Nebaj, Guatemala

About The Location & History

It is said that the armed conflict in the country of Guatemala began in 1960 with a group of soldiers who wanted to rebel against the government and the army. Thus, warlike encounters began between the subversive group (guerrillas) and the army. The conflict increased and led to the death of many civilians. Don Tomás Guzaro, a Galician born in the village of Parramos, decided to help those affected by the crisis. There were about a thousand children who recovered nutritionally and several who were adopted because they were orphaned. Since there is no longer a written record, it is not known precisely how many of these children were orphaned, but thanks to Tomas and donors from the United States and Canada, food, medicine, and other supplies were provided to those affected.

Special Fundraiser: X-ray Machine

As the new hospital is being built, the next phase entails purchasing medical equipment and other construction costs, totalling up to $300,000 CDN. The immediate need is the purchase of an X-ray machine. You can help us reach the goal of $180,000 for this equipment!

Poverty in Guatemala is widespread. Around 75% of the population lives below the poverty line. The poverty line is defined by the ability to purchase basic necessities such as food, shelter, security, etc. Over 40% of the population has no access to any health care services. Many patients do not wish to seek care from public health due to mistrust and poor quality of services. There is a great need for medical services, especially for young children, since 16% of all infants suffer from low birth weight, and 50% of all children are malnourished.

Who Are We Partnering With?

In 2005, Dr. Juan Pablo Noriega Herrera, who had recently graduated from medical school, decided to dedicate his life to ministry work. Two years later, he married Carolina Astorga Domínguez, a licensed chemistry biologist, who joined him in the ministry and began to expand medical services with a clinical laboratory.

Our Partners: Juan Pablo and Carolina with their two beautiful kids.

In 2007, the Ministry of Health authorized opening of a school for nursing assistants. The number of students has varied each year from 40 to 100 students. More than 1000 students have graduated. It is a great blessing to provide work to so many people and provide a service to the community.

Juan Pablo and Carolina’s efforts have been focused on providing quality healthcare to the community. JP and Carolina managed to create sustainability in the effort within five years while employing over 30 staff using an older facility built initially as a feeding center during the civil war. In addition, they have also started a church, a hospital lab, and two auxiliary nursing schools (with over 1,500 graduates!)

What Is The Initiative?

Juan Pablo and Carolina approached ImpactHope in 2014 with a proposal to address the issue of infant mortality in the region by building a maternity ward and offering training for midwives. Eventually, it became clear that our efforts needed to be planned on a larger scale. Plans for a full-fledged hospital were developed, and since 2015, we have been actively involved in constructing a new hospital building. This is a 40+ bed facility, a USD 3 million project to serve the people in the area.

Ariel view of the Hospital

This Hospital, Servicios Medicos Vida y Esperanza, is currently running and accepting patients, providing healthcare and dental care while the new building is being built! Healthcare initiatives include medical consultation, clinical laboratory, care for the bedridden, ultrasound and X-ray services, food assistance for low-income families, education for workers’ children, and activities in the Cristo Salva church.

In Addition To This Effort, Other Efforts Include:

  • Providing quality education for the children of the staff 
  • Developing a women’s ministry that provides community, sewing opportunities, cooking classes, and more!
  • This has been developed into a support group for many women
  • Opportunities to serve their communities are increasing
  • Developing a community men’s ministry 
  • Future plans include addressing the issue of clean water (due to Covid, this has been delayed)
Women’s ministry that provides community, sewing opportunities, cooking classes, and more!
The nursing school equips individuals to give back to the community through medical service.
Short-term Missions Team in July 2018.
The Maverick Men's Support Group gives men from different churches a safe space to pray for each other, have communion and discuss relatable issues.

Causes Being Addressed:

HEALTH | FOOD SECURITY | EDUCATION | GENDER EQUALITY | WATER

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