Cindy's blog "Introducing Nebaj" June 22 2017




The Ecclestone family wants Calstone to not only be successful for its employees and stakeholders but for our success to help communities who are in need. The Ecclestones have been friends of the Stronks family for many years and their work with missionaries is inspiring.  Matt’s friend Derek Stronks has been to Nebaj Guatemala to help build a new hospital and his enthusiasm has been infectious. Initially Jim thought that Calstone could provide some furniture for the new hospital offices but now we have taken on a larger role and plan on being a major supporter to ensure the hospital is built.

I will begin this blog by telling you about the Canadian organization that is instrumental in building a new 32 bed facility in one of the poorest communities in Guatemala. This blog will be your introduction the Nebaj Hospital project that Calstone, their partner Dehnco and some of our loyal clients are coming together to spearhead a fundraising effort to ensure the hospital is completed and one doctor’s vision is fulfilled.

Missionary Ventures Canada is a Christian interdenominational organization.Not only does Missionary Ventures Canada provide opportunities for people to become actively involved in serving in projects across the globe, they also implement and direct international projects through churches involving education, feeding programs, agricultural initiatives, water filtration projects, skills development and medical clinics, which address many social justice concerns in various countries. This is the group who oversee the teams from Canada that go down to build.

Poverty in Guatemala is widespread and severe. About 75% of the population lives below the poverty line, which is defined as the ability to purchase a basic basket of necessities.More than 40% of the population has no access to any health care services. Many patients do not wish to seek care from public health providers due to: cost, mistrust of the provider and poor quality of services.There is a great need for medical services, especially for young children as 16% of infants suffer from low birth weight and 50% of all children are malnourished.

Nebaj, situated at 1,900 meters above sea level, is the southern gateway to the Ixil region and one of three towns comprising the Ixil Triangle (Nebaj, Chajul and Cotzal). It is situated in a beautiful valley surrounded by the Cuchamatan Mountains, roughly two and a half hours north of Santa Cruz del Quiche in the department of Quiche, Guatemala.  With its white adobe walls and cobbled streets, it is a remote and traditional town where indigenous culture is still vibrant.

Although access to quality medical care is limited in all areas, remote areas and the indigenous populations suffer the greatest. A health clinic was established in the area outside of Nebaj in 2005, but due to the overwhelming need for health care resources, the space has been far outgrown. Presently, the clinic is fully self sustaining and staffed by 29 trained professionals, including several doctors, nurses, a surgeon, lab tech, a pharmacist and an administrator, however due to the growing need, this is not enough. A proposal to turn the clinic into a full hospital has been passed, and construction has started, however there is still much work that needs to be done. The building effort relies heavily on donations and efforts of mission teams to help to fund and finish this project.

This is the vision of one Doctor and his wife. Dr. Juan Pablo and Carolina Noriega have a passion for serving the indigenous community of Nebaj Guatemala by providing access to quality medical care. They have been overseeing this clinic in Nebaj for over 10 years. They have also started 2 nursing schools, to help train individuals on basic health and promote health standards in remote areas. They have two small children, a daughter, Valentina (4) and a son Juan Pablo (2). The family has hosted many Canadian teams of volunteers who have helped with construction projects and served at the hospital. They continue to host teams as their ministry grows.

This is a huge endeavour! It is a 4 year, 4$ million US proposal. Presently 90% of the work is complete underground. Construction is slated to begin on the ground in July 2018. That is where Calstone and their supporters are stepping in. We are going to be proactive on funding the project to ensure Hector, the Engineer, can visit the project one week every month to keep the plans on track. We hope to raise enough money to ensure the local workers have funds to keep them building. Of course down the road we will provide furniture for their offices but making sure we have rooms to put it in is a good start!  I will keep you posted on fundraising events and how Calstone, Dehnco and our supporters plan to bring this hospital to life!


Here Hector, the engineer, will take you on a tour of the plans and visions for the hospital


Listen to Juan Pablo talk about his passions and commitment to the Nebaj hospital and the Guatemalan people.