Xela Aid Partnerships For Self Reliance
Rating: 5 stars 29 29 reviews 798
International, Economic Development, Microfinance
111 W. Ocean Blvd. 4th Floor Long Beach CA 90802 USA
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.
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
impoverished children and families who seek to become highly productive and self sufficient
Geographic areas served:
Current: Guatemalan Highlands
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!
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Reviews for Xela Aid Partnerships For Self Reliance
My husband, two daughters and I participated in the August 2015 Xela-Aid trip. The experience has forever changed our perspective of wealth, and we are deeply grateful to both the American and Guatemalan Xela staff members. The volunteer trip provided a perfect balance of cultural immersion and service work. Leslie and staff carefully blended our talents and interests with the needs of the community in San Martin Chiquito. We went to share our talents and received far more in return. Each of us has been inspired in our own ways to carry the experience forward.; and as a family, we chose to sponsor a young woman through her university days.
Xela-Aid’s model of developing self-reliance is healthy, not simply a hand out, and develops giving and receiving. It is inspiring to see the recipients of Xela-Aid paying it forward and giving back to their Guatemalan community.
I was proud to be a part of creating healthy self-reliance within an organization full of integrity. I can wholeheartedly recommend Xela-Aid to anyone yearning to make a difference.
An unexpected bonus was spending the week with other like-minded volunteers and bonding as a group. The friendships we formed are invaluable treasures. Xela-Aid is truly an experience we can’t wait to repeat.
1 person found this review helpful
I am a professor and have travelled multiple times to Central America and the Caribbean, often with students along as well. I have also done significant reading on the economics of global poverty. Many efforts fail from lack of on-the-ground communication and establishing of relationships. Often "development" or "mission" trips drop in to meet immediate "needs" as perceived from the outside with little regard to long-term impact and sustainability and can even do more harm than good (e.g. giving away clothes can be valuable or it can harm a local garment industry -- how can you know without relationship? [See "Toxic Charity" by Robert Lupton or "White Man's Burden" by William Easterly.] XelaAID, however, gets it right. They are building on over twenty years of relationship with the Mayan people of San Martin. Their focus is on long-term, sustainable, impact principally through education while thoughtfully and caringly meeting immediate needs as well. The people of San Martin clearly love Mel and Leslie and the other workers there. The children served find a bastion of safety and happiness amid lives that would otherwise be relegated to complete poverty and neglect. I am both proud and humbled to have worked with XelaAID. I trust them completely.
1 person found this review helpful
There is a reason Xela Aid recieved an award last year for their fantastic organization. This program is a well rounded, inclusive experience for both contributing members and the San Martin Chiquito village. Their continued efforts to improve the quality of life for so many people is very apparent. My time with Xela proved to be a heart warming and educational experience. I can only hope to volunteer with programs such as this shining example in the future!
Working with Xela Aid was a beautiful and life changing experience. I was unsure of what to expect in terms of the difference I would be able to make, but I saw powerful connections being made between all of the volunteers, including myself, and the people in San Martin. It is a beautiful place, but the people are what made the experience so overwhelming, in the best way.
I will be forever changed because of my time working with this nonprofit. Xela AID is an absolutely incredible organization. It is apparent how the lives of the villagers in San Martin have been touched by its efforts, and the amount of love and connection felt among the leaders, volunteers, and locals is overwhelming and humbling. Lives are positively changed every day thanks to Xela AID, and I look forward to seeing its continued and growing legacy.
1 person 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.
My time with Xela Aid was absolutely life-changing. The amount of effort and love that is felt upon entering the clinic is astounding. The people of San Martin and surrounding areas are gaining invaluable care and skills that are allowing them to thrive. I love Xela Aid!
Going to Guatemala with Xela Aid was a life-changing experience for me. I was able to discovered the essence in my life which is to help others the way I was helped, receiving and giving love. Once I learned to love others, I learned how to live. At Guatemala there was so much love to give that we ended up receiving more. I learned that people is what makes places amazing, and at San Martin Chiquito people are the most loving and caring people I ever met. Since day one, we felt at home with people that learned to love us the way we are.
I learned this saying in a restaurant in Antigua: "the most difficult thing to open is a close mind." and going to Guatemala helped me broke part of my close mentality. The perspective of my culture was changed, and it will help many of us who decide to go back or do a humanitarian act around you (it does not have to be outside your neighborhood to do this) to transform your worldview.
There is to much to say about going to another country that if I was to write most of the experiences in here I will have to include an essay format review, so what many of us need to do to understand many behaviors of people is to go out and explore.
Definitely, if you have the chance to go to Guatemala with Xela Aid, please do it
My husband and I signed up for the March 2015 Guatemala trip with XelaAid. Wow what a wonderful experience. We have traveled extensively to many countries but this was the all time best trip we ever had. Starting out knowing only one other person we became instant friends with 14 others. Leslie and Mel really know how to run the most organized, fun, heartwarming trip you will ever be on. There is nothing they can't handle or work out. The "work" was a blast and and so rewarding. XelaAid is the best thing that has ever happened to us. And should you have any questions feel free to contact us.
My husband and I were two of the lucky volunteers who participated with the Xela Aid project in August 2014. We were instantly hooked when we went to the home of Leslie Baer for our first orientation in Huntington Beach. The people going on the trip were committed and excited to return to continue the on-going projects. When we arrived at the clinic, we were greeted as family and the joy and appreciation was felt the duration. To see what Xela Aid has accomplished over the past 22 years is more than impressive. Because of Xela Aid, houses for the impoverished were built, a clinic was built and now has 14 staff, the nearby schools have seen improvements, such as bathrooms, classrooms, and playgrounds, and much more. Nothing can be more satisfying than working along side the local people in their endeavor to better their lives. For sure, our lives have been enriched.