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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

125 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Adina B.

Donor

Rating: 5

It is hard to find an organization that is as upfront with what they do with their money as Mayan Families. Our family has donated and we have friends who have volunteered with them and their reputation is always outstanding. The money goes directly to those in need, whether that be ground corn and beans for starving people, materials for children to go to school, medical care for those who can't afford it or many, many other necessary things for the people's they serve survival.

Review from Guidestar

Maura M.

Donor

Rating: 5

Mayan Families is an outstanding organization that serves the impoverished Mayan population in the highlands of Guatemala through educational, nutritional, medical, housing and other support. We have supported them with physical and financial donations for six years and could not be more happy with the service they provide to the population they serve, as well as the information they share with the donors. We receive letters from the students we support as well as copies of their report cards, and updates and photographs through the Mayan Families website. It is a fantastic organization.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

We've been supporting several students through Mayan Families. They are teh only organization that I've worked with to provide such personalized donor support including email updates from sponsors and opportunities to celebrate special events in the children't lives. They welcome sponsors to visit. They provide a wealth of services to those in desperate need - and it all started because a group of people cared. That care has grown and real lives are changed - and as a donor I'm humbled to be a part of that change.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

Mayan families is an incredible non-profit agency that works tirelessly to provide assistance, education, medical support, shelter, guidance and compassion to the people of Guatemala. A place that is very close to my heart, as my two children are from Guatemala. With a wonderful staff in Panajachel that employs many native people, an amazing network of supporters, volunteers and donors abroad who stay connected via an internet group and web sites, they are able to bring so much to so many people. From distributing Christmas toys to building and staffing schools to building house to caring for the sick and the elderly, providing food and clean water - they never stop. I feel very blessed to be able to play a small role in what they do. I am humbled every day by their generosity, spirit and compassion. The

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

Mayan families does wonderful things to help individuals and families in Guatemala. For instance, my son and I sponsor a 5 year old boy who gets clothes, shoes, and school supplies, and get to school for a decent education.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

I became involved with Mayan Families after adopting our daughter from Guatemala. This organization does an amazing job helping the people in the indigenous people in the highlands of Guatemala. I became a sponsor to two young girls allowing them to go to school and get an education. The program also provides basic services/needs for the families as well as food and household items. The work that they are doing there is fantastic. The little amount of money that we contribute every month makes such a difference. With low overhead and a lot of hard work they have changed the lives of so many people.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

Mayan Families is the real deal. The headquarters in Panajachel is a busy place where Sharon and the army of volunteers address the problems of the steady stream of people from surrounding villages in need. Sharon provides a critical link between donors interested in helping and those who desperately need the help. One summer she suggested we bring down shoes for children which we did. My daughter helped hand them out in a small local village to children who were thrilled at getting a new pair of (used) shoes that actually fit. In one afternoon trip, we handed out bags of shoes, hundreds of baby chicks to women entrepreneurs and then helped a visiting dental group who spoke no spanish set up a dental clinic. Through Mayan Families the needs of local people are accurately identified and the assistance provided by people who want to help is appropriately targeted and effective. I wish the hundreds of sponsors of the school children could meet their sponsored students in person and receive the extreme gratitude of the parents, as I have been able to do.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

My family has sponsored one or two Guatemalan students via Mayan Families (MF) for three years now. One of the students dropped out, but the other has been "our" student continuously. My daughter writes to her and gets letters back, we get occasional updates from MF about our student's family, and whenever we ask we get additional info and updates. As donors we receive various bulk emails about MF projects and needs, which we feel no pressure to respond to, i.e. they do not approach us individually and make saying "no" hard -- MF seems to respect that their donors will want to know what is needed but will choose what they do based on their own situation. We have responded to calls to sponsor food baskets, and received photos of the recipients with the baskets. We expect to continue our student sponsorship until she graduates (now in 4th grade), and we hope to visit our sponsored student later this year when we go to Guatemala -- MF has offered to facilitate our meeting our student, and we are hoping to spend some time slotting in to their other projects as volunteers for part of the time we are there.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

wonderful organization providing much need services to a vulnerable population. excellent communication with donors!

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

We have been sponsoring a student for the past 3 years to attend school. We know that the money we send helps her. We get photo updates at least twice per year- with her holding the items..like shoes for school or her report card.

Sharon, Ely and the staff -work so hard to improve the lives of our brothers and sisters in Guatemala and we appreciate everything they do.

Review from Guidestar