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  

Mayan Families serves many poor families in the highlands of Guatemala. They start preschools and give children a chance to have education and get fed by encouraging others to sponsor individual children. They help give mothers training on using sewing machines. and they give micro loans to start businesses for poor families. They even have a pet animal spading project.

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

their school sponsorship program.

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

help them have a greater feeding program for the elderly.

 
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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

I first heard about Mayan Families through a friend back in 2006, since then my wife and I have been involved with MF helping them physically and financially with their Hope for the Animals program; as well as, sponsoring a few children through their school sponsorship program. I have been in the field helping them in many ways and I know how hard the MF team work. I have also experienced the commitment and love that Sharon, Patti, Dwight and their team have towards the Guatemalan people. Not to mention that Suzie is a huge asset to their team. Cheers to Mayan Families!

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

Seeing the decrease in street dogs and the improvement in the overall health of the animals.

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

None

 
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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

I learned about Mayan Families four years ago, during the process of adopting our daughter. I liked the fact that I knew any donations I sent were in fact being distributed and used wherever needed. I also liked the fact pictures of kids and parents receiving items were always posted. This organization began small, and it's amazing how much it has grown. Those in charge of Mayan Families have done an excellent job keeping up with the growth they have experienced, both in Guatemala and here with the volunteers in the U.S. They always let us know exactly what is needed, and what should not be sent as there are some items that cannot be used. Mayan Families is organized, efficient, and run by a team of dedicated, compassionate individuals.

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

by way of seeing photos of my sponsored students, and I have also collected items from students at school to send to Mayan Families.

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

hire more help :)

 
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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

I went to Guatamala in October 2010 and met an worked with Mayan families. I also sponsored a child in Elbarrenco. This has been one of the most heartwarming experiences! Everyone there helping with Mayan families are so nice and I can't wait to go back!

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

October 2010

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

Change nothing. Just wish I could do more!

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

I spent 8 days in Panajachel with Mayan families staff, and got to serve first hand with the team. Their work is substantial in the lives of the children, seniors and community care they provide. We have sponsored children for 3 years, and are amazed at the photo journalism and photo documentation of our donations, as well as the direct communication link with our sponsored children and their immediate family. The momentum Mayan families has makes it an extremely desirable donation destination, as your giving will very quickly make an impact. I have nothing but high praises for their faith in action. Truly reflecting God's Love with their neighbors and community.

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

By Sponsoring Children, sending donations, serving for 7 days in Panajachel with the Staff.

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

No Changes

 
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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

Hello, My husband and I have been sponsoring students with mayan families for 3 years. Last week we made a 10 day visit to Panajachel Guatemala to visit and work with mayan families and visit our students. Our expectations of mayan families far exceeded even what I had thought about their ministry. Firstly, the entire town knows Sharon the director by first name...they call her the "mother Theresa" of this area. We worked with them side by side at the preschool, sewing classes, feeding programs for the children, families and elderly. Getting from small village to village is quite a challenge as they have to travel up small winding roads up the mountain...many are wased away from the mud slides. That does not stop the team. Every single member of mayan families I witnessed working very hard...harder than you can imagine for the people. The highlight of my trip was visiting my sponsored students....it was as if we were part of the family. The excitement they had to meet us and they were so appreciative of our support but we felt more like relatives. I absolutely loved my families and can tell how our support really does make a difference in their lives. Just getting back from Guatemala I can say first hand this organization is worth the $5000 grant. I have told all my friends and family about our experience and am encouraging them to sponsor children...the need in this area is so great. Mayan Families is making a huge impact in the lives of the people...I've seen it!

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

I sponsor 3 children to go to school. And have encouraged family and friends to sponsor. I have sent supplies down for their Christmas party, clothes, shoes, and also things for the preschool/feeding program to get up and running.

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

Help them hirer more locals. Money is tight and the work is great...they need more help. Wish they had more money to hire more local help.

 
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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

My husband and I are very impressed with how Mayan Families is managed. The Directors (Sharon, Patti, Dwight) are extremely responsible and passionate for the work they do. We donate money for children's education and general expenses - and are happy to do so! Keep up the good work!!

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

Guatemala

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

I can't think of anything that needs to be changed.

 
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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

Mayan Families is a great organization. All of the staff and vonlunteers are very kind and professional. They are helping in so many ways in the community. There is never a need to big or too small for them. They make you feel at home, even when you are far from your home. I am happy to have had the experience to work with them.

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

Seeing how they have made a difference in Mayans and volunteers lives

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

Give them another location that is larger to be able to organize things better.

 
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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 4 stars  

I recently came back from a missions trip to Panajachel and La Barranco. I was not only introduced to Mayan Families org but to Sharon and Dwight and several other leaders; and saw the great deeds they do and the great care they give. I witnessed the senior adult feeding program, a preschool in progress, a preschool being built, confidence in the eyes of mothers knowing their children would receive schooling and proper nutrition through sponsorship, and I also witnessed kindness to animals in need; spaying, neutering, and rescuing. I am proud to say I became a sponsor enabling a child to attend school. Unlike another organization I have been involved with where I sponsor two children for 5 years, I was able to have personal contact through Mayan Families . I was able to meet the child and his family and visit their home and village. I learned of their personal needs so I can be of real assistance to them. And best of all I was invited back anytime to see the improvements, the growth made from my small contributions. I cannot wait to return in a year, til then I know I can call, write to any one of the Mayan Family org workers and they will be able to tell me how my new little family are doing.

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

Guatemala

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

ask the postal service to ship donations free.

 
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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

We worked along side many others to install stoves, pass out clothing and food in Mayan villages in the highlands above Panajachel, Guatemala. While I was mightily impressed for a week - it is sobering to realize these folks at Mayan Families are there 24/7/365 knowing the needs of the communities, working to care for families, and to provide critical help for individuals. They are amazing. They juggle priorities against resources all the while training indigenous folks by providing real work and real income.

We brought bags of food to families whose corn crop had failed the second year in a row. We passed out clothing. Shoes were the greatest need for the children. And we got to look into the beautiful brown eyes of the little boys and tell them we had no more shoes. I would have emptied my bank account to go to Walmart and buy ALL the shoes so each child could have a pair. This isn't the beaches of the coastal areas of Central Americal. This is narrow and steep rocky paths just to get to someone's little home. Their homes were often a lean-to with corregated metal, dirt floors and bedding on the floors. Shoes seemed basic but most had none.

I am home but I often think of the work that Mayan Families does with these gentle people trying to hold on to their traditions, language, arts. I know whatever $$ is sent to them will be stretched every way possible.

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

In the faces of the people that are helped. These Oneil stoves that they put in are installed in about an hour. THey use maybe 10% of the wood that a traditional wood stove requires -- which is good for the environment and relieves the families from spending so much time scavanging for burning materials. And it probably is easier on the lungs of the little ones who must breathe whatever the stoves put out.

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

Help them find more revenue streams because they utilize all the resources they have access to help these Mayan Families. They live this passion for the people every single day.

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?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

What one change could this group make that would improve your volunteer experience?

I have no suggestions. For Mayan Families, the work goes on whether there are volunteers there or not. SO they have dedicated a worker or two to work with the volunteers because the volunteers go home with stories. And those stories are good for the Mayan's.

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

Sure I a made some friends.

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

The environment is beautiful. The people are friendly and open. I was ready to move down there.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

 
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