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

Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 5 stars  

I am a member of several listservs whose members share a common concern for Guatemala. On these listservs I have read about the amazing work of Mayan Families through firsthand testimonials of volunteers and other contributors as well as those who have sought and received help for loved ones in Guatemala. I have only heard high praise about Mayan Families and have never heard a bad word.

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

... the testimonials of other members of listservs that I belong to.

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

... wish for all its projects to be fully funded.

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Rating: 5 stars  

As the parents of a daughter adopted from Guatemala, we looked for an opportunity to give back to her country. We have be so very impressed with this charity. We sponsor 2 children to enable them to go to school. We have also donated money for food. We receive hand drawn pictures and notes from the children we sponsor. We have sent gifts of clothes and other items and been able to see photos of these gifte being opened. I can not think of any other charity with this extremely personal touch.

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

the letters and photos I have received of the children we sponsor.

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

make more donations to enable them to hire more local staff. It would benefit the local economy and increase the number of people they can serve.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

I first came in contact with Mayan Families when I began sponsoring a couple of children through them to attend school. I was immediately impressed with the way the charity is respectful of the people, working within the community and within the culture and not as outsiders stepping in with what they "think" should be. I was also impressed with the way they kept in contact with me as a sponsor, sending me copies of my sponsored child's report card, sending me photos of my child receiving their school supplies and keeping me updated on my sponsored child's situation. I was so impressed with the results I was seeing Mayan Famlies accomplish that I went from sponsoring a couple of children to sponsoring 10 children.

I keep updated with the activities at Mayan Families through their web sites and blogs. I became aware that they were raising money to build a community center in the community of San Jorge, Guatemala. Mayan Families saw a need for a preschool in this community. Many of the families in this community speak a local Mayan language in their homes. When their children began school, which is taught in Spanish, they immediately fell behind due to the language barrier and many would drop out of school early. The community center would serve as a preschool and would begin teaching the children Spanish, which would allow them greater success in school and employment within Guatemala. My church assisted in raising the money for this center. Mayan Families involved the community in the construction of this center and kept my church updated on its progress. Eight members of my church traveled to Guatemala to view the center during its construction. My group was not only impressed with the center but with the staff of Mayan Families. Every staff member had a dedication to their work and a selflessness. They truly love the people they serve. While visiting the charity, I saw one of the founders of the charity grab a sweater out of her daughter's closet to give to a child when she noticed how cold the child was and the charity did not have a sweater to fit her. The founder did not know I was watching this event transpire. Several of the staff members even volunteered their time on their day off to assist me in a volunteering endevour I was undertaking.

The community center in San Jorge now holds a very active preschool and will soon hold an afterschool program for students needing assistance with their homework. The center is a sanitary location for medical and dental clinics and a meeting location for community groups. My church could not be more happy with the results...with the lovely building and with all of the positive ways the building is serving the community. The medical clinics held in the center have actually saved lives.

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

I have met every one of my sponsored children. I have hugged them and heard from them how excited they are to be attending school. I have seen the beautiful community center that my church helped build. My local Kiwanis Club collects new and used shoes every year that we send to Mayan Families. Mayan Families distributes these shoes to those in need and every year they send us hundreds of photos of the shoes being distributed. I have complete confidence in this organization and their amazing work.

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

I think they are doing a great job and have no complaints.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

Mayan Families is a wonderful charity. Our family has sponsored pre-school age children for several years, and we look forward to many more years. It feels very worthwhile to give some of our resources to those who have so little, and education of the children is so important.

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

watching the children grow and read their letters

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

I would update their website, and provide more information about the children and their families.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

My husband & I adopted a baby from Guatemala in November 2008. We were able to spend a few days touring the area; experiencing the plight of people who always have a gracious smile on their face. In our travels we learned that the vast majority ( like 75%) of the population is illiterate.



To make matters worse, volcanno erruptions and torrential rains in 2009 devistated the homes and fields in leaving many families homeless and without a means to support themselves.



Myan Families lets families like mine give back to the people who gave us our children. I can only pray that the food baskets I've donated made it's way to our child's birth family.

Additionally, Mayan Families offers the opportunity to sponsor a stunt so he/she can go to school and break the cycle of poverty.



A $5,000.00 donation would allow Mayan Families to fund the restoration of preschool and a feeding program.



Mayan Families is truely teaching the kind people of Guatemala how to fish and not just giving them a free meal.



Please award your prize to this most deserving charity.



Lori Kensler

Dublin, Ohio

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

I've been able to donate food baskets containing a chicken, rice, and other staples to the local people of Guatemala as well as one basket specifically given to my adoptive son's foster family.

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

soliciate mission trips for extra short term volunteers to help their mission.

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

What specific problem, purpose, priority, or project prompted your gift?

poverty and destitution

Why did you make your donation at this time?

desire to help

What would you tell others about this organization?

I have solicited donations from friends/family to support the food baskets and student schlorships

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

It is hard to find an organization that is as upfront with what they do with their money as Mayan Families. Our family has donated and we have friends who have volunteered with them and their reputation is always outstanding. The money goes directly to those in need, whether that be ground corn and beans for starving people, materials for children to go to school, medical care for those who can't afford it or many, many other necessary things for the people's they serve survival.

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

I live in the country and hear accounts of their helping others first hand. We also hear from the volunteer's that we drove their photos and words.

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

Find a way to help them even more because the need is so great and their resources so stretched!

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

Mayan Families is an outstanding organization that serves the impoverished Mayan population in the highlands of Guatemala through educational, nutritional, medical, housing and other support. We have supported them with physical and financial donations for six years and could not be more happy with the service they provide to the population they serve, as well as the information they share with the donors. We receive letters from the students we support as well as copies of their report cards, and updates and photographs through the Mayan Families website. It is a fantastic organization.

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

letters from my sponsored students, copies of their report cards, photographs of donations of goods and food being received, and quick and thorough responses to my inquiries.

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

allow them to hire more staff so that they can continue to expand their mission (which they always seem to do) without overworking their existing staff (which is a real challenge)

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

We've been supporting several students through Mayan Families. They are teh only organization that I've worked with to provide such personalized donor support including email updates from sponsors and opportunities to celebrate special events in the children't lives. They welcome sponsors to visit. They provide a wealth of services to those in desperate need - and it all started because a group of people cared. That care has grown and real lives are changed - and as a donor I'm humbled to be a part of that change.

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

receiving student updates on grades, receiving supplies, photos.

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

not change a thing.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

Mayan families is an incredible non-profit agency that works tirelessly to provide assistance, education, medical support, shelter, guidance and compassion to the people of Guatemala. A place that is very close to my heart, as my two children are from Guatemala. With a wonderful staff in Panajachel that employs many native people, an amazing network of supporters, volunteers and donors abroad who stay connected via an internet group and web sites, they are able to bring so much to so many people. From distributing Christmas toys to building and staffing schools to building house to caring for the sick and the elderly, providing food and clean water - they never stop. I feel very blessed to be able to play a small role in what they do. I am humbled every day by their generosity, spirit and compassion. The

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

several ways. I receive updates on the children I sponsor, there are websites and photo gallery to browse and newsletters to read. There is so much transparency in this organization that you never wonder what happens to the money or donations you send.

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

somehow provide for time off for the staff! They work so hard and so long.

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

What specific problem, purpose, priority, or project prompted your gift?

Providing education to children in country with an 85% poverty rate.

Why did you make your donation at this time?

I have sponsored the same children for several years and will continue to do so as long as theyare able stay in school

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

Mayan families does wonderful things to help individuals and families in Guatemala. For instance, my son and I sponsor a 5 year old boy who gets clothes, shoes, and school supplies, and get to school for a decent education.

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

I get photos and updates from the organization on Anderson's progress.

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

can't think of anything

Was this review helpful? 
Review from Guidestar