Partnership Guatemala was established by Melinda Grant, who dedicates her time to partnering with the local indigenous people of Guatemala toward their goals of improving the quality of life for their families in the rural highlands of Quiche. Her personal story, which led to the creation of Partnership Guatemala, is truly inspiring. Local leaders and communities together with Melinda and the numerous teams who have embarked with her on this incredible and collaborative journey have made significant strides towards self-determined and self-sustaining community goals. Together they are leaving lasting footprints in each other’s lives building lifelong friendships, and experiencing hope.

— My Story

Melinda Grant 👋

“Each one of us has the power to live a life filled with purpose”

Melinda Grant

How did a mom of three grown kids, nannie to three precious babies, a semi-retired Registered Nurse with 30+ years of experience in pediatrics and working with families in crisis as an organ and tissue donor coordinator end up working in rural highlands of Guatemala? Well, sometimes it is the trials of life that launch us into adventures that we could not have imagined for ourselves.

An Unprecedented Decision

In November of 2012 I began to search for volunteer opportunities for my youngest daughter. We had endured some very, very difficult adolescent years and I felt an urgency for her to experience firsthand the hardships that many people in the world face daily. I proposed that she choose a country in the western hemisphere and get involved in a service project for a few months. I wanted her to have the experience of a different culture but more importantly to immerse herself in something that could inspire her and give her a sense of purpose. She showed interest, yet I could tell she was also scared so I decided we would make the trip together. I began researching various service opportunities in various countries and what happened next, I will not soon forget. Although the focus of my search was on South America, Guatemala came into my mind and I distinctly remember thinking that was odd, as I had never had any interest in, nor desire to go to Guatemala. I tried my best to refocus on countries such as Ecuador or Peru, but the impression of Guatemala was simply too strong. I could not ignore it, so I booked it. We had an amazing adventure together working in an orphanage and living with a local family. At the end of our service contract, we decided to see some of the highlights of the country. We both fell in love with the country and the people.  My daughter had not yet finished high school, so we decided to do something totally unprecedented. We found an international school in Panajachel, Guatemala and a wonderful local family for her to billet with and off she went to finish her high school diploma. Not wanting to miss out on all the fun I decided to take a one-year leave of absence from my nursing job and join her to do some volunteering. We were fortunate to be able to volunteer with a group building schools in the rural highlands. It was shocking for us to witness the daily struggles for these families and yet we were the ones so blessed by being on the receiving end of their their kindness, determination, hard work, generosity, and gratitude.  

The Birth of Partnership Guatemala

During our time I began to sense that there were practical ways that we could help these families improve their nutritional status and alleviate some of their daily struggles. Even if only on a very small scale, I felt as though building relationships and offering some practical teaching and resources could have a powerful impact on the lives of these families. In the spring of 2015, our formal alliance began. We took our first volunteer group, and we installed an earthen floor in the home of a Mayan family in Colonia San Juan, Quiche, Guatemala. Three hired local staff and thirteen teams later and we have grown into a small but mighty force passionate about together making a difference in the rural communities with whom we work and partner.

Visit “Our Team” page to meet our boots on the ground” or “Get Involved” page to find out more.