Guatemala is an incredibly diverse country with 23 different language groups. Climate conditions can range from steamy hot coastal weather to frigid cold mountain weather where temperatures regularly drop below the freezing mark. Like many Latin American countries, it is also a country marked by violence and poverty. The presence of ruthless drug cartels has led to extortion, corruption, kidnapping, and many violent deaths in this country. Word & Deed partners with AMG Guatemala to help facilitate Christian education for hundreds of children in Guatemala. We also partner with them in the operation of a rural hospital.
- Christian Day Schools
La Palabra Christian School
La Palabra means “The Word” in Spanish. The school provides a high quality Christian Education for pre-primary, primary, junior high, and high school students in Monjas, Guatemala. The local Evangelical Central American Church started the school in 2001 as a means of giving their children a Christian education and as a means to reaching out to the community. Today, approximately 50% of the students are from the church and their parents pay school fees and 50% of the students come from poorer families in the local community and are supported through the Word & Deed sponsorship program.
- Christian After-School Programs
After-School Sponsorship Programs
Word & Deed helps to support over 200 students in three different AMG-run after-school sponsorship programs in Guatemala. These programs are also supported by Free Reformed Missions International. Students attend a government school but when classes are done for the day, they make their way to these after-school centers to receive nutritional food, help with their homework, Bible lessons, medical care when it’s needed, and other such benefits. Parents of these children are also given the opportunity to participate in various lessons and Bible studies.
- Christian After-School Programs
This camp is run by AMG Guatemala for students in AMG schools. 35 weeks of 5-day camp sessions are held each year with an average of 75 youth per week in attendance. AMG students often live in areas marked by poverty and violence. The camp presents a stark contrast to their everyday life and an opportunity for the student to mature spiritually. The objective of Camp Canaan is “to awaken in the participants a great desire to search for God and to understand His presence in every aspect of their lives, to be positive, to value themselves and those around them and to serve others.”
- Theological Training
Hospital Radio Broadcast
This project is a 30-minute daily broadcast run by the hospital in Cubulco, Guatemala, with the intent of bringing the gospel and announcing events at the hospital (for example, the arrival of visiting medical teams). The teacher commentaries that were translated, updated, and printed by the Jonkman team in Ecuador, are being used to teach the Word of God in these programs.
- Medical Care
The Cubulco hospital is located in one of the poorest rural areas of Guatemala. John Otten, our Project Director, was Administrator for 17 years before returning to Canada. The nearest public hospital is one hour away by car. The hospital is overseen by our partner, AMG Guatemala, and has 14 beds and four doctors who give medical consultations and carry out minor surgeries. The hospital also offers 24-hour emergency services, maternity, ultrasound and delivery, and nutrition and agricultural programs. Visiting teams of specialized surgeons perform more complicated surgeries. A large expansion and renovation project at the hospital was completed in 2018. This included renovating the existing building with expanded emergency and surgery facilities. The expansion includes a maternity ward, a pharmacy with street access, and several day consultation rooms as the hospital adds gynecology, pediatrics, prostate, and eye care services. Most importantly, the gospel is shared with many of the 14,000 patients that are seen each year. The local church ministers to the patients by sharing devotionals in the waiting room of the hospital. The project has reached a commendable 70% self-sufficiency.