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

The week of Jan. 11-19 I led a group of nursing students in a Service Learning Experience in Guatemala. The week my group of nursing and speech pathology students spent working in Panajachel with Mayan Families was life changing for us. Mayan Families was one of the 10 best experiences of my life and having the support of directors, Sharon and Dwight and all the dedicated, committed staff made our ability to work with the people of Panajachel and surrounding communities a daily privilege. The authentic caring and respect for the people of Guatemala by all the people associated with Mayan Families was humbling for us. My students had an incredible life altering experience that will impact them for years to come and all of that because of the selfless work that is done by every single person at Mayan Families. Our university plans on having a continued relationship with Mayan Families and we know that we are the lucky ones!!

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

FIND THEM MORE FUNDING!

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Was this review helpful? 
Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

Mayan Families has the most holistic and comprehensive program that I have experienced in Guatemala! Their programs are benefitting thousands in need, yet they somehow manage to personalize the attention given to each and every family they serve. My wife and I are so pleased to sponsor a child through Mayan Families, we get regular updates on her, and we have absolute confidence that our contributions are directly benefitting our child and her family. One of the most genuine organizations I have ever encountered and worked with in service to God's people.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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

8 people found this review helpful

We are a Florida-based medical, dental and vision mission team. We have partnered with Mayan Families on numerous occasions. Mayan Families coordinates sites for our clinics and provides translators and staff. We've had the opportunity to experience the substantial difference that Mayan Families is making in Guatemala and they are the real deal! Their holistic approach to improving impoverished lives is nothing short of miraculous.

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

Seeing the difference school sponsorship can makes for a child.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-8-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

I like the way Mayan Families is organized and run. When we donated and communicated with them, they were very professional and helpful.I also like their awards and reviews. I have seen with my own eyes the work Mayan Families does. Other groups just talk and have too many meetings. Mayan Families works, does the job needed right now and walks the talk. If you want a really dedicated group, this is it.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

I am a dentist who has been working with Mayan families for the past four years in August. Our foundation KIDS International Dental Services helps Mayan families provide pro bono dental services to their Mayan communities. Mayan Families provides us with expertise, logistics and translation and is with us daily to assist us to provide the best dental care for these Mayan families. We will return again in 2012 and with the great assistance of Mayan Families again to provide dental care. This is a top notch NGO.

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

During our one week work experience with Mayan Families we experienced the organization and its commitment to Mayan Families around Lake Atitlan first hand.

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

Strengthen the donor base so more funds could be generated to expand the great work they do with the Mayan.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I work at a major public university studying the effects of clean water, adequate sanitation, and hygiene practices on the health of people in developing countries. A recent masters student was interested in studying the effectiveness of Mayan Families' water flter program, so I contacted the director to ask about cooperation. Although the staff there was swamped with activities related to Christmas dontations and the start of school, the director found time to learn about our program and needs and enthusiastically put her support behind our project.

I am moitviated to write such a posative review because of the expressed genuine desire for their group to get the true answer and not necessarily one that might be more appealing to donors. We have not completed the project, so we don't know what the answer will be, but I am thrilled that their support was given so freely and without contingencies.

I think this goes beyond just water and sanitation and demonstrates this organization is looking for real results based on evidence. Their effective use of donations, extensive local staff, international partners, and volunteers means all contributions have a multaplicative effect.

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

having time to discuss an important project and having Mayan Families support the work of a researcher conducting research with their organization. A critical view of their work shows a good mix of both immediate aid and assistance in creating opportunities for long-term self-sufficiency for their constituents.

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

I don't know of any deficiencies. I am amazed by the energy of the director and staff and hope they are protecting their own physical and mental health so that this organziation can persist as long as there is a need.

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Review from Guidestar
Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

6 people found this review helpful

Mayan Families changed the face of our program making it a precedent setting sports program for Mayan children and particularly female children. Instead of high minded pronouncements, Mayan Families simply put girls on our playing fields and into our teams. Now almost half our athletes are girls. More than 40% of our coaches are now women. The social impact of these changes is significant in rural Guatemala where traditionally sports were for boys only and girls were supposed to stay home, wear their traditional ankle length skirts and care for smaller children. Girls did not participate in physical education in school. That is changing. All of a sudden their dads are buying them athletic shorts, T shirts and sneakers. Moms and dads have seen their daughters playing on our teams and winning - they are proud of their daughters and want to support their efforts in sports. And the girls have a new confidence. They know they can play well, that they can compete with boys and win. We even have mixed teams, up to 16 years old, the girls are highly valued by their teammates and the boys want them on the team because they are winners. Mayan Families pointed us in the right direction, supported us along the way and helped create a program that is lighting the torch for social change in the Guatemalan Mayan Highlands.

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

the state of Solola, Guatemala. I have come to know Sharon and Dwight very well. Both their daughters are in the sports program and one of them is in training as a peer basketball coach.

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

provide more support to extend Mayan Families to many more areas of Guatemala.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Mayan Families is a hands on organization that is very much in contact with Mayan Indian people. The speak fluent Spanish, know everybody by name, know what people really need and do everything possible to get it for them.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

professional,caring and respectful to the people they are helping.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

work itself to death helping people who are in terrible need through no fault of their own.

Ways to make it better...

I could have brought more resources to the table.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

the magnitude of the problems facing the Highland Maya, ranging froim imminent starvation to lack of health and education to lack of economic opportunity

One thing I'd also say is that...

Mayan Families is simply a terrific group of super humanitarian people.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-5-01

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

10 people found this review helpful

I work with another local non-profit group here in Guatemala and we have frequently looked to Mayan Families for inspiration and practical steps regarding how to benefit the indigenous Mayans. It is truly remarkable how effective they have been in serving this population. Mayan Families is extremely successful in identifying and meeting needs within Panajachel and our surrounding communities, and I continue to be surprised by the sheer number and variety of programs they offer. They do all of this while making personal relationships with the people they serve a priority. I consider Mayan Families to be one of the most effective and inspirational non-profits I have ever worked with.

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

the way I understand the way a non-profit should be run. Sharon, Dwight, and the local staff they have hired have poured their lives into meeting the needs of the indigenous Mayans and are to be commended for their work.

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

win the lottery and then give them the money to buy more land and a bigger building!

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

they are relational. It's one thing to give hand-outs, it's another thing to get involved in the day-to-day lives of the people you serve.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

top-notch. Sharon and Dwight have given many locals the opportunity to grow within their organization and give back to the community in which they live.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

wow...change Guatemala for the better!

Ways to make it better...

I wasn't so tempted to adopt a dog from them everytime I went to visit ; )

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

sustaining the work they do without getting burned out.

One thing I'd also say is that...

it will make you feel really good to 1) donate financially to them, and 2) GO serve them!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-5-01

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