Mayan Families

Rating: 4.95 stars   396 reviews

Nonprofit Issues:

Human Services, International

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.

2015 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  

3 people found this review helpful

Mayan Families is an incredible organization led by their founders, Dwight Poage and Sharon Smart. Their work and dedication is awe inspiring.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

I spent several days traveling with the team from Mayan Families visiting preschools and homes in the towns around Panajachel. The trip was fantastic as I personally witnessed the work they do to bring a better way of life to the less fortunate in the area. I saw happy and healthy children due to the multivitamins and nourishment they received due to the support of Mayan Families. I also visited homes that had clean drinking water due to the supplied water filters and stoves to cook on that were also supplied by Mayan Families. Truly a very emotional experience and one that I will never forget.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

We visited Mayan Families last week to view their preschools and nutrition program. We were highly impressed by the caliber of their work and their obvious dedication to their community. The staff is professional, kind, and talented. They have taken on a monumental task by choosing to take a holistic approach to building stronger communities, and they handle every challenge with a high level of skill and compassion.

The children and mothers we visited in the communities around the lake were confident, friendly, and obviously proud of their association with Mayan Families. To me, this is the strongest indicator of the success Mayan Families has found in its work.

We are proud to partner with Mayan Families, and look forward to continuing our relationship!

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When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2015

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

After watching the documentary Living On One, I decided to sponsor a student through Mayan Families. As a sponsor, I provide funds for many of her school supplies and needs as a one time yearly payment, but I think it can be done in installments, too. As a sponsor you can choose to do a full or half sponsorship of a child. I am kept up to date with photographs of my student receiving her school supplies, and with her report card. Of course it is not required, but you may choose to send donations specifically for other things the child or their family needs. Food, a water filter, a mattress, a birthday gift. You are given access to a written profile of the child and their family situation, which is updated as things change. Any time I send a donation I am shown photographs of my student and her family receiving the items, and hand written thank you letters that my sponsored child holds up proudly for the camera. These are eventually mailed to me. You can remain anonymous to the people you sponsor, or you can ask for and receive greater detail about their lives, and be available to help if they have a family emergency. It's entirely up to you.

As well as individual student sponsorships, you can donate toward specific families, elderly folks, children in crisis, people with medical needs, the animal rescue program, pre-school, vocational training, many many more programs! Or just give funds where needed most.

I appreciate the ability to verify that my sponsored child is indeed receiving the donations I am sending. Many individuals and groups visit in person and they are welcomed.

Mayan Families has given me the opportunity to make a real difference in a child's life.
I hope to donate some time as a volunteer soon, doing computer work over the internet.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

We currently are sponsoring two students and helping their families through Mayan Families. We just came back from a 5 week trip to Guatemala where we also were able to do some volunteering with Mayan Families. It is an amazing organization helping many families and kids. Their many preschools in the areas around Lake Atitlan provide not only basic education, especially Spanish study. to ready the children for primary school but also a daily nutritional breakfast, followed by teeth brushing (we led a class this time at a preschool in the highlands and donated toothbrushes for 50+ children!) We visited our 2 sponsored families, seeing the living conditions of extreme poverty is an eye opener and helps us know that our relatively modest donations for a roof, stove, table, chairs, beds, are much needed and valued. This is an organization we are so happy to be involved with. They are also great in maintaining communication with us about the organization and our sponsored families. Thank you, Mayan Families! Lynn and Greg

 
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Rating: 3 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

This is our third trip to Guatemala, and enjoyed working through Mayan Families, and seeing the greT work they do.

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

Along with the volenteers, they need to find some way to retain some of the great people who work there. With the high turnover, things fall through the cracks, causing everyone else to be spread thin. I would like to help many people also, however if things grow too fast, it's not good for anyone. They should try and limit the amount of people in the program until the infrastructure can handle it.

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?

2014

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

As the President of Tri-Village Rotary in Columbus, Ohio (USA) I want to be accountable to our members, and our community donors, to make sure that our charitable donations are used in the best way possible. Mayan Families continues to amaze me with their staff and how every penny is maximized. I had the opportunity to visit Mayan Families in March of 2013 and again in November of 2013 and each time I visit I am more reassured that our money is going to the best possible group.

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?

2013

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

I visited the Mayan Families Foundation in Panajachel, Guatemala in November 2013 and was moved by the incredible need for the services provided by the organization, as well as the dedication of the staff and volunteers to fill that need. This is an organization that, I feel, makes the best use of donor's contributions in making a lasting impact on the lives of the children and adults it helps.

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?

2013

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

Our Rotary Club has been partnering with Mayan Families for the past 3 years, and out experience has been beyond my expectations. The organization is so well run and is fully integrated into the community it serves, so Mayan Families knows so much about the needs and is able to get us plugged in with truly impactful projects that are changing the lives of such needy people. We will continue to partner with Mayan Families because we know that they are so accountable for the projects we've implemented together.

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?

2013

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

Mayan Families is quite impressive!!! For several years my mission team, Hands of Healing Guatemala, has relied on Mayan Families to help select the most needy communities to serve, transport all 25 of us, provide chairs and tables for use during our portable clinics, provide us lunch, and provide and arrange Spanish and Mayan translators. Each member of their team is knowledgeable about the communities we serve and they put our safety and our needs as top priority. When we are not in clinic, they offer opportunities to sponsor children and help with their education and needs. They arrange meetings with our sponsored children and are open to taking us places as time allows. We find everyone associated with Mayan Families dedicated, loyal, creative and most of all, compassionate to our Mayan brothers and sisters!! We are honored to have this partnership with them!!

 
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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

I have had the honor of interacting with Mayan Families for just over a year. During this time I have a total of 10 days seeing first hand how well they live their purpose: giving a hand up to the Mayan people of the Lake Atitlan area of the Western Highlands. They are caring, well organized, creative and efficient. Without Mayan Families, our Hands Of Healing Guatemala Team ( Medical and Vision) could not
possibly be as effective. Their partnership directs where we go, transports us to and from the villages, find us a place to set up, registers our patients and provides us with Spanish and local K'iche'
and Kachiquel translators. They open our eyes to the great needs of our Mayan friends and encourage us to continue to help long after we are gone by sponsorships and any number of other ways! Their great and generous heart is in EVERYTHING they do. It is a privilege being in partnership with them as a medical team member and as a sponsor of a precious 8 year old Mayan student!!

 
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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I was priveleged to be part of a medical team called Hands of Healing Guatemala that came to work with Mayan Families in Panajachel, Guatemala in late October of this year. I am new to this team but this partnership has been going on between these two organizations for a few years. Mayan Families is the umbrella non profit under which HOH can serve Mayan villages in the Western Highlands around Largo Atitlan. Mayan Families offered us their transportation, safety, translators and helped identify the villages who most needed our medical services. Their staff helped us in every way, every day even giving us walking tours of Pana and allowing us to tour and see how their organization functions on a daily basis.. We saw such a dedication to their Mayan brothers and sisters. Everything they do is to help better the life of every Mayan person they meet. They offer sponserships for the elderly, for children and for families. They coordinate sponserships for housing, water filters, stoves, food,. They manage 7 pre-schools and coordinate sponsers for each child. They even have a medical clinic at their compound. They make it easy to donate and ,by everthing I saw and heard,they use the donations in the most effecient ways. Personally, I was amazed at the credentials and educational backgrounds of the staff. Many young ex-pats who are committed to giving a "hand up" to the Mayan people and even many Mayan young people giving back to their people. I saw hard work, long days, lots of traveling and strong leadership. I personally was moved, by their example, to purchase water filters and co-sponser a young child to ensure her education. During each days medical clinic, their staff worked hand in hand with us to provide exams, medicine,vitimins glasses and shoes to as many people as can be seen in a day. It was a life changing experience for me and I certainly was inspired by everyone who worked for Mayan Families . Judy--- Birmingham, Alabama, USA

Was your donation impactful?

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

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How likely are you to donate to this group again?

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When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

 
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