During my 7-week journey through the stunning landscapes of Guatemala, I was confronted with the unfortunate reality faced not only in Guatemala but by many Central American countries, where less-traveled regions encounter numerous challenges. Among these difficulties, access to medical assistance for the underprivileged members of society stands out.
Fortunately, there is a remarkable non-profit organization Health & Help that has established a clinic in Guatemala. This clinic, located in Momostenango mountain area tirelessly and without exceptions, delivers vital medical care to individuals who would otherwise be deprived of such services on a daily basis.
What's even more amazing is that you can actively contribute to this noble cause. Health & Help offers volunteer opportunities within their clinic, completely free of charge. Moreover, your accommodation expenses are covered, allowing you to wholeheartedly immerse yourself in the experience. Additionally, you have the chance to explore the breathtaking surroundings at highly discounted rates, as Health & Help boasts an extensive network of local connections, providing you with the best possible authentic experiences.
You can also support the organization at any time online with donations.
I sadly only found out about the organization after I had already left Guatemala but I have been in touch with them and I am planning to participate next year.
Health & Help Clinic in Guatemala
Health & Help was created by two women, Karina and Victoria who had a passion for building a better, fairer world. They made this dream a reality beginning in Guatemala, where they opened their first clinic 6 years ago. And a lot has changed in the village: before the clinic, people were forced to go to the closest health center far away available by car only which many did not have. Home remedies truly reigned above all there. Now people can see doctors be it an emergency or a planned visit and receive proper diagnoses and meds.
Guatemalan clinic has served almost 4,500 patients in 2023, covering a geographic area with a population of over 25,000 residents. We provide basic healthcare services that these residents previously couldn’t access in their remote communities, and we do this seven days a week, all year round.
The staff in the clinic also provides educational lectures, and prophylactic measures to prevent diseases in children and adults.
Both Health & Help clinics in Guatemala and Nicaragua currently have 9 volunteers, and an online volunteer team of 84 people is working to provide all the resources for the organization.
Momostenango Area in Guatemala
Momostenango area in Guatemala is a captivating destination that offers a combination of indigenous culture, traditional crafts, stunning landscapes, sacred sites, and authentic local experiences. Travelers to this area have the opportunity to engage with the vibrant community, appreciate the natural beauty, and gain a deeper understanding of the rich cultural heritage of the region.
Here are some of the best things you can enjoy as a traveler while volunteering in Momostenango area:
Indigenous Culture: Momostenango is known for its vibrant indigenous culture. The majority of the population belongs to the K'iche' Maya ethnic group, and their rich traditions and customs are prevalent throughout the area. Travelers have the opportunity to engage with the local community, witness traditional ceremonies, explore colorful markets, and learn about ancient Mayan traditions.
Traditional Textiles: Momostenango is renowned for its intricate and beautiful textiles. Local weavers skillfully craft colorful fabrics, garments, and accessories using traditional methods that have been passed down through generations. Visitors can witness the weaving process, purchase unique textiles, and gain insights into the significance of these crafts within the community.
Stunning Landscapes: The Momostenango area is blessed with breathtaking natural beauty. Surrounded by rolling hills, picturesque valleys, and lush green landscapes, it offers opportunities for hiking, nature walks, and exploration of the countryside. The region's scenic beauty provides a tranquil and serene environment for travelers to unwind and appreciate the wonders of nature.
Sacred Sites: The Momostenango area is home to several sacred sites that hold cultural and historical significance. These include ancient Mayan ruins, ceremonial sites, and sacred mountains. Exploring these sacred locations offers a glimpse into the spiritual beliefs and practices of the indigenous people and provides a deeper understanding of their cultural heritage.
Authentic Local Experiences: Momostenango offers a chance to immerse oneself in authentic local experiences. Travelers can engage in community-based tourism initiatives, such as homestays with local families, participating in traditional cooking classes, or learning traditional crafts. These experiences provide a unique insight into the daily lives, traditions, and customs of the local community.
Apart from Momostenango area where you will be located, you also have some of the most amazing places around you to visit a longer bus drive away:
Fuego Volcano. You can do an amazing 2 day hike up to the Acatenange Volcano to see the lava erupting from the Fuego Volcano!
Volunteer Opportunity in Guatemala Clinic
Health & Help organization is continuously looking for new volunteers for their clinic in Guatemala. Here are all the amazing things you will gain by volunteering:
Gain new professional knowledge and skills in the NGO and fundraising world
Work with an amazing international team
Free accommodation and food
Discounted prices for the tours and unique experiences around the area
Make new friends from around the world
Experience within the charity sector
If you are not ready to take the big step and travel to Guatemala yet, you can start by helping the organization online!
If you are ready for this exciting opportunity - Apply Now!
To understand a bit better the daily life in the clinic and how the life there looks like for a volunteer, check out this article: How do our volunteers spend their week!
They also have a clinic in Nicaragua located by the beach, in the El Rosario area! If you would like to know more about the Nicaragua Volunteer Opportunities please do not hesitate to get in touch with the organization on their website or social media platforms (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter)!