The Guatemala Project, affiliated with the United Methodist Church, is doing truly awesome work in the Highlands of Guatemala. Over the past 20 years, we have built medical and dental clinics, a tailor's trade school, houses for widows and homes for mud slide victims, wood efficiency stoves, schools for children as well as having taken medical teams to serve the needs of people who may never before been seen by a doctor.
So very many lives are transformed, one by one, family by family in Guatemala.
Our mission is to assist Mayans in securing a voice in their own future. We accomplish this in partnership with faith based communities in Guatemala and the United States by building educational, medical, and recreational facilities and providing scholarships, education, and home improvements in Guatemala primarily through the sale of Mayan indigenous products. Our shared work and prayers help support healthy, educated and culturally stable Mayan communities.
Our projects all originate from the people in Guatemala. We have a committee of Mayan Guatemalans in the town of Chichicastenango who meet and consider applications for projects. They sort through the applications and select the best one or two for us to consider. We do NOT impose our ideas of what is needed for the people we are willing to help. Those ideas seldom work out - for them or in the long run for us who are in mission to others.
We require a group who presents a project, to do several things to help ensure the success and sustainability of the project. They must donate both financial and sweat (labor) resources and must ensure the cooperation of the many politically diverse members of the community, which often includes the Evangelicals, Catholics, Methodists and the Mayan Traditionalists as well as local civic government and committees.
These requirements to bring together diverse elements of the community has resulted in some marvelous projects that have community support, not only in their creation but in their long lasting implementation.