Mayan Families

Rating: 4.95 stars   396 reviews

Nonprofit Issues:

Human Services, International

Address:

2609 Hartford St San Diego CA 92110 USA

Mission:

As an accredited 501(c)(3) non-governmental organization, Mayan Families' mission is to facilitate sustainable development programs in impoverished communities throughout the Lake Atitlán region of rural Guatemala. Our objective is to stimulate long-term progress through school sponsorships, health initiatives, vocational training and microfinance, while providing emergency aid to those in critical need. Our organization 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. Sign up for Our Newsletter and see how you can support us further: http://bit.ly/1beeo1p

Results:

Mayan Families has supported 3,620 students in the past 10 years through our Student Sponsorship Program from the Preschool to University levels. We operate 7 Preschools year round that feed and educate malnourished children. Currently, our Education Program has 2,554 active students.Our Trade School has trained 364 people in different disciplines: 92 sewing students, 46 carpentry students, 221 computer students and 5 welding students. We have provided 344 Microloans to help impoverished Indigenous Mayan Women. 1,364 clients and families benefited from financial and nutritional support throughout 2014-15. This year we donated 425 Stoves, which reduce air pollution and help create a safer home environment. In 2015 alone, Mayan Families gave out 455 Water Filters, giving 3,315 indigenous families gained access to clean water. We have also held over 6 years of Clinics in the poorest communities in rural Guatemala. Our medical team has seen over 2,000 patients via mobile clinics in over 10 different communities, as well as over 1,000 patients in the Charlie Gomez Medical Clinic. We have served a daily meal to 85 elderly, reducing the rate of disease and cutting down malnutrition. Mayan Families have had three sets of 25 women and their children pass through Well Mother Well Baby and see statistically significant improvement in their lives We have had 65 kids in critical need receive food aid and education. Please go to our website for more information on our programs and impact: www.mayanfamilies.org

Target demographics:

Indigenous Mayan Guatemalans living in extreme poverty

Direct beneficiaries per year:

Thousands of Guatemalan families living in extreme poverty

Geographic areas served:

Guatemala

Programs:

Mayan Families programs: Student Sponsorship, Preschool Nutrition Centers, Tutoring Program, Reproductive Health & Family Planning, Family Assistance, Community Development, Natural Building Workshops, Medical Program, Elderly Care, Income Generating Programs, Microloans Programs, Animal Welfare, Women Health and Children Aid.

2015 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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More Info

619-550-2608
www.mayanfamilies.org

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Reviews for Mayan Families

Rating: 5 stars  

i spent several months in Panajachel, Guatemala as a volunteer with Mayanfamilies, doing a variety of things. I was really impressed by their grass roots approach and the fact that assistance was given really quickly to those who needed it. I was also really impressed by the dedication of the staff who are mainly indigenous, so are learning skills and being educated as well. They may never have been able to achieve this without the help of Mayan families. I am in touch frquently, and hope to return in 2012 to be hands on in this wonderful organisation again. Sharon and Dwight and all their amazing staff deserve the best.

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

I have seen firsthand the love and gratitude of the people. They know that when things are bad, there will always be somewhere where they can ask for and receive help and attention.

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

Can be chaotic at times, but I believe attempts are being made to address this.

 
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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

6 people found this review helpful

I arrived from Australia to volunteer for Mayan families, just prior to "tropical storm Agatha." I witnessed at first hand, Mayan Families immediate response in assisting those people in urgent need, providing food and clothing to those pueblos hardest hit.I have seen the wonderful work that is being done here by an unstinting and committed staff.

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

I have given out donations of food and clothing in the field, taught knitting to indigenous women, assisted with taking animals to vet. services, visited computer classes and seen pre-schools in action.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-7-01

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

I have sponsored a student for the last four years and I send her and her family donations of food during the year. I love receiving letters from her and she always is so thankful for her education sponsorship. She has many dreams for herself and I am blessed to be part of her achieving her goals in life.

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

photos, letters and report card of the student I've been sponsoring for the last 4 years. I am so proud of her and her achievements!

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

there is nothing I would change.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

I had the opportunity to intern with Mayan Families for two months this summer. My only complaint would be that I wasn't working with them long enough. I've never met people so kind and compassionate and it was very nice to be reminded that those type of people exist. The Guatemalan and foreign staff, alike, were all very respectful and warm. I worked in the office for the most part, but when I was able to visit the various programs, I was very impressed with their organization and their direct impact on the community. I definitely will come back to work/intern/volunteer with Mayan Families again. They are truly an amazing organization that is definitely worth supporting!

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

the Family Aid Program. I was able to directly interview families, see the conditions they were living in, write blog posts, and look for funds to help them. Being able to directly help people and improve their lives has been truly amazing.

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

encourage them to apply for more grants! While it's great that the organization has such a strong donor-base, grants would allow for more emergency funds and more funds for the Animal Welfare Program.

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

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

I volunteered with Mayan Families for 3 months and had a fantastic experience! The staff is friendly and helpful and always willing to stop to answer questions or just to say hello. Sharon and Dwight are both incredible people... their dedication and loyalty towards the indigenous Mayan people is unsurpassed. I had the pleasure of working outside of the Mayan Families Headquarters, in the lawn where the people wait to receive assistance. Everyone I talked to shared the same attitude of thankfulness and joy towards the assistance that Mayan Families had provided to them. I would highly recommend working with or supporting Mayan Families!

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

learning about the water filters that Mayan Families has distributed and seeing them still in use after years of ownership.

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

still be there volunteering so that I could be a part of the great work that Mayan Families does!

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

Mayan Families assisted our organization, Global Hands of Healing, with our medical, dental, and vision mission trip and the week could not have gone better. Mayan Families identified the villages that would benefit the most from our services and arranged for us to set up in each of these villages to provide much needed health care. They provided the help needed to set up and translate and anything else that we were not able to provide for ourselves. Mayan Families is doing amazing work in these villages, especially with the children and the elderly. We will definitely partner with them again for future mission trips to Guatemala.

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

Mayan Families organized the Global Hands of Healing Mission trip by providing the setting, arranging the hotels, vans, and translators. Sharon and Dwight personally invited our team into their home for dinner and shared with us the different programs they have developed to help feed, educate, and assist the families that are in need of their services.

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

None

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

I recently traveled with a group called Global Hands of Healing to Panajachel, Guatemala. With the help of Mayan Families, we completed 4 days of medical/dental/vision clinic in 4 small villages surrounding Panajachel. We COULD NOT have done this work without Mayan Families' help. They organized where we would set up our clinic each day, they informed the people in the villages that we would be coming, and they provided safe transportation and great translators for us! We also got to know many people at Mayan Families personally and shared several meals together. The people working for Mayan Families are truly devoted to helping underprivileged Guatemalans (and their pets!) and are extremely friendly and accommodating to their volunteers!

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

We saw the work that Mayan Families is doing when we visited several community centers that they set up. We got to know many Guatemalans that are benefiting from Mayan Families' feeding centers.

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

I would not change anything about this organization.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

Our daughter who is an emergency nurse in Vancouver wanted to volunteer, so my husband and I really liked the work Mayan Families was doing when we helped 6 years ago. We requested information about specific work that we would be doing if we came back. There were lots of opportunities and projects on the go, where we could help. Mayan Families is very good about giving you information about where to stay, and getting you from the airport with shuttles etc.

We made the arrangements and just returned from Panajachel, Guatemala. We spent 2 weeks helping Mayan Families in Pana. We arrived at the beginning of June, and there were many medical clinics helping in all the small villages around Lake Atitland. It was amazing to see many volunteers just showing up wanting to help.

We met many wonderful staff, volunteers and quickly became involved in what ever was needed.


My husband and I came to help volunteer with Mayan Families 6 years ago in 2005, as we were making our way through Central America. The organization based in Panajatchel, Guatemala has a passion for helping the indigenous men, women and children who have been devastated by natural disasters and poverty. We were willing to help where ever they needed us. There was a great need at the time to help rebuild homes, for those who were devastated with the mud slides and flooding after Hurricane Stan. The adobe washes away over time with the floods and needs to be replaced. We worked on three projects (two in Panajachel and one in San HorHay) over the course of 2-3 weeks. One family of 13 had been living under a piece of metal roofing for atleast 5 months. It was so rewarding to be part of a group of volunteers who came from all over the world to help. Mayan Families knew their familie's needs and placed us on a team to do construction. To see the appreciation through the smiles of the families that we helped was so worthwhile and meaningful, as they finally had a small wooden frame house with bunk beds, an outside kitchen which was a framed open structure with a roof and an out house.
We witnessed families that had been given micro loans to buy chickens and a rooster, or to run a small store out of their homes. There were sewing classes to teach the single moms, while their children were being cared for. Children were being sponsored to go to school and become educated. Clinics were set up to help children with spina bifida due to a lack of folic acid in their diets. So many worthwhile needs were being met. Love, compassion, and a drive to help others was very evident by those involved with Mayan Families.

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

Meeting so many families who needed help over the course of the two weeks. When handing out socks, shoes, a hoodie, a baby blanket to children who have so little is very humbling. Visiting the Pana pre-school, playing with the children, seeing them get vitamins, healthy snacks, and being taught Spanish will make a difference in their lives. Seeing the appreciation of the families as we gave out the father's day baskets was humbling. Working with two of the families on their new homes.

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

This is a great organization. It is growing so quickly and in transition. I would encourage them to continue working on their efficiencies. They are dedicated and hard working and making a huge difference in so many Mayan Families lives. I love the way that they use their funds wisely for the benefit of those they are helping. I love the way they partner with many medical clinic groups, travelling families and anyone who wants to come to volunteer. Just show up and be part of their volunteer family

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

i spent two weeks as a volunteer photographer with mayan families. from the moment they picked me up in guatemala city, i knew i was with wonderful people who were supportive and PASSIONATE about helping others. during my time i was able to observe first-hand many of the programs that do so much for the surrounding communities - in particular the preschool, the elderly feeding programs and the medical clinics. the people who work and volunteer here are amazing and every day i felt blessed to be a part of such a special community. if you are thinking of donating in any way to their cause, don't hesitate - your money/donations are needed and will be put to USE. if you are thinking about donating your time, rest assured that the staff of mayan families will take good care of you. there is no reason to feel apprehensive about anything. i am so glad i went down to spend time with mayan families.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/slinky_caterpilla/sets/72157626150160495/

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

my daily work as a volunteer there.

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

honestly i don't know what i would change.

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

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

Mayan Families makes the most of every donation they receive, helping to empower indigenous women and children in Guatemala through programs in health care, education, and self-sufficiency.

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

In the process of collaborating with Mayan Families in my disaster relief delivery, I witnessed first hand the work they do with the children in their preschools, ensuring they have adequate nutrition for healthy growth, and are educated to break the cycle of poverty. They also work tirelessly to make sure children who would benefit from sponsorship are matched with sponsors.

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

Mayan Families makes the most of every donation they receive, however, they would benefit from getting the word out to a broader base so they could hire more locals to expand their programs and help more people. There is no shortage of need.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

I just finished volunteering for three weeks at Mayan Families in Panajachel, Guatemala. I come away from that experience extremely impressed with Mayan Families. Passion, commitment, dedication and integrity are a few words that come to mind when I remember the people on staff and other volunteers I met while there. Everyone is truly committed to helping improve the quality of life in the communities they are working in. Meeting the students and their families I sponsor was one of the highlights of my trip. Especially listening to one mother express her joy, gratitude, and appreciation that her children were going to get an education that they would otherwise not receive without a sponsor. She knowing that her children getting a good education would profoundly change her family's quality of life for generations to come. Her sincerity was so overwhelming and powerful that it brought tears to my eyes. Upon which she reached out to comfort me. What a beautiful and genuine person she truly is. Also while there I had the opportunity to visit a few of the per-schools Mayan Families operates. It was very heart warming to meet the children who are benefiting from these schools. At these schools the children also receive a meal of nourishing food with a vitamin pill 5 times a week. For some of them it is the only healthy meal they get. What a positive difference it will make in their lives by being able to attend these schools. Mayan Families is truly living their vision and is truly assisting the Mayan families they intend to help. It was very comforting to learn that the money I donate to Mayan Families does get to the families that are in need of help.

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

a volunteer position.

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

I already believe they are doing a great job with what they have.

 
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