ODIM is a team of local and foreign staff dedicated to providing better futures to the people of San Juan and San Pablo La Laguna.
Jeff Hassel, Executive Director
Jeff joined the ODIM staff in June 2014 after serving 20 years as an ordained pastor in the United Methodist Church. For six of those years, Jeff served as a project manager, coordinator of international volunteer teams and fundraiser for the Methodist Church in the northern European country of Lithuania. Four of those 20 years, he served as the Mission Director of the Davidson United Methodist Church near Charlotte, NC gaining expertise in grant management, partnership development, volunteer management, as well as program and staff development. In 2012-2013 Jeff spent 14 months in Guatemala and Nicaragua learning Spanish, immersing in the culture and looking for his next great job; he found that job with ODIM!
Jeff's vision is to "speak Spanish and build." To him, that means building bridges between cultures; building-up organizations; building-up people and communities; building partnerships; and connecting people with service opportunities that matter.
Pedro Mendez, Business Manager
Pedro started working with ODIM in April of 2012 as a projects coordinator. He graduated as a perito contador (accountant) with an orientation in computers. His work as a projects manager with Azzi, a non-profit organization in San Pablo, gave him the perfect experience to join our team. Pedro worked as the Beca (scholarship) Project coordinator in San Pablo. He was also the coordinator of our Diabetes Program “Caminemos Juntos.” In February of 2014 he was promoted to Business Manager of ODIM, where he manages the finances of the organization. ODIM is so thankful for Pedro's hardwork, dedication and great ideas!
Libby Sittley, Manager of International Programs
Libby received her Masters degree in International Relations from American University’s School of International Service in 2011 and spent several years working with unaccompanied minors in the Washington, DC area, monitoring their safety, access to mental and medical health resources, academic success and legal representation. Prior to coming to ODIM, she taught English to college students in Micronesia! If you are interested in setting up a volunteer experience, either for a team or individually, she can be reached at ODIM.firstname.lastname@example.org
Jan Capps, Clinic Administrator
Jan holds a Masters of Public Health degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and has over 20 years experience in community and public health, including two years in Guatemala as a Community Organizer for a health program in the Peten region. Her career has focused on building local capacity and increasing healthcare access for the underserved, particularly for immigrants and migrant farm workers. In particular, she developed a statewide network for immigrant victims of domestic violence, assisted communities to open and expand migrant health centers, advocated to state and federal policy makers to expand and strengthen health centers, and has secured and overseen numerous large federal and private grants. She has extensive experience in popular education, the community health worker (promoter) model, developing systems and processes, policy analysis, program planning and evaluation, and nonprofit operations and management. Jan also brings a data driven focus and a quality improvement orientation to the work. Though originally from North Carolina, she has been living for the past 11 years in Seattle, WA with her 10 year old daughter, Solanes, who is accompanying her on this adventure.
Milton Ilovares, Global Mission Fellow
Milton joins ODIM through the Global Mission Fellows Program of the United Methodist Church and will be working in International Volunteer Programs and ODIM Communications. Milton is fluent in Spanish and English. His life changed when, at the age of 13, his mother signed him up to volunteer with a team of medical missionaries through his home church in Honduras. Milton began to work regularly with mission teams as translator. Later on, he started leading and coordinating teams of volunteers in Honduras. Milton developed a strong faith and a calling to serve after many years of struggles in his life. This calling has brought him to join the ODIM team to share his talents with our team and our communities.
Holly (Ana) Burkoski, Community Health & Education Program Manager
Holly—or Ana as she is known in our villages—comes to us from Montréal and has been on the ground in Guatemala since 2013; working with another NGO and teaching Yoga. In Canada, from studying Trilingual International Studies, Holly moved on to open and manage a fundraising and consultancy office; advocating for a dozen major non-profits. With great passion for healthcare- oriented development work and community empowerment, Holly joined ODIM in February 2015. Holly partners with Melyna and Elena in the design, development and delivery of their five health and education programs; which reach hundreds of community participants each year. Alongside Elena and Lesbia, in 2015 Holly launched ODIM's extensive child health and nutrition initiative, Mamá y Yo, Saludable—Healthy Mommy and Me.
Timoteo Ixcaya Ixcaya, Nurse and Nutrition Project Educator
Timoteo sees patients daily in the clinic. He is a nurse, and is currently studying professional nursing at a local university. Timoteo previously worked at the Centro de Salud in San Pablo before begining to work in the clinic in 2009. He has gained a lot of experience working alongside the foreign and local doctors visiting ODIM. Timoteo also works with ODIM as a coordinator of the nutrition project, Semillas de Salud, in San Pablo.
Gloria Mendoza, Health Specialist
Gloria worked as the clinic receptionist since 2009 and has now transferred into her current role as “Health Specialist”. She graduated as a perito contador (accountant), and began working with ODIM shortly after. Gloria is currently studying professional nursing at a local university. Gloria has been trained by ALAS (WINGS) as a representative for family planning, and provides consults with our patients. Additionally Gloria provides Bach Flower consults and counseling sessions for patients with mental health problems as well as performs a variety of tests in our clinic laboratory.
Antonia Cholotio, San Juan Pharmacist and Diabetes Educator
Antonia is another original staff member of the clinic from 2009. She graduated as a teacher, and worked for several years before starting her career with ODIM. Antonia has been trained to work in the pharmacy, and continues to gain training as she works alongside pharmacists, doctors, and nurses that visit with medical teams. Antonia is also a diabetes educator in San Juan where she teaches Diabetes Club classes alongside other health promoters. She also offers pre-consults and follow-up care with the diabetic patients.
Aracely Mendoza Quic, San Juan Receptionist
Aracely began working as our clinic receptionist in August of 2012. She holds a degree in social work and does a wonderful job interacting with patients and keeping our medical records organized. Before joining ODIM as a staff member, Aracely participated with ODIM as a health promoter for years and we are very excited that she has the opportunity to assume a long term role in our growing organization.
Elena Ujpan, Women's and Sexual health, Nutrition coordinator
Elena, a native of San Pablo La Laguna, started working with ODIM in 2010 and has supported the organization in a variety of ways. She has worked for two years as a diabetes and nutrition educator, has been an active member of our community health promoters program and supports the work of visiting medical volunteers by translating from Tz’utujil to Spanish. She is trained as a teacher and before coming to ODIM worked as a health educator and also volunteers her time teaching children at her church. She is excited to support the education and health of women, children and families in San Juan and San Pablo.
Monica Leja, San Pablo Receptionist
Monica, born and raised in San Pablo La Laguna, is honored to have the opportunity to support her community by providing them access to affordable health care. She has been involved with ODIM since 2009 as a community health promoter and a teacher in our scholarship program. She is trained as a teacher and appreciates the opportunity to teach the youth of San Pablo and to continue to expand her skill set. Serving as the receptionist of the San Pablo clinic, Monica is excited to expand her computer skills and also to provide excellent service for patients in San Pablo.
Josefa Ixcaya, San Pablo Pharmacist
Josefa, originally from San Pablo, has been involved with ODIM since 2010. She started as a volunteer health promoter and has since become a diabetes health promoter. In this role she teaches classes and provides one-to-one support for individuals in ODIM’s diabetes program. She has studied nursing and recently went back to school to get licensed in the field. Her favorite part of the job is learning about the work that the doctors are doing. Her ultimate goal in her work is to be the best pharmacist she can be.
Melyna Antonia Cholotio Perez, Beca (scholarship) program coordinator
Melyna joined ODIM as a health promoter for the diabetes program. In March of 2014 she became the new coordinator for the Beca (scholarship) program, serving as a liaison between the students, their teachers and parents to assure the best possibility for our students to succeed. She is also the coordinator of the diabetes health education program where she manages the heath promoters who work as diabetes educators, updates the patient records and tracks the care of each patient.