Mayan Families

Rating: 4.95 stars   377 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  

I have known Mayan Families a year after they started, when I came to Panajachel, at Lake Atitlan Guatemala, seven years ago. This was in 2006. I am simply amazed at the difference they have made in our small town, and every day you can see the huge difference they have made. There is no mistaking the changes that have taken place in the many villages around Lake Atitlan, all with the mark of Mayan Families. This is all due to the good-hearted, dedicated people that work with Mayan Families, the many volunteers, and the wonderful indigenous peoples that participate in the programs. I love living here now because of these changes, and I am so grateful that I can participate in them, too. Gratefulness on both sides counts!

The difference we see in the families, now with access to medical care, health & education, elder care, workshops, sewing and trade school programs, Mothers Day Baskets, Christmas baskets, Onil stoves, water filters, street dogs, street cleanup and recycling, micro-loans, savings accounts, women's empowerment, orphan care and more: just about anything that needs doing, Mayan Families has a hand in doing it.

It has grown from Sharon Smart & her husband Dwight working out of their own home to take in stray dogs and homeless children, to a very large group of fantastic volunteers and staff in Panajachel, where practically every cent goes to help so many. I think Mayan Families helped put more than 2,000 students through school. And they provide scholarships, shoes, books, supplies, pencils, paper, backpacks and more. No stone is left unturned to help these children who will be able to bring their families into the world of "reading and writing" and out of the third world suffering and poverty they have lived in for so long.

Education, Encouragement and Enabling are the key words here, and "enabling" in the best sense of the word, to help bring about a world that blends the indigenous culture with the modern challenges we all now face. It's a bridge here that people want to cross, and Mayan Families helps them do it.

Along with educational scholarships, I love the fact that they have started JOB TRAINING PROGRAMS that can be used here at home and are opening up international markets for the indigenous artisans around Lake Atitlan. The whole world is beginning to be at their fingertips, and it's a great doorway to "the other side." Along with the many medical missions and educational programs coordinated by Mayan Families, they are a hotbed of productivity & activity!

We need more people and groups in the world like Mayan Families... they are a role model for us all! I do all I can to help the good people at Mayan Families, and I hope you do too!

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Definitely

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

Life-changing

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

 
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Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 5 stars  

January was my first time to Guatamela and the Mayan Families organization and I can't tell you how life changing this experience was. I found myself on an emotional rollercoaster the whole week I was there. My heart went out to the people of Panajachel after observing the struggles they encounter to just survive on a daily basis. I couldn't get over how organized and structured the Mayan Families were and the help and hope they give these wonderful people. It was so obvious how devoted this organization is to help the people help themselves.

I am now sponsoring a child and an elderly person and I know that every donation I give goes exactly where I want it to go. And for this I am so very thankful to the Mayan Families because without them this would not be possible. Like I said it was an emotional rollercoaster ride, but it was the best ride of my life and I will be definitely be back next January.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

Support all our ancestors and tribes. Now it is easy to donate from you phone. Go to www.soloago.com from your iPhone/iPad and start donating to this and other Non-Profits

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Definitely

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

Life-changing

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

 
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Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 5 stars  

I sponsor 2 children thru Mayan Families and often donate to other Guatemalan families as needs arise. I'm always impressed with the professionalism, compassion and dedication shown by the Mayan Families staff. Consistent, precise communication is offered to donors and friends of Mayan Families via email, listservs, blogs and websites. When floods destroyed their own home, staff members ignored their own needs and instead quickly relocated to help their neighbors and our sponsored students who were also affected. I recommend Mayan Families to my friends and coworkers who want to make charitable donations that truly make a difference in peoples' lives.

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

I have seen photos and read stories of Guatemalan families helped by this organization. I have received letters and report cards from my sponsored students giving proof that my sponsorship has a positive influence on their lives.

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

help them find more resources so they can help more people.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Definitely

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

Life-changing

How did you learn about this organization?

via American families who adopted from Guatemala

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

 
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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 4 stars  

An amazing charity... we need more like them to help all the children in Guatemala!

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

Yes

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

None

 
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Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 5 stars  

I recently spent a month in Panajachel, Guatemala and visited Mayan Families. Dwight, the director, spoke with our small group about the work of Mayan Families. I was especially impressed by the 360 degree approach that this organization uses to address the poverty of the local Mayan population. Their efforts at fund raising is word of mouth and their gratitude for even the smallest of gifts was truly inspiring. Dwight enthusiastically commented that even a $25 gift from a friend of mine would make a huge difference in their work. Their initiative to support children in going to school is a critical aspect of their work . Educating the children is the only possibility of creating a future for them that isn't one of total poverty, and malnutrition.

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

I personally visited the organization in Panajachel and met several of the staff . I experienced directly the commitment and the enthusiasm of the director and the indepth knowledge he had of the needs of the Mayan population in the area.

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

I don' t think I have enough experience with the organization to suggest changes.

 
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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

I love all the hard work Mayan Families does. I especially like how they keep someone like me informed of what is happening and how I can help

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

I learned about the desperate state of Mayan families and even the dogs

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

None

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

While visiting Guatemala with some friends from another NGO, we were fortunate to spend an afternoon with Mayan Families, learning about their work. Hearts of Gold!! They give their all to the poor people of Guatemala, helping in a wide variety of ways. We visited a sewing center where the women not only learn a trade, but are given a sewing machine upon graduation so they have the tools needed to support themselves through their work. This is true sustainable development work.

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

I volunteer with another NGO who helps support the work of Mayan Families. We've provided funding for pigs and chickens, sewing machines, and other projects

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

Keep up the good work!

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

These folks are the real deal! If you have a few dollars extra, send it their way.
Best,
Birgitte

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

supporting a girl to go to school

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

nothing really. Tey arte doinf amazing work.

 
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Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 5 stars  

Unless one has seen the poverty of other contries, one can not understand the importance of any help these families get from anyone let alone the magnitude of the help provided by Mayan Families

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

s

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

s

 
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