Monday, December 22, 2014


  Mission & Outreach    International Mission    Guatemala
Mission & Outreach

JoAn Dwyer/Organization for the Development of the Indigenous Maya (ODIM)

Human Development Fund grants help Northaven missionary JoAn Dwyer further the work of ODIM in two Mayan communities of Lake Atitlán. ODIM aims to improve the quality of life of members of these communities through health services and educational programs.  ODIM focuses on empowering members of the community to have a hopeful future for themselves and their children. Projects include:

·         Clínica Sanjuanerita, a medical clinic/education building in San Juan La Laguna that provides primary care services to the people of San Juan and San Pablo La Laguna.  In conjunction with WINGS of Antigua, Guatemala, ODIM coordinates training of Mayan women in family planning and conducts cervical cancer detection clinics.


·         Health Promoter Education. ODIM has trained approximately 20 local health promoters from San Juan and San Pablo. The health promoters reach out into the community to help create sustainable healthcare that will lead to prevention and better lives for the people. Health promoters lead classes in basic first aid, nutrition, hygiene, common illnesses and diseases, basic anatomy and body systems, and diabetes care.


·         Beca Program. ODIM also provides scholarships and a tutoring program for 10 of the poorest children in San Pablo La Laguna. Scholarships provide children in San Pablo with the resources and support they need to attend and succeed in school.  The donations for this program cover registration, monthly tuition, books, supplies, school and gym uniforms, two pairs of shoes, and four hours of tutoring per week. $600 covers all of the program costs for a scholarship recipient for one year.


·         Children’s Cultural Exchange. The purpose of the CCE is to reduce racism and classism and promote an understanding of a different culture.  By actually being in the homes, fields, workplace, and schools of other children, the participants learn that on many levels ladinos and indigenous people share common traits, even though they come from different lifestyles.  This is a 7-day project that brings 10 children living in poverty together, 5 from the capital city and 5 from the rural village of San Juan La Laguna.  They spend equal time in each place in shared living.  Each year since 2006 ODIM has alternated bringing boys and girls, ages 8-12 to participate.  The children have the opportunity to climb trees and cut firewood, pick and haul coffee, visit their national palace, make tortillas and create entrepreneurial crafts together.  They experience more diversity of culture and lifestyle in this short week than they might otherwise in a lifetime.


For more information, download the ODIM brochure (PDF, 720KB), visit  or or email ODIM at .



ODIM Annual Report for 2012.


Click here to view the report.