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
Write a Review

See How 3Hrs Can Help

More Info

EIN 20-8433997
619-550-2608
Invite people to share their experience with this nonprofit!

Promote This Nonprofit

GreatNonprofits badges allow you to raise awareness of your favorite nonprofits on your own web sites!

Review this charity on
GreatNonprofits

Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

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.

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

I have personally visited the headquarters numerous times to observe the work being done.

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

Nothing comes to mind at the moment.

Was this review helpful? 
Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

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.

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

making it possible for indigenous children to attend school in a rural region of Guatemala, and in delivering holiday baskets of celebratory food to sponsored families.

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

upgrade their website, as sometimes it takes awhile to find what I am looking for; but this does not bother me very much as I also get updates directly and I am truly AMAZED at what they do, confirmed by people I know who have visited them on the ground.

Was this review helpful? 
Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

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

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

photos and letters from the students.

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

i wish i could donate more!

Was this review helpful? 
Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

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.

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

Sharon, Ely

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

Give them more money so they could grow.

Was this review helpful? 
Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

We have been involved with Mayan Families for a few years now, sponsoring a child /family. They are wonderful--work tirelessly on behalf of extremely disadvantaged families. Their accomplishments are astounding--in many cases literally life-saving.

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

by seeing how our sponsored child /family have benefited from Mayan Families help.

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

not change a thing!

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I am amazed at what this organization is able to accomplish for the indigenous communities of Guatemala. They provide hope for the poorest of the poor in these communities. I am proud to be a donor and can rest assured that every penny I donate is being put to good use. The dedication of this organization is inspiring to say the least.

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

Being able to help a child attend school who otherwise would not be able to.

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

None

Was this review helpful? 
Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

My children and I have volunteered with Mayan Families twice now and are amazed by the incredible work they do within the community. We can't wait until we can go volunteer again.

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?

2012

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

1 person found this review helpful

I have supported Mayan Families for 4 years now. I love the small grass-roots nature of the organization. Because of this, as a donor, it's a very personal experience. I get updates on the students I sponsor several times a year. If the family of one of my student's need something specific, one of the director's of Mayan Families will let me know. Also, because of the grass-roots nature of Mayan Families, the portion of donations that goes to overhead is very small. I love that this charity is not just focused on helping now but on giving people skills and supplies that will help them become self-supporting.

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

The continued education of the students I sponsor, the holiday food baskets I've paid for for their families, as well as other things I've gotten for my students' families, such as stoves, water filters, etc.

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

Nothing

Was this review helpful? 
Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

To whom it may concern;
First of all, the work that this organization is unbelieveable. The
clinics that they conduct are providing great services to the needy.
Secondly, the schools that are provided to the children does more than
give them an education. They help with clothes and supplies and
probably most importantly it provides food and security for the
children.These schools can be the catalyst that provides these
future Guatemala's a way out of their provery.

Finally, I can not say enough about this organization and the personal
touch that I have come to know. They make such a difference on
a daily basis to the people in Guatemala. I am so blessed to
have found this organization and to have conducted business
with such a dynamic and honest organization as Mayan Families.
Your consideration of Mayan Families is greatly appreciated.Thank
you for letting me express my TRUE feelings of the real work that
Mayan Famillies does.

Fondly,
Janet Smith

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

I sponsor a student in one to their schools. Their feedback is great about the student and what is going on in Guatemala. I also make donations to this organization.

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

Nothing.

Was this review helpful? 
Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

Mayan Families is exceptional.. our church started sponsoring a family, and that is when i found this little girl Brenda (1078).. I sponsored her and my life changed. Mayan families posts picutres of the children getting our packages or their new shoes or their school supplies.. I went down in December 2010 and the staff did everything humanly posibble to help my friend and I to visit the families we sponsor. Two translators everytime we went to a house, school party. This was amongst the Christmas parties at the schools, Peace Corp groups coming in and a spay clinic.The staff is tireless.. They sort clothes, find people to feed the elderly, feed families who lost a parent, find sponsors for everychild possible, and post those picutres to each persons page. They are the most amazing group I have ever seen or worked with. I can't wait to go back and to continue to keep up with things through the blog. They have such a great following that we all work hard to keep them going. We came home with much more than we gave because of the people being so gratful, that is the staff, the mayan people, the people you meet in the street. They help sponsor 1600 children.. and I don't know how many people are in elder care..It is just mind boggling how all this gets done. It is a really fantastic group.

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

visits and on the blog and in the newsletters... I have made many friends .. and I keep in touch with the staff with emsils

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

hire a few more staff or get more volunters so they do not get burnt out

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

What specific problem, purpose, priority, or project prompted your gift?

a friend suggested this group to the church and we fell in love with their dedication to these families

Why did you make your donation at this time?

I found this little girl who reminded me of my grand daughter when she was little, but had nothing

What would you tell others about this organization?

Your money goes to where they say it goes, you are really helping these families and these children

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

Was this review helpful? 
Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

My family currently sponsor a student through Mayan Families in Guatemala. Mayan Families helps operate 5 pre-schools, feeding programs and sponsorship opprotunities that allow children to attend school in Guatemala. The orginizers of Mayan Families live and work in Guatemala and provide weekly updates on what is happening in and around the various programs that they operate. In addition to their human work they also do animal advocacy which included a spay and neuter clinic. Guatemala is a very poor country and we believe that Mayan Families provides a variety of resources both to the young, old and animals that is desparately needed.

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

Through their school, feeding and water programs

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

none

Was this review helpful? 
Review from Guidestar