People for Guatemala exceeded my expectations! The organization I volunteer with partners with PFG during the summer. I have never come in contact with a local organization as sustainable and well organized as People for Guatemala. The founders and staff are incredibly tuned in to the needs of the local communities in the San Martin area. I cannot sing enough praises to this organization for making our experience genuine, special, and extraordinary.
I participated in a 2 week service project in Guatemala and People for Guatemala was so prepared and they were not afraid to get down and dirty to help the people of their country alongside everyone in my team.
Working with the People for Guatemala was an amazing experience and one that I will never forget. The two weeks that I spent in the community of Pacoxpon were definitely not wasted and we have this organization to thank for that. They made a point to make sure that my group and I were comfortable, and understanding of everything that was going on. They are extremely organized, kind, and I loved working with them! They really went out of their way to ensure our happiness while we were serving. Things like getting us peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch (something we were all craving), working along side us, and throwing us a very nice and beautiful goodbye dinner on our last night.
This organization and everyone is involved is AMAZING. When I went on a service trip to Guatemala, they were the whole reason it was able to happen. They coordinated everything in country, got translators, worked with the village, and made it all possible for us. They work so hard to change the lives of the Guatemalan people and it's beautiful.
I did a humanitarian trip this past summer with Youthlinc. People for Guatemala were amazing in helping us to know what the village of Pacoxpom really needed and helped us schedule and plan so that we could make things happen. We could not have completed as much work as we did without them communcating and helping us plan while we were in the US. They are an amazing organization doing amazing things in Guatemala!
People for Guatemala has coordinated for the student based non-profit I work for. We send them teams of about 40 people every summer and they do an amazing job planning extremely sustainable and meaningful projects for our team! They are so well organized and they really care about sustainability and making a difference. This is such a wonderful organization!
I am a member of the Rotary Club of Antigua Guatemala. For more than a hundred years the community of El Molino, San Martin Jilotepeque, Chimaltenango didn't have running water, they had to walk far to collect water and carry it to bring it home. This rural area does not have drainages. People for Guatemala, in coordination and collaboration with the local Municipality, the villagers, the Rotary Foundation, The Rotary Clubs of Vashon Island, Lake Union Neighborhood (Seattle), Fremont (Seattle), Mill Creek, Renton, West Seattle, Antigua Guatemala and Rotary District 5030, 84 families were benefited to have water at home. Also 130 composting latrines were built. People for Guatemala sent their nurses to provide training to the villagers about sanitation. The staff in Guatemala is professional, knowledgeable and compassionate about helping the communities. After several months the health of this village has changed. I can say People for Guatemala is a reliable organization to work with.
The villages People for Guatemala serve are far from the town of San Martin Jilotepeque. In some of these villages there is no water distribution services. When water projects are done in these communities everything changes: the health improves when they have clean water, the high percentage of intestinal diseases is reduced, specially in children; even general sanitation training is provided to the villagers, they can have a shower every day, wash their clothes, have clean fruits and vegetables. And these are things that normal people have to do every day, close your eyes and imagine a day at your home with no water...... they really change their lives forever!
This organization deserves your support...
People for Guatemala is an incredibly well-run non-profit. Their focus is centered on community involvement and ownership to assess and define problems and actively participate in developing and implementing creative solutions. Members from surrounding communities come to People for Guatemala for project support after they have done their groundwork. This approach leads to communities being personally invested from a grass roots level and thus promotes capacity building and deep project sustainability. People for Guatemala’s approach helps to minimize outside bias and personal agendas from outsiders dictating the community projects.
The staff in Guatemala is from Guatemala. The staff’s knowledge of the country, its history, and its barriers leads to deepened compassion as well as creative problem solving. Their projects include: running a clinic in San Martin (an under-resourced community where the large majority are living at or below poverty) that offers medical, dental, psychological and pharmacy services, constructing community centers, school kitchens, stove installations with efficient externally vented stoves designed by one of their employees, community water projects, educational opportunities for children and adults, and more. Groups from other countries also come to help participate in project activities. The running of the projects is well organized and people who come leave with a sense of meaningful contribution to the country. The project impact and collaborative efforts, including working with other NGO’s, are first rate!
I have been privileged to work with Ken and Lois Werner, the Founders of People for Guatemala during the past four years. I have witnessed first-hand the incredible dedication and the work that they do for the indigenous Mayan people of Guatemala, especially in the Department of Chimaltenango in the outlying villages of San Martin Jilotepeque. As a citizen of the United States, and fluent in both English and Spanish, I have had the opportunity to visit with many people living in these villages about the wonderful work that People for Guatemala has been doing for their communities in health care, education, water projects, vented stoves and composting latrines, just to name a few of their projects. I support the work of People for Guatemala 100%. The projects that they undertake are ones that are "life changing" for the people. With the vented stoves, the people no longer have to worry about breathing toxic smoke from the open fires in their homes, or getting burned. They don't have to carry water retrieved from distant sources; many children are becoming educated in schools with well-trained teachers; health care is provided at a central clinic, as well as mobile clinics that go out to each village once a month. It is an amazing organization, with integrity and a sincere desire to better the lives of the people they serve in Guatemala.
As a volunteer and a donor, I LOVE "People for Guatemala". The leadership is amazing and the impact on small communities is inspiring. Needs are identified and fulfilled in a way that promotes self-reliance. It's an organization that promotes partnership and buy in rather than dependency and "hand-outs" . This group of philanthropists really make a difference in this world through their support of education and community outreach. It is an organization I plan on always supporting. I may not have a lot to give, but I will find ways to help knowing that many hands and many small donations can, do, and will continue to make a difference!