Mayan Families

Rating: 4.95 stars   373 reviews

Issues: Human Services, International

Location: 2609 Hartford St San Diego CA 92110 USA

Mission: Mayan Families provides opportunities and assistance to the indigenous and impoverished people of Guatemala, through education and community development programs. Vision Mayan Families 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.
Results: Over 2,800 Students sponsored to go to school in 2012! Hundreds of Micro Loans given out to impoverished Indigenous Mayan Women. Thousands of Water Filters given out to Indigenous Families. 6 Preschools running year round that feed and educate numerous malnourished children. 6 years of Spay and Neuter Clinics in rural Guatemala and so much more! Please go to our web site at www.mayanfamilies.org
Target demographics: Indigenous Maya people in Guatemala
Direct beneficiaries per year: Tens of thousands
Geographic areas served: Guatemala
Programs: Education Student Sponsorship Sponsor a Student General Education Sewing Classes Community Programs Family Aid Sponsor a Family Elderly Feeding Program Holiday Tamale Baskets Healthy Families Animal Welfare Sponsor a Dog or Puppy Chickens Onil and other Fuel Efficient Stoves Water Filters Micro Finance and Micro Loans Construction Mayan Families Kids and Teens Sports program
2015 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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EIN 20-8433997
619-550-2608
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I work in international education and helped coordinate a volunteer program through Mayan Families for our College of Nursing and Public Health. It is a regular function of my job to help coordinate such linkages and, at times, we've been disappointed in the agencies we've targeted. I honestly could not be more thrilled at what we found at Mayan Families... caring people who've grown their non-profit to effectively feed and service over 2500 community members.

I am so moved by what they do and so happy to be at, what I hope, is the start of a long relationship between our university and their programs.

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

I can't think of anything that would need improvement.

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?

A lot

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?

2014

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

Three years ago, on my 3rd visit to Panajachel, Guatemala, I decided to sponsor a 3 year old girl sothrough Mayan Families so she could attend preschool, get 2 meals per day, a daily vitamin, and learn Spanish in preparation for public school. I I wanted make a difference in the life on a girl, hoping to give her a chance for an education and a better future. At the same time, my mother decided to provide a considerable donation so that a teacher assistant could be hired for the pre-school.

Little did I know how this decision would impact my life and the journey it would take. This past November on my 5th visit to Guatemala, staff at Mayan Families arranged for me to spend an afternoon, visiting Marta Lidia and her family. My mother passed away this year, a difficult time for me. I brought a bag of her sweaters and shoes to give to the mother as a way to continue Mom's spirit for giving. Maria, the mother, was thrilled to have my mother's sweaters and actually chose to put on a pink one bringing me to tears as Mom was wearing that sweater on one of the last photos of the 2 of us. I showed the photo to this family. Orlando, the father, expressed deep condolences over my mother's death and proceeded to invite me to become a member of their family with the hopes that their love and support might in some small way, replace some of the love I miss from my mother. What an amazing gift - family and love - the biggest gift one could ever receive. And from a family that lives on $40 per week.

Little did I know that I would be the actual beneficiary from this sponsorship in such a meaningful and touching way. So thanks to Mayan Families for making the gift of love and family possible for me at a time when I missed my mother so much. I am so blessed and enriched by this volunteer opportunity.

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

Give them more stability in funding so that they have a stable base of funding staff.

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?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

Being part of a community is important to me, and that is what I have received with my volunteer experiences with Mayan Families. I sponsor a little girl to attend a pre-school hosted by Mayan Families aimed at giving Mayan children a head-start on life by learning Spanish, receiving 2 meals per day, and learning how to interact in a school setting before starting pubic school. Over the past 2 years, t is powerful to see the change in the girl I sponsor. She smiles now, is willing to talk to me, have her picture taken, she laughs. We read books together in Spanish, identifying colours, objects, and laugh at the fun parts of the book. Mayan Families has arranged several personal visits with the Marta Lidia and her family, giving me the opporunity to get to know the family, spend time in their house, hear about the issues that are pressing and stressful. This year we exchanged gifts. I brought clothes and shoes for all family members; the mother gave me a woven table runner she made with a backstrap loom; the father gave me a wall hanging that he made with a foot loom. He embroidered the words in Spanish: a remembrace from your sponsored daughter Marta Lidia. This opportunity made me feel part of the community through this warm, genuine relationship. My grandchildren are similar ages to Marta Lidia and her siblings; so this year I brought clothing my grandkids had outgrown and explained where the clothes came from. The kids loved knowing that the clothes were favorite items given from my grandkids. My experience in Panajachel area is up-close with culture and indigenous people through the respectful guidance and support of Mayan Families staff.

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?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

As a donor and a volunteer, it is interesting to be working at ground level in an organization where one literally sees the end results of a donation or volunteer work. This is so rare in many non-profit service agencies. One can pick a family, a town, a project and support it, get updates and see results as hard working staff provide the infrastructure and support for volunteers and donors. A real team effort with a personal touch, using local employees who speak the various dialects of the indigenous language. I value this organization and its love and strength. Que bueno este grupo de personas.

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

We visited Mayan Families this summer as part of our second trip to Guatemala. We have supported two students through Mayan Families for several years, and even before our visit, we viewed it as a wonderful organization which brings aid directly to impoverished families and which very directly helps improve their lives and the futures of their children. We were able to visit both the students we support, and we saw how connected Mayan Families is to the families they help and how aware they are of the needs of each one.
We also were privileged to volunteer in some of the pre-schools that Mayan Families operates around Lake Atitlan. It was a tremendous experience. The schools are exceptionally well run and provide great benefits to the poor children who attend them by both teaching them a preschool curriculum (including introducing them to Spanish, a second language for many of the children) and by feeding them nutritious meals. In addition, we brought some medical supplies with us, and we saw the invaluable medical services that Mayan Families provides at its main site. Many, many Guatemalan families lack any access to health care due to their poverty and Mayan Families works tirelessly to help them.
Mayan Families is a great, great organization, and we will continue to support them because we know how directly and effectively they benefit poor families in Guatemala.

Mike and Janet, Oakland, CA

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?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

Our last mission as Hands of Healing from Florida was Oct 18-26/13. We were amazed at all the Mayan Families do to help the Guatemalan people. They also made our mission easier as they made sure that our team was used in the best villages that needed the most care. It really did not matter what we needed they were there for us and the village. Many thanks to Amy and Vicki who really extended themselves to make our experience the best. I have travelled with this organization for more that 10 missions and will do so again. Nancy D

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

Not do a thing as they have tried to cover all the bases.

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?

A lot

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?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

Our medical mission group, Hands of Healing Medical Missions, travels from Florida in the US. We have worked several times over the years with Mayan Families. They have been such a great help and made our mission trips so much easier and organized. Those in their company are compassionate and so knowledgable about the families and villages they serve. Their programs for children, the elders and the community are incredible...frankly I don't know how they do all they do! Blessings to them!
Cindi

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?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

Visiting Mayan Families in Guatemala was my first "real" experience outside of the United States, and as an 18 year old high school student the usual culture shock and humbling was immense. And though I was shocked by the poverty, malnutrition, and lack of resources, I came to realize that both the Mayan Families organization and the people of Guatemala were some of the kindest and most welcoming people I've ever encountered. During my entire visit I was guided and taught hands on by the Volunteers of the organization, and had the chance to see first hand how the organization is able to help the much needed people. It was an extremely rewarding experience and believe fully that this chance I had has taught me more than years in general schooling.

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?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

Wonderful, rewarding experience Looking forward to going again next year. JMG

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

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

Going to Panajachel with Hands of Healing Guatemala to work with Mayan Families was the best experience I have had since I was a youth doing local missions with my church. I can't wait to return next year.

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?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I participate with the Group Global Hands of Healing in conjunction with Mayan Families in Panahachel, Guatemala. It was a wonderful experience. I was so impressed with both organizations and hope to particplate again. Sharon and Dwight at Mayan families do so much to help the families of that area. I am amazed at their commitment and their organization of their headquarters. I encourage everyone to look into the work they do. It is grassroots and hands on all the way that includes many young volunteers and workers. The dedication that I saw toward those they help was really inspiring. Thank you so much for the time I spent and I hope to return. it was a life changing experience.

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?

A lot

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?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I spent 3 weeks Volunteering at Mayan Families with my partner Ben. We had such a fulfilling experience. It was wonderful working as a part of such a large team where the work is very grass roots and raw. I am a REgistered Midwife in Australia and felt my skills were utilised during my time with Mayan Families. We have treasured memories and hope to one day return and do some further work with this organisation!

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?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

My partner and I spent 3 weeks volunteering with Mayan Families last month. I am a Registered Midwife from Australia. I felt Mayan Families were very accommodating and wanted to put my skills in health to use during our short stay at Lake Atitlan. Sharon and the team organised visits to Preschools in the surrounding communities to present to the mothers regarding maternal and women's health. Mayan Families is a very warm and welcoming organisation which i felt privileged to be a part of the team in August 2013. My partner and I are already planning a return trip!

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?

2013

Was this review helpful?