Mayan Families

Rating: 4.95 stars   373 reviews

Issues: Human Services, International

Location: 2609 Hartford St San Diego CA 92110 USA

Mission: Mayan Families provides opportunities and assistance to the indigenous and impoverished people of Guatemala, through education and community development programs. Vision Mayan Families operates on the principle that all people should have access to the basic necessities of life. We strive to accomplish our goals through working democratically with the communities we serve.
Results: Over 2,800 Students sponsored to go to school in 2012! Hundreds of Micro Loans given out to impoverished Indigenous Mayan Women. Thousands of Water Filters given out to Indigenous Families. 6 Preschools running year round that feed and educate numerous malnourished children. 6 years of Spay and Neuter Clinics in rural Guatemala and so much more! Please go to our web site at www.mayanfamilies.org
Target demographics: Indigenous Maya people in Guatemala
Direct beneficiaries per year: Tens of thousands
Geographic areas served: Guatemala
Programs: Education Student Sponsorship Sponsor a Student General Education Sewing Classes Community Programs Family Aid Sponsor a Family Elderly Feeding Program Holiday Tamale Baskets Healthy Families Animal Welfare Sponsor a Dog or Puppy Chickens Onil and other Fuel Efficient Stoves Water Filters Micro Finance and Micro Loans Construction Mayan Families Kids and Teens Sports program
2015 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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EIN 20-8433997
619-550-2608
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

We are parents of a son adopted from Guatemala about 11 years ago. We wanted to give back to the country, and discoverd Mayan Families, a small non-profit in the Highlands of Guatemala. We began with school sponsorship of one child about 4 years ago, and began sponsoring his 4 year old brother last year. The people who set up Mayan families and their largely indigenous staff are hard working, and go out of their way to help many impoverished people. Over 1600 children from preschool to university are able to go to school.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

2 children whom we met during a trip in 2009 have been able to attend school, have a little more to eat and to wear. Mayan Families is good about acknowledging donations, and providing some updates about school and family.

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

More people who will support their efforts.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

Our family sponsors a Mayan Family- family to help them rise above proverty through the donations. Upon visiting the coutry once, we requested a visit with our sponsored family. The staff at Mayan Family did not hesitate to arrange the meeting for us. After talking we became curious about our sponsored family living conditions and again Mayan Family wasted no time in arranging transportation for us. We found our family was living well except every child had an obvious infection conjunctivitis that was terrible. The staff at Mayan Family was vital in making sure every member of the family received the necessary antibiotic treatments. 1 month later we received progress report and a picture of the children. Their eye were bright and filled with health color and outlook about their future, thanks to Mayan Family.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Donating Money and sponsoring a family

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

Nothing

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

I have been involved with Mayan Families for more than 3 years now. I have sponsored up to 6 children for school at one time because I feel so passionately about the work they do. I have been involved with other organizations but Mayan Families is very different. They are hands on and if I have any concerns or questions, I can email any number of people and get information based on real contact with Mayan families. Many of us stay up to date and connected to them via Mayan Families Connections on Yahoo and often they post about a specific need or crisis. As a group, we all reach out and make changes happen. We built houses, give lifesaving medical treatment, feel the elderly, buy beds, food, water filters...the list goes on and on. My heart is constantly being tugged to give more and more because their work is so vital and we see amazing results. This is THE best organization...I'm proud to be a part of it.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

letters, pictures and feedback showing me how my donations make a difference.

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

I wouldn't change a thing other than to find them more money to do more vital work in Guatemala.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

I have been involved with Mayan Families for 3+ years, and I am currently sponsoring 3 siblings so they can attend school. I also coordinate several shipments each year from the U.S. of student care packages and general distribution items for MF. I am continuously awed by the amount of work that the MF staff is able to accomplish. They are having such a positive effect on the local community - through providing medical care, helping students attend school, managing preschools, assisting the elderly, helping sterilize pets, etc. What I really find great about MF is how communicative they are with donors and sponsors. I receive not only frequent updates on my sponsored students but also on what is going on in general. They are SO many ways to contribute to the good deeds that MF does, and MF does not push anyone to contribute - they just share information and let each donor decide what they want/can do.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Last year MF posted a note that a woman, pregnant with twins, was leaving her abusive husband, and MF asked for help. I assisted her by helping to build an addition on her father's house for her to live. I also provided food for her and her two young girls for several months until they could get settled. I saw first hand how much of a difference MF had in this family's life. The woman was able to give birth to two healthy babies, feed herself and her girls, and gain strength and independence.

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

The only change I would make at this time would be to spread the word about the incredible work Mayan Families does so more donors, especially sponsors for students to attend school, could contribute to the organization.

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

Why do I donate to and support Mayan Families? Trust. The orginazation communicates through email, blogs, Facebook, Twitter and Picasa. They let their donors know the specific needs of the children, families, elderly and animals on a daily basis, so we can play a vital role in assisting the community everyday and at the time of a crisis The staff of this organization works tirelessly to help their community and to make sure the donors are kept up-to-date by pictures and emails to know exactly where the money is being used. Our family sponsors a little girl so she can go to school and get an education. I feel we are helping the world one family at a time. Mayan Families lets us know what the needs are for her and her family so we can help them too. I love seeing the pictures of our student holding her backpack and new shoes at the beginning of the school year. I feel so proud of her when we get the copy of her report card and see how hard she is working to get an education. Another favorite picture is of the family receiving their tamale basket during the holidays. Mayan Families supplied, through the donations of their supporters, 1,600 tamale baskets to families in December. The families treasure these baskets because it gives them something special to eat at Christmas. People wait all day in line to receive these baskets that were put together lovingly by the staff of Mayan Families and their volunteers. We donate money to the general fund to help with some of the many ongoing projects. They invite doctors, dentists, nurses, teachers, and anyone who can come to visit them and help for a day, week, month or longer. Their primary mission is to improve the lives of people in need. Mayan Families shows respect, compassion, love, support and trust to the people of Guatemala and for this I am grateful.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I can follow my student with pictures and her report cards to see her success in school. I can see how the money we donate helps provide food, shelter, medicine and support to many families.

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

I wish I had more money to donate to the many projects of Mayan Families. I would like for Mayan Families to be able to bring someone to educate them and the people they serve learn about starting family and community gardens. I feel this would go a long way to helping the people help themselves.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

I recently had the awesome opportunity to visit Guatemala for the first time with a group from my church and spent some time with Sharon from Mayan Families. We made home visits with Sharon to several of the families that they sponsor and helped to pass out some supplies the families needed. It was very heart warming to see how this program is working to make a huge difference in each of the families situations. The people were so thankful for the smallest of items they received. I plan to return in the future to help Sharon and her staff in any way I can.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

To see the smiles on the faces of the families receiving much needed supplies was very heartwarming.

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

This organization is working in so many ways to assist the families and meet their needs.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

Tbey are an excellent grass roots charity that saves many lives in guatemala. We sponsor several children and are always updated and allowed to see what a difference a group of people can make. Tbey are very impressive.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Email pictures and notes from children

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

try to send them more money

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Rating: 5 stars  

What a wonderful organization! A year and a half ago 2 friends and I decided to sponsor a Guatemalan child and to pay for her schooling, just $180 a year. Since then, thanks to Mayan Families, I have become more and more connected with this child, a young girl named Lory. They post photos of her on-line every month or so, (including pictures of her report card!) and they let me know how her family is doing. I get crayon drawings Lory makes in school to hang on my walls and thank you notes from her (translated for me). When a special holiday is coming up they will provide food baskets for Lory's family for a very small donation, and I have been able to send boxes of clothing and gifts for Lory's birthday. My reward is always a picture of Lory receiving the food basket or my gift with a big smile. Lory calls me godmother, and I feel blessed that Mayan Families has given me this wonderful god-daughter. They do a terrific job of helping many poor Guatemalan children at the same time that they are bringing some happiness into my life.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Photos and notes from the child I am sponsoring.

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

I cannot think of any way to improve this organization. I think the people who run it are all angels.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I could never say in words how much I respect and appreciate these people. They not only service the poor of Guatemala, they work very hard to keep us, the sponsors, informed of all they do. Every day their information is updated through blogs and e-groups, and any question I have ever asked was answered the same day. And the photos! It seems each stage of their programs is journaled for us and history with their strict photo keeping.
MayanFamilies has said that they would like to use this money for a preschool, which I know can only be a blessing in that community.
I sure hope they win!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

emails sent to me to let me know how my sponsored students are doing

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

I have never thought of anything I would change about Mayan Families

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

As the parents of two children adopted from Guatemala, we were looking for a way to give back to the country of their birth. We currently sponsor a number of children for school through Mayan Families. We have also provided financial support for families in need of assistance with housing, food or medical . As someone who has been involved with many nonprofit organizations, I have found Mayan Families to be extremely transparent in showing donors how their contributions are utilized. The staff is responsive to and respectful of donors. They are truely making a tremendous difference in the lives of the people of the area who have so little and have seen so much hardship. I had the pleasure to meet several staff members on a recent trip to Guatemala. They went out of their way to facilitate a meeting with one of my sponsored children ( including a visit to her home, a trip to buy shoes and lunch with her father.) I was touched by the generousity of spirit in which they offered their time as well as the respectful and supportive attitude shown to our sponsored student and her family. Time and time again , I have seen evidence of their tireless efforts in support of those they serve. I look forward to working with Mayan Families in the future.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the children I sponsor through this organization. I have met one of these children personally and have seen how much this organization means to the student and her family.

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

Provide them with access to more funding to allow them to increase the incredible work that they do.

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Review from Guidestar