Mayan Families

Rating: 4.95 stars   401 reviews

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.

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More Info

619-550-2608
www.mayanfamilies.org

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Reviews for Mayan Families

Rating: 5 stars  

We visited Mayan Families as part of a 19 person church group installing stoves, distributing shoes, etc. We observed how the Mayan Families organization is in touch with the individual needs of the families they served. We would return from doing work and mention a specific family. The MF staff and especially the leader (Sharon) would then mention a few specifics about the family and their individual situation . . . right from their memory with no notes! It told me that they treat these several thousand families as real people with specific needs.

I also saw how MF react to new information . . . we would make observations about specific situations and they would clearly responds . . . sometimes with action during the time we were there and sometimes noting for future action.

I was also impressed by:

1. the obvious personal commitment of MF staff and leadership
2. the orientation toward action . . . there didn't appear to be too much "overhead/administration" stuff
3. how well MF documents the services they provide via photos

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

I saw the joy of families who had safe cooking stoves in their homes, i saw happy children whose dilapidated shoes were replaced with gently used shoes, i saw families who were touched by having first ever photos of their children and families. i saw elderly feeding, preschool programs with both educational and nutritional support, Further, i saw families who saw MF as an emotional supporter as well as providing physical needs.

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

stronger logistics. we sometimes were less efficient due to limitations in MF transport and tools. they are constantly trying to build their capability, but of course there is a trade0-off between providing the service now versus buying equipment for the future

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?

2011

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

Mayan Families is so important to the indigenous families of the Lake Atitlan area. These unselfish, humanitarian people provide needed clothing, shoes, food, education, and homes to the families and children of these villages. However, they also are totally involved in working with Mayan people of all ages -- from the youngest children to the elderly. Mayan Families finds a way to provide homes for those families who cannot provide for themselves. Medical and dietary assistance is brought to the elderly. They selflessly spay and neuter dogs and cats in the villages.

Having spent a week volunteering for Mayan Families, I was amazed at Dwight and Sharon's dedication to helping preseve the lives and dignity of the Mayan Families. Their focus is to help eliminate malnutrition (e.g., food baskets, chickens) , provide education for the young people (e.g., school sponsorships for preschool through university), improve the quality and health conditions for the families (e.g., ONIL stoves, walter filters, clothing, shoes, medicines/medical care), and celebrate/respect the cultural beliefs and traditions of the Mayan families in this area of Guatemala.

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

the week that I volunteered with Mayan Families. I watched all the people -- from Sharon and Dwight, the administrative staff, the drivers and assistants who helped us build ONIL stoves, the education/social work interns -- work feverishly to interview Mayan families who came to the office to share their concerns/needs. Although it appeared to the untrained eye as chaos, it was not. So much help was provided for the Mayan families from villages all around the lake area.

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

try to provide monetary assistance and increased space for their work to be done. Sharon and Dwight work without complaint in a somewhat cramped area to accomplish innumerable tasks for the Mayan people.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

Mayan Families was a pleasure to volunteer with and it didn't take long to realize how important their work is to the community. Their services are essential to many families and the results are tangible. I had an excellent time volunteering with them and hope to return when I can.

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

Panajachel, Guatemala.

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

only expand their existing programs.

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?

2011

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

I've worked with Mayan Families now for 2 summers (1 week per visit) and have really been impressed by the breadth of the work they do and the way they are embraced by the local communities they touch. They are tireless and while things can appear chaotic to the untrained eye - underneath the surface a lot of wonderful work is done. They are AWESOME at providing tangible feedback to both those who are there doing the work and through their photo-documentation of all the work they do. I really have enjoyed my time working with them and believe they are making a tangible differences in the lives of thousands in their area.

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

Through my volunteering

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

Develop better tool preparation for the construction projects.

 
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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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