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.

2016 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  

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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Rating: 5 stars  

I volunteered with Mayan Families for 2 months. During that time i witnessed and participated in the wonderful work they do for the indigienous people of Guatemala. We supplied and installed much needed cooking stoves for poor families and distributed essential medical supplies for people who, if it wern't for the work of this organisation, could never afford it. The work Mayan Families do is truly amazing and inspiring. Thank you for letting me be a part of it!

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

watching families cook and prepare meals. witnessed spaying and desexing animals during their vet clinics.

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

they need more volunteers to assist with the work they are try to achieve

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

I am also a donor. I first heard of Mayan Families while I was in the adoption process to bring our daughter home. Some of the mom's that were with the same agency would bring donations down when they went to visit their babies. about a year after we brought our daughter home I felt there was more I needed to do in Guatemala. I remembered MF and went to their website. That night I sponsored 4 grils for school. At that time there were less than 50 children sponsored. now the number is well over 1000 in a matter of 4 short years. Sharon, Dwight and the Mayan Families staff are an amazing group of angels here on earth.
I joined the yahoo support group MFC which had been started to chat and share about Guatemala and MF. We eventually developed fundraisers, organized shipments of donations, and learned through doing that even $5 added to someone elses $5 really does help.
My daughter and I went to visit Mayan Families in the summor of 08. WE saw first hand the dedication and never ending giving of their hearts and souls. Their door was always open. I will never forget seeing the immediate action of Sharon when a concerned mother brought her teen age daughter and apparently hadn't known she was preganant. With in minutes Sharon and Gloria had a plan and an appointment at the doctors.
I have also started a jewelry website where the profits are donated to Mayan Families. I cannot wait to dedicate more of my time and life to this wonderful organization.

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

Seeing first hand all the miracles they do. I recieve personal updates and information about my girls I sponsor for school.

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

I would hope they continue on building their education programs and feeding and medical programs. In the future I hope there could be more specific travel groups with specific jobs to do while in Guatemala.

 
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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

My family and I volunteered with Mayan Families for a few days in December. We helped assemble and distribute Tamale Baskets and clothing to people in need. We were also able to meet the students that we sponsor to go to school. The staff was great to work with and really care about the people they serve. Mayan Families is a great organization that is helping to meet a significant need in many communities.

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

Seeing the need and gratitude of the people receiving the food, clothing, and especially the education sponsorship. The father of one of our sponsored students was in tears as he explained what it meant to him for his son to go to school.

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

Give them more funding to continue and expand what they do!

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Likely

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

Some

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Somewhat badly

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

 
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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

I volunteered with Mayan Families for a few months and found them to be extremely dedicated to their work and that they were achieving amazing outcomes. All the staff are very hard-working and extremely knowledgable about what they do. I am so impressed with the multitude of projects they have running simultaneously. They really making a wonderful contribution, and promoting positive change with all the communities they work with. I really enjoyed my time with them.

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

raising the standard of living for many people, providing food, medical assistance, medication, beds (if needed), even renting a room for those who are homeless. They have made it possible for a lot of people to get medical treatment they would never have been able to afford, they are ensuring that around 1700 children are receiving an education they otherwise would never have had the chance to get, they are raising the health of entire communities through their water filters, and animal care....

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

make them bigger and better funded so that they could reach more people

 
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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

I have networked with Mayan Families for four years as we worked together to alleviate medical and educational concerns in the lake region of Guatemala. Not many organizations in Guatemala have the "staying power" and stamina for the issues in Central America like MF's has.

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

Working side-by-side with them as a nurse and fellow volunteer.

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

Increase their ability to hire more staff to help.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

I volunteered with Mayan Families in December 2009 to help with a spay and neuter clinic. They were also running a medical clinic simultaneously. The organization was well-run on meager resources and put all of their efforts into helping the community. They deserve all of the help and support they can get.

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

Panajuchel, Guatemala

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

provide them greater resources to be able to do even more of their good work.

 
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