Mayan Families

Rating: 4.95 stars   373 reviews

Issues:

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
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EIN 20-8433997
619-550-2608
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

My Children and I started working with Mayan Families in 2009 and have been back twice including this last summer for a month. One of the things that sets this organization apart from other good ones in the Lake Atitlan area is that they truly make use of the resources that are offered. They don't charge you to work for them and they operate on a shoestring (even for Guatemala) and work very hard. I have seen their growth from a relatively small NGO to being a Major Provider of services to those who have no safety net. They are forward thinking an their focus is on education. They start with the youngest, most at risk children and help them to be successful in school. Their primary purpose is to educate. To do this effectively the people they service need help with food, shelter, and health. They do their best to "teach a man to fish and feed them for a lifetime" but sometimes during the process help is needed to continue the process.

Another significant part of this organization is that two of the directors and most of the employees are indigenous and understand the culture and needs of the served population. This allows them to better monitor who really needs help, how they need help, and who is trying to play the system. Sharon, Dwight, and Patti have worked very hard to make their corner of the world a better place and to allow other who want to help and participate the means of doing so.

I couldn't possibly give enough stars to Mayan Families because "far exceeds expectations" does not even begin to explain how I feel about their ethos and efforts. I will continue to work with them for years to come and recommend to anyone I know who is willing to make a difference that they consider doing the same!

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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

My son did his eagle project through Mayan families. They were very good to work through. We went down to Guatemala and saw first hand how they are helping people help themselves.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

We just returned after a 10 days working with Mayan Families. I, along with my daughter and nephew, have been volunteering with this great non-profit for the past 4 years. The focus of our volunteering has been to raise money for the purpose of installing stoves for indigenous families living around Lake Atitlan. The beauty of this particular program, and most of the programs run by Mayan Families, is the direct impact and immediate impact they have on the recipients. We love the fact that we see where the money we raised is going and that we literally have a hand in helping change the lives of people who truly need the help.

We continue to be impressed with Mayan Families' dedication to their motto to "Educate, Feed, Shelter, Feed" these wonderful people around Lake Atitlan.

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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

This past weekend my daughter, nephew and I returned from a one week stay in Panajchel, Guatemala where we volunteeered with Mayan Families. Our focus this trip, our second year volunteering with Mayan Families, was to install stoves for 10 deserving Mayan families paid for with money that my nephew raised to support this very important effort. The beauty of installing stoves is that it has an immedate impact in transforming the health and well-being of each needy family who receives one. For us, the experience was magical and profoundly gratifying.

Generally, we can't say enough about the Mayan Families organization and the tireless efforts they make on behalf of the Mayan population around Lake Atitlan. The energy, love and care Sharon, Dwight and the entire MF crew give to enhance and change the lives of these lovely people is astounding. From educating, to feeding, to caring and building, they provide comprehensive support to the poor of the poor in Guatemala. We thank them for the opportunity to help.

We will be returning to Panajachel next year, with even more energy and resources than this year, with an eye to do our little part for those who work so hard and deserve so much.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I just got back from Guatemala after my third summer working with Mayan Families. During the year, I raise money from my community, and then go install fuel efficient, concrete stoves around Lake Atitlan. The stoves properly ventilate the smoke out of the home, avoiding the many health risks that come with an open fire. I have done numerous community service projects here in New York and in Tanzania. I can honestly say that Mayan Families is the most productive, organized nonprofit that I have ever worked for. What makes this particular organization unique, is that one really has a sense of exactly where his or her money is going. You raise the money to buy stoves, you go install the stoves. It is beautifully simple. I also can't say enough about the staff at Mayan Families. They have always been extremely kind, productive and helpful. I hope to have many more visits to Mayan Families in order to help the people of Lake Atitlan.

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Rating: 5 stars  

This is most sincere group of people to work with who are truly building bridges between people who are in need and those who can help fulfill those needs. They give the full experience of not just writing a check, but also allowing you the experience to meet the people whom you are helping. And it is an honor to be part of the work. I trust Mayan Families and the work they do. I have fundraised thousands of dollars on their behalf and will continue to work with them to give even more. I have brought numerous people to work there and all have had positive experiences. From building a home for a family to fitting a child with a pair of shoes, it amazes me how they are able to find the needs and fulfill them. I recommend this nonprofit to any and everyone.

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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

Amazing and Transparent. When we donated $170, they handed us a receipt and said, "Jump in the back of the pickup and deliver the bed you just bought with this money." We received hands on, real life experience and worked directly with the people thanks to Sharon and Dwight. To say they are incredible is an understatement. I cannot wait to return to this beautiful country and advocate funds and donations for them here in the States. I keep picturing having lunch with Sharon and this little boy and his mother walked in..She said: "Oh Sebastian, how is your rash? Is the medicine we gave you working?" Talk about knowing the people and serving their needs. Blow Away!!

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

Mayan Families operates their charity in the Lake Atitlan area of Guatemala. They work with Mayan people to improve the lives of the desperately poor. The projects include providing water filtration systems, building stoves that pipe smoke out of the home, providing children and elderly one hot meal a day, and operating preschools.

My experience with Mayan Families involved helping to build a stove for a family that was building wood fires on the floor of their home. This family had been abandoned by the father and the mother struggled to feed and cloth herself and her four children. The stove we built is fuel-efficient for wood burning and will improve the health of the family by piping the smoke out of the building, thus reducing eye and lung inflammation and illness.

Growing up in the U.S., this is a level of poverty I have never witnessed before. The work that Mayan Families does for the native people of Guatemala is critical and fundamental to improving the health and basic well-being of the Mayan people.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I spent several days volunteering with Mayan Families in July, 2014. Mayan Families is the perfect partner for visiting groups who want to make a difference in the lives of the people in the highlands of Guatemala. They know the greatest needs among families, and coordinate our projects. We built highly efficient cooking stoves, passed out shoes to many children, and visited our families we sponsor. They are also instrumental in providing medical and nutritional support to many impoverished families. I can't say enough good things about Mayan Families. They have a heart for these wonderful residents of Guatemala, and the things they have accomplished in 6-7 years is amazing.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I coordinated a trip for a group of our donors in February 2014. Everyone at Mayan Families was extremely helpful throughout the planning process and while our visit was taking place. Our group was so impressed by the lengths the Mayan Families team members were willing to go to accommodate our group's needs. Thank you to Sharon, Dwight, Elizabeth, Hannah, Sergio, and everyone else at Mayan Families for making this such a positive experience!

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 3 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

This is our third trip to Guatemala, and enjoyed working through Mayan Families, and seeing the greT work they do.

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

Along with the volenteers, they need to find some way to retain some of the great people who work there. With the high turnover, things fall through the cracks, causing everyone else to be spread thin. I would like to help many people also, however if things grow too fast, it's not good for anyone. They should try and limit the amount of people in the program until the infrastructure can handle it.

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

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 4 stars  

What a wonderful opportunity to help God's people. It is good to know that what is given for the Mayan families, goes to the people who need help. All the Mayan voluntees seem to love their roles and care about the Mayan people. They were so willing to do anything that we asked. It might be good to see the upper level school. We did spend a lot of time waiting for directions. Connie did a great job planning things for us to see. Sharon opening her home for us was wonderful. Thank you Hananna for all your help. It was a great experience.

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

Better organized with directions

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Okay

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I bring groups twice a yr. and am always so pleased with the work Mayan Families does here. I couldn't arrange these trips without all their help. My groups have sponsored over 70 students through Mayan Families to enable them to get an education along with helping the families with much needed food and clothing. We'll be back in Nov.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

I have been working with Mayan Families for the last several yrs. and take groups down to Guatemala twice a yr. My groups have sponsored over 70 students in school and we are about to build our first house for a family in El Barranco. None of this would have been possible without Mayan Families. They help with hotels, transportation and all the work and home visits we do.Guatemala has been a blessing to my life and Mayan Families made that happen.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

I take mission groups to Guatemala twice a yr. to work with Mayan Families because they do such an incredible work in the highlands of Guatemala. In times of disaster they are the group that is there for the people...feeding,clothing and housing. They are the hardest working group of people I have ever seen.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

I have been involved with Mayan Families for 3yrs and never cease to be amazed at what they are able to accomplish. They have made such an incredibly positive impact on the the Mayans of the highlands of Guatemala. My life is forever changed by having found Mayan Families.

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

through the students sponsorship I have seen children lives changed. An education gives them hope for their future.

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

I would like to see more money channeled to Mayan Families so they could help more people.

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Review from Guidestar