guatemala Healthcare Team
Traveling From: 11/10/2017 to 11/19/2017; Team Cost: $1365*
AGUACATE, GUATEMALA -- Provide health care and education as part of a long term initiative of the Orthodox Church by ministering to the physical and spiritual needs of individuals in Aguacate and neighboring villages in Guatemala.
The 2017 OCMC Health Care Team to Guatemala has been asked to offer primary care in addition to prenatal care, obstetrics and dental care at the newly constructed Fr. Andres Giron Health Clinic. This is the first Orthodox clinic in Guatemala, located in the peaceful Mayan village of Aguacate, nestled in the Guatemalan highlands, ten hours northwest of Guatemala City, where the nearest medical facility was hours away in Mexico. Medical services are not easily accessible, due to distances, cost and availability of qualified medical professionals in this region. Currently, the Clinic relies on visiting doctors to staff the new clinic. The Clinic has two medical exam rooms, two dental rooms, laboratory, pharmacy, as well as a waiting room and office.
The Church in Guatemala is in a period of growth. Over the last two decades, a large number of communities, made up of native Mayans began a spiritual journey that has brought them to Orthodoxy. Catechists travel every two months to attend a catechist seminar to learn more about the Faith. Work with the indigenous Mayan people and OCMC missionaries to Guatemala, helping them establish the Orthodox Church and strengthening Eucharistic communities while supporting social projects that promote self-sufficiency. Offer health care in Mayan villages where the newly emerging Orthodox communities have formed.
Decades of civil war have taken a toll on the people, economy and health care system of Guatemala. A large percentage of the population in Aguacate belongs to one of twenty different Mayan groups who for centuries have been marginalized. This has resulted in greater poverty, less education and health services for the Mayan people. The Guatemalan Ministry of Health has started to offer 'intercultural' services that respect Mayan obstetric and health practices. They are working to improve the 1996 estimate indicating that a sizable percent of the indigenous population were under-served by the government health services. The health care system has a lack of staff and equipment, cost barriers and an organizational structure that is unable to provide effective health services to the population. Some of the critical health issues include limited access to health care, chronic malnutrition, and shortfalls of supplies and medications.
Health care professionals – pediatricians, dentists, midwives, nurses, and other medical technicians – are needed. Health Care professionals can give the gift of hope and healing by volunteering. Health education has also been requested. Spanish speakers are encouraged to apply.
Dates: March 10 – March 19, 2017
Cost: $ 1,365.00 (+ airfare)
Travel – Members make round-trip flight arrangements to Tuxtla, Mexico; depart for Tuxtla, Mexico on March 10 and return on March 19. Team members must fly on the same itinerary to and from the project destination (return locations will differ) -- OCMC will provide a travel itinerary. Airfares are not included in cost. Orientation will take place in Tuxtla and Aguacate.
Fund raising - Each Team member is responsible for the participant cost and airfares. Team members raise funds to cover the cost of their participation. Participants are encouraged to let others know that they will be sharing in the work of missions through their tax-deductible donations, and invite others to participate through prayer and financial support. The cost includes room and board, local transportation, orientation costs, ministry expenses, excursion and materials.
OCMC relies solely on gifts and offerings from churches and individuals for support. If you would like to contribute to this ministry mission project - medicines, medical supplies - we welcome you to do so and are grateful for your support. This is optional and for that reason it is not included in the participant cost.
Share in a journey of faith… Orthodox Mission Team members are challenged to view the world with God's eyes and seek how He wants to use them to fulfill His plans. This cross-cultural experience, combined with outreach, offers participants a life-changing learning experience. This experience is about people, culture and missions. It is also about prayer, for you and others; it is about God, those you serve, and about yourself, as you serve Him.