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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Community Improvement & Capacity Building, Emergency Assistance, Human Services, International, International Development, Personal Social Services

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.

Community Stories

248 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

2 Rick55

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I took a group of 17 high school students on a service trip with Mayan Families to install 10 Onil stoves and we had a most amazing time being hosted by the wonderfully attentive and thoughtful folks of Mayan Families! The staff is energized, lovely, and so thoughtful in organizing every facet of our trip and meeds. We felt like members of their family and became fast friends! We love their vision of bringing a comprehensive multi-plan to educate, care for, and empower the indigenous peoples of the Central Highlands. Our group and individuals caught the joy and vision of sponsoring young students, purchasing water filtration kits, and becoming partners with Sharon and Dwight and their phenomenal staff to deepen and expand our participation in other outreaches such as the family Christmas baskets and many other interesting and life changing endeavors! Thank you Mayan Families!!!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Mayan families is a well established and fast growing non-profit. But don't let this fool you, they have the reputation of a great organization for a reason. Not only do they continue to help so many people in need but also, the people that work for Mayan Families really make it what it is. Mayan Families promotes a group help mentality; continually working and thinking together towards the goal of helping those in need. This, in turn, makes for a very awesome and in-depth volunteering experience. An experience consisting of more than being just a tourist, skimming the surface of a town, and not knowing how to help. I highly recommend Mayan Families to anyone looking for a volunteering opportunity in Guatemala.

Sue_103

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I sponsor 9 children with Mayan Families and have volunteered with them many times. The staff is great and the organization does so much to help the indigenous families around lake Atitlan. They have made a difference in so many peoples lives.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

While working with Mayan Families this past month, I could not tell you properly how impressed I was with both the staff, and their ability to make things work for the benefit of these Mayan Families. They are truly a blessing. I worked in the classroom while the students were taken individually to test their Spanish skills. Working with them in the classroom was great, but doing volunteer database work made it come full circle. I was able to see and input the results from the different schools, and they floored me. I was overall impressed with the staff and the students.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

What a blessing working with Mayan Families! My husband and I just returned from our volunteer mission trip Nov 2014. During our trip we encountered so many kind and compassionate people.
Mayan Families is truly changing the lives of the children and families of Panajachel. We were welcomed with open arms and warm hearts. We cannot wait for our next opportunity to volunteer with Mayan Families.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I was a volunteer physician with a group from the Anona Church in the Tampa area. We volunteered our time and efforts to the Mayan People in five different areas. I personally have never seen such abject poverty. I have also never seen a more caring group with whom to work.
The Mayans are the indigenous people of Guatemala who like the American Indian have had there land taken away by the more powerful. Unfortunately, for the Mayans there is no safety net and they live malnourished, sick, uneducated and in such crowded and unhygienic conditions that it begs the imagination. Hands of Healing recognizes that the most sustainable thing they can do is education, specifically teach the Spanish language, water purification, provide efficient wood burning stoves, and do their best to provide some basic medical care. They are accomplishing this every day.
Personally, I saw diseases of children for which I could do nothing and for which there are no alternatives except HOH and they as an organization are overwhelmed with specific medical problems while at the same time, they realize that resources can be better spent on public health or education. Tough choices. I feel confident that HOH spends its monies prudently and efficiently in its great attempt to "treat thy neighbor as you would your self"

Gerry Kilpatrick MD.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We came to volunteer with Mayan Families as part of a Mission Trip. We installed stoves, worked in the pre-schools, organized a soccer game, and worked with elder care.
We were SO impressed with Mayan Families and everything they organized for us. Not only was it amazing to work so closely with the families and see a real impact we were having on their lives, but the Mayan Families staff was so friendly and helpful, it was wonderful getting to know them as well. They were very organized, planned everything for us, and we even had beautiful accommodations that they set up for us at a nice hotel, as well as got to go out for lots of great dinners with the Mayan Families staff.
My favorite parts were seeing our youth group having fun with the kids and youth from the area, playing soccer, catch, and just hanging out. The area is so beautiful, the people are real artisans and so kind, and Mayan Families was the best organization we have been on a mission trip with. I recommend them so highly!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I worked as an intern at Mayan Families for two months this summer and had the most rewarding and valuable experience of my life so far. I had visited Guatemala with a university group for one week in May and met with several nonprofit organizations across the country to find potential partners. Mayan Families stood out as well-organized and fast-growing. Throughout my entire internship there the staff was friendly and helpful. The organization runs numerous programs that very visibly help families living in poverty. Every native Guatemalan that I met appreciated the work that Mayan Families does in the region. They work very reliably and transparently when distributing donations. They truly do educate, feed, shelter, and heal.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.