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Xela AID Partnerships for Self Reliance

Rating: 5 stars   42 reviews 1,187

Address:

111 W. Ocean Blvd. 4th Floor Long Beach CA 90802 USA

Mission:

Xela AID empowers children and their families to break the cycle of poverty and to live healthier, more abundant lives through the opportunities afforded by education.

Results:

A sampling. Since its inception in 1992, Xela AID's Work-Study Program has: > Increased the number of years the average child is in school from just 3 years to 11 > Increased the percentage of girls in the program from just 2% to 53% > Vastly outperformed the norm for children without assistance: 90% of our sponsored students stay in school through age 16 vs. just 3.3% without assistance, and 100% leave our program literate vs. 40%* in the general populace (*WHO 2013 report). > Produced San Martín Chiquito's FIRST college graduates (3), and we've only just begun: There are more than EIGHTY children now sponsored and in school, following in the footsteps of these determined children! Additionally: > Our health programs serve more than 10,000 people each year > Our preschool educates and feeds approximately 35 children five days a week > Our Tesoros del Corazón Fair Trade Weaving Cooperative is preserving the ancient tradition of backstrap weaving while helping to feed and cloth a dozen families > Our Leaders in Action training program is preparing 20 youth each year to take leadership roles in their communities, and the world > Our Karen Edwards Women's Empowerment Project has made it possible for several dozen women to become literate, and continues to work to free women from the chains of illiteracy > Our Micro-loan program has already funded the start-up of three successful small businesses! > Our Dignified Housing Program has made it possible to families to recover their health, and their hope > Our Volunteer Program has made it possible for more than 1,200 people to experience the joy of service to others... For more information, visit us at http://www.xelaaid.org

Target demographics:

impoverished children and families who seek to become highly productive and self sufficient

Geographic areas served:

Current: Guatemalan Highlands

Programs:

health care, preschool, work-study scholarships k-college, adult literacy, study center/tutoring, leadership training, micro-loans, support to a fair-trade weaving cooperative and more!

2015 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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More Info

951-733-2588
http://www.xelaaid.org

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Reviews for Xela AID Partnerships for Self Reliance

Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I recently returned from a great trip to Guatemala with a group of volunteers for the non-profit organization, Xela AID. The trip was wonderful in so many different ways. The projects involved working in the village of Mayan indigent people in the highlands area. These were so meaningful and well planned out. The people in the village were so warm, and appreciative that the whole experience will be remembered and treasured for the rest of my years.
Xela AID is an amazing organization. I would encourage all to support it any way possible.

 
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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

I had an amazing trip with Xela AID. It is always hard to put down on paper all of the emotions and feelings one has when describing such a special trip. The opportunity for meaningful volunteer work imprints wonderful memories. The immediate connections with the kids and adults of the village will be a lasting impression that I will cherish for many years.
I loved traveling with such a caring group of volunteers and appreciate the organized excellent leadership.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

Xela Aid deserves high marks for the positive effects of its presence in the community of San Martin, Guatemala. A long term commitment - by a group of dedicated individuals - has resulted in tangible and substantial improvements for the community in the areas of health, education and employment. The successes have been achieved by the combined efforts of the Xela Aid board, a devoted and capable full-time staff of local Guatemalans, partnerships with other NPOs, and organized groups of volunteers; with resources contributed by donors and grants. Xela Aid is focusing efforts and making progress toward its vision of a locally self-sufficient organization that can achieve long-term sustainability.

My experience as a volunteer was educational and enriching. The trip was was well-organized, active and enjoyable. The volunteers were eager and talented. While a single individual, volunteering for a short period of time, has a very small impact, many volunteers over many years can make a difference. Many volunteers over many years is Xela Aid’s strategy for the volunteer component of this remarkable organization.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

I recently returned from my first visit to Guatemala as a Xela AID volunteer. The experience was incredibly heartwarming. The impact this organization has had on the village of St Martin over the years, and what they have been able to accomplish is impressive. I felt my time there was well spent, and I left with a connection to the people in the village and my fellow volunteers; a group of friendly, hard working folks with variety of expertise. Everything you do in Guatemala is greatly appreciated.
The trip was well organized, and I can highly recommend both the organization and the service trips offered by Xela AID.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

Xela Aid is full of wonderful people, both stateside and in Guatemala. The leaders of our trip did an amazing job of utilizing each volunteer's talents and bringing the group together in meaningful ways. The staff in Guatemala are warm, welcoming, talented, and passionate. Overall, the trip was a great balance of relaxing/enjoying all that Guatemala has to offer and working on projects in San Martin. I highly recommend!

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

San Martin Chiquita is a village surrounded by small plots of terraced fields on the steep hillsides. The population is Mayan and many still wear the traditional hand woven clothing which reveal their innate love of color and pattern. There is small store in which the hand woven items can be purchased. Also there is a clinic, which was transformed into an optometrist clinic when I visited with the efficient VOSH team and their translators. Eventually they examined almost 500 people. I was teaching English to a group and one of my students was examined, returned with his glasses and wore them to read his assignment.

At the same time they initiated the use of new kitchen to provide lunch for the team, orchestrated by restaurant owners who taught the Mayan cooks the ins and outs of a modern kitchen. However, they made their tortillas by hand and served traditional Mayan food.

Everywhere in the village there was evidence of the many years of efforts made to change lives. I volunteered in the local school teaching English. The last day I taught there all the students and teachers were clearing the rooms to be painted by paint donated by Xela Aid. Soon they will introduce clean water systems to all the schools in the district.

I left energized and evolved. I would recommend Xela Aid as volunteer experience. It was my first volunteer experience and I will return to this little village where my enthusiastic students of English stole my heart.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

What makes Xela AID and its trips an incredible, unforgettable experience is the people. The groups that they manage to put together are full of fun, interesting, and driven individuals who all bring something unique and exceptional to the team. Likewise, when you get to San Martin, the local Guatemalan staff are a group of all-stars doing amazing work and who are so eager to connect and share. My trip down to Guatemala was an unforgettable mix of fun adventures and truly meaningful, impactful work where I felt I grew personally as much as I helped locally.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

Xela AID turns standard volunteer work into an unforgettable adventure. They do a great job at mixing business with pleasure. From being a tourist on the cobblestone streets of Antiqua, to the breathtaking views atop the Pacaya volcano, to working with the Mayan people in the small village of San Martín Chiquito, getting involved with Xela AID is guaranteed to enrich your life and the lives of others.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I have gone with Xela Aid 3 times. I love the trip, the people and the great structure in San Martin Chiquito. The Mayan group in San Martin are the most welcoming, loving people I have ever met.
Xela Aid is a first class operation with a great mission.

Joel Heger

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

I met Leslie in the early 90's and was so compelled by the work she was doing ended up going to Guatemala as a volunteer with Xela Aid. The organization was pretty small at that point, but was doing such amazing work. Building a school, building structures in San Martin Chiquito, starting a weaving co-op, medical and dental work, etc. The work continued year round in the states with a group of weavers coming to the US every year and raising money by putting on weaving workshops and cooking classes. Leslie even expanded the vision to try to help and support weavers and other indigenous artists from around the world by starting a "World Weaving" event that, for a time, was held annually at Mission San Juan Capistrano.
For me, one of the best things about Xela Aid is that they are an organization that teaches a community how to sustain themselves and grow in positive ways. They just don't go in and provide "a band aid' for the problems that exist. One of the best examples is the education sponsorship program that has educated so many children in the community. It is amazing to me that babies and children I met in San Martin Chiquito in the early 90's are now educated adults that give back to their community.
Any positive impact I may have had as a volunteer and former Board Member is far outweighed by the impact this organization and the people in Xela and San Martin have had on me and my family. My children were blessed to get to know so many beautiful strong women from San Martin as they spent time with us every year when they came to the US. They became part of my family. My children were very young during this time, but still have wonderful memories of these times. in fact, at 18 years of age my daughter saved her own money so she could go to Guatemala as a Xela Aid volunteer. She loved her experience working in San Martin and was so well taken care of by the community and especially Luis Enrique and his family. Xela Aid is a true community!
I would highly recommend becoming involved with this organization and monetarily supporting their projects as they are excellent stewards of their funds. I hope to go back to Guatemala as a volunteer in the near future.

 
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Role: Board Member
Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

There are many projects and organizations that compete for our attention and our money. Many are definitely worthwhile investing on, and they do a good job in their fields. However, I have never belonged to an organization whose work has positively changed so many lives, permanently, in transformational ways, and I include my own life in this change. Organizations that focus on the balance between Education, Health, Environmental Sustainability, and Work Opportunities are seldom found in the developing world. Xela AID believes that there can’t be real development in any community if one or more of these elements are missing. It is like a four-legged stool. If you want the stool to go higher and higher, you have to elevate all four legs simultaneously, or risk upsetting the balance and even fall. This is what Xela AID does, quietly, consistently, year after year, with the help of a small and dedicated staff and hundreds of volunteers. Xela AID has changed the lives of hundreds of children, many of them now productive adults, through education scholarships, giving them the opportunity to learn and aspire to a better life. Xela AID has accompanied their scholarships with holistic health programs for the children and their families, improving their lives so they can learn better and become productive citizens. Xela AID has provided, through micro-loans and other programs, opportunities for women and youth to develop their own businesses and support themselves and their families through their own efforts and creativity. And Xela AID has invested in developing strategies for environmental health in their communities, from clean water, to waste management, improvements to homes and much more. Xela AID is a model for how development aid should be. Your support for this organization will help expand and replicate this successful model to other communities in Guatemala and beyond. And your life will be changed by your involvement. Irreversibly and for the better. Whether you go on a volunteer trip once, become a long-term supporter and a donor, or become part of the leadership of the organization, your life will never be the same again. Your heart will expand in your chest and it will hurt, and you will do things you never thought you could do. And you will make friends for life, expand your horizons beyond belief; and you will become a better person too.

 
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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

In the seven years we've been part of Xela AID, first as volunteers and now as part of the Board, I've been struck by the amazing changes that the various programs have on the people of these communities. The balanced approach of working on the four pillars of development, health, education, environment and work opportunities, provides the best template I've seen for true sustainability. As a model for integral community development this should be enough. However, there is also the personal, deep and emotional involvement with people that become your friends and family for life. Sponsored children given an opportunity of education and health become young adults with high dreams and unending energy; humble women become community leaders and master teachers, empowered business women and public speakers; shy young students become group leaders and movers of humanitarian projects. Xela AID saves lives, builds capacity, deals with emergencies, gathers resources and empowers people. There is so much potential, so many opportunities, and already so many accomplishments. I look forward to many more years of partnering with these communities working together for their future.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Xela AID is growing and becoming more professional. The only thing I would suggest is to continue to think big and search for larger grants that would allow the consolidation of the programs and the spread of the successful model. Efforts towards an endowment would help achieve this goal.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

 
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