Clean air to breathe and water to drink, excellent medical & dental care, a good education, these are just a few of the things we take for granted living in America, but in countries like Guatemala, one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere life isn’t easy for most of the population.
For 6 years Ivester Jackson agent Melinda Meade-White has answered the call to help the people of Guatemala gain access to these items and more by traveling to their country with Davidson United Methodist Church.
Melinda says “It’s such a wonderful week we get to spend with the people of Guatemala, building special relationships while offering much-needed assistance.” Many times Melinda’s group travels into very remote villages in the highlands where they build stoves that vent to the outside. Traditional stoves in the homes are non-vented trapping smoke inside leading to respiratory problems.
The team works on many other projects as well, including building churches, teaching children Vacation Bible School, medical exams, and seeds and nutrition training. Education is important for economic development and in this area, missionaries offer scholarships, basic computer training, and Micro-finance loans. They also help provide clean water by supplying water filters to families which help clean the dirty water that they get from community wells.
Melinda says “we work with locals as our interpreters since we have to translate from English to Spanish to local dialect Chi-Chi.”
The group’s mission is to work with the people, not for them so the community will be involved and benefit while working together for greater goals.
To learn more about DUMC Guatemala visit their website.