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 been sponsoring a student through this charity since 2007. I love that every penny I send actually goes to my student, be it for school supplies, clothing, medicine or food. Over the past 5 years I have received photos several times a year and it has been fantastic to see how much healthier she appears and how much she has grown. This is my favorite charity and the most fiscally responsible charity I have ever encountered.

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?

2012

 
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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

Mayan Families is an exceptional charity. I have been sponsoring two Guatemalan girls for several years and have been able to watch them through pictures and letters grow healthy and learn. I prefer Mayan Families to any other charity because I am comfortable that 100% of the money I donate is going directly towards improving and advancing the lives of others.

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

watching my sponsored students grow healthier and do better every year in school.

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

figure out how to get them better infrastructure.

 
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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

This organization and it's efforts are very impressive. I have been working with a variety of non-profits for thirty years, as well as overseeing one of my own, so I know what it takes to run an operation like Mayan Families is running and they are doing an exceptional job. I was looking for a new avenue in which to expand my exisiting programs and donation efforts and I have deffinately found that avenue in the Mayan Families organization!

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?

2012

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

What an excellent organization! I have been donating for a few years now and I am amazed at how much they have grown and the impact Mayan Families is having in Guatemala! I have been to Guatemala and visited with my sponsored students, all made possible through Mayan Families. Their sustainable programs are very impressive!

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?

2011

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

Our daughter's birth country is Guatemala and we give to mayan Families as a means of "giving back" for the gift of her in our lives. Thay do so much with the funds give that I recommend them to all my contacts at holiday times.

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?

2012

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

I am both a donor and a volunteer. I've been involved with several organizations in both Mexico and Guatemala that support women's empowerment in various ways, by far Mayan Families is the Best! I helped with Disaster Relief with Mayan Families and was so impressed also! Micro Loans and Student Sponsorship's are why I keep coming back to Mayan Families! Visit them in Guatemala and you will see for yourself!

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?

2011

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

Since I visited my sponsored child a year ago, Mayan Families has assisted me in helping her family in many ways. With my donations, they have built a bathroom with flush toilet and shower, neither of which the family had. They facilitated the purchase of a house and land. The mother is enrolled in sewing classes and a cousin is attending preschool. Food is bought for the family. All these things and more are provided by Mayan Families with funds I send. None would be possible without Mayan Families' dedicated staff who work long hours to help the Mayan people. Photos are sent to all sponsors so that we see our families receiving everything we provide. Donors know without a doubt that the funds they send are being used as directed.

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?

2012

 
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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

I recently visited Mayan Families for the first time and was very impressed with the work they do. The staff accompanied me on a visit to my sponsored family, observed the many problems with the home situation and are currently working with me to remedy them. This is truly a "hands on" organization. The staff works hard and cares for everyone who comes through their door. They are literally saving so many of the Mayan people in their area.

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

helping me to buy land and part of a house for my sponsored child.

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

do nothing. The organization is excellent in every way.

 
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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

We've sponsored a student thur Mayan Families for 3 years now. My kids love seeing pictures of our student. Mayan Families also sends us pictures and letters our student has done. It's a blessing for both us and our student that we are helping.

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?

2012

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

Three years ago, on my 3rd visit to Panajachel, Guatemala, I decided to sponsor a 3 year old girl sothrough Mayan Families so she could attend preschool, get 2 meals per day, a daily vitamin, and learn Spanish in preparation for public school. I I wanted make a difference in the life on a girl, hoping to give her a chance for an education and a better future. At the same time, my mother decided to provide a considerable donation so that a teacher assistant could be hired for the pre-school.

Little did I know how this decision would impact my life and the journey it would take. This past November on my 5th visit to Guatemala, staff at Mayan Families arranged for me to spend an afternoon, visiting Marta Lidia and her family. My mother passed away this year, a difficult time for me. I brought a bag of her sweaters and shoes to give to the mother as a way to continue Mom's spirit for giving. Maria, the mother, was thrilled to have my mother's sweaters and actually chose to put on a pink one bringing me to tears as Mom was wearing that sweater on one of the last photos of the 2 of us. I showed the photo to this family. Orlando, the father, expressed deep condolences over my mother's death and proceeded to invite me to become a member of their family with the hopes that their love and support might in some small way, replace some of the love I miss from my mother. What an amazing gift - family and love - the biggest gift one could ever receive. And from a family that lives on $40 per week.

Little did I know that I would be the actual beneficiary from this sponsorship in such a meaningful and touching way. So thanks to Mayan Families for making the gift of love and family possible for me at a time when I missed my mother so much. I am so blessed and enriched by this volunteer opportunity.

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

Give them more stability in funding so that they have a stable base of funding staff.

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?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

 
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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

Being part of a community is important to me, and that is what I have received with my volunteer experiences with Mayan Families. I sponsor a little girl to attend a pre-school hosted by Mayan Families aimed at giving Mayan children a head-start on life by learning Spanish, receiving 2 meals per day, and learning how to interact in a school setting before starting pubic school. Over the past 2 years, t is powerful to see the change in the girl I sponsor. She smiles now, is willing to talk to me, have her picture taken, she laughs. We read books together in Spanish, identifying colours, objects, and laugh at the fun parts of the book. Mayan Families has arranged several personal visits with the Marta Lidia and her family, giving me the opporunity to get to know the family, spend time in their house, hear about the issues that are pressing and stressful. This year we exchanged gifts. I brought clothes and shoes for all family members; the mother gave me a woven table runner she made with a backstrap loom; the father gave me a wall hanging that he made with a foot loom. He embroidered the words in Spanish: a remembrace from your sponsored daughter Marta Lidia. This opportunity made me feel part of the community through this warm, genuine relationship. My grandchildren are similar ages to Marta Lidia and her siblings; so this year I brought clothing my grandkids had outgrown and explained where the clothes came from. The kids loved knowing that the clothes were favorite items given from my grandkids. My experience in Panajachel area is up-close with culture and indigenous people through the respectful guidance and support of Mayan Families staff.

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?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

 
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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

As a donor and a volunteer, it is interesting to be working at ground level in an organization where one literally sees the end results of a donation or volunteer work. This is so rare in many non-profit service agencies. One can pick a family, a town, a project and support it, get updates and see results as hard working staff provide the infrastructure and support for volunteers and donors. A real team effort with a personal touch, using local employees who speak the various dialects of the indigenous language. I value this organization and its love and strength. Que bueno este grupo de personas.

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?

2011

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

Keep up the good work and dedication. Thank you for doing all that you do.

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

They keep me informed with pictures on the website and send us letters from our student.

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

fantastic organization.

 
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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

What a wonderful organization!!! The people who work for Mayan Families have gone above and beyond helping me to sponsor a student as a very last minute Christmas gift for my daughters. On Christmas Eve day I spoke with one of the organizers who assisted me in sponsoring a student in Guatemala.
My daughters take part in donating a portion of their allowance to the Mayan Families and are so excited when they get to see pictures of their friend Marta.
The ability to have a real sense of knowing where your donations are going is such a fantastic benefit. We are so grateful for the work that Mayan Families is doing and we hope they can continue to grow.

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

Their communications with me have been consistent and helpful.

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

Give them more money to help them expand.

 
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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

We (Kids International Dental Services) have been working with Mayan Families for quite a few years and it never ceases to amaze me to see the extent of their commitment toward the Mayan people and Mayan culture. I have tremendous amount of respect for their ability to organize any complex work and get it all done. For one entire week we work together and their staff and volunteers work tirelessly with us every single year. Looking forward to be with them again next year.

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

 
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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I am the President of a non-profit and we provide pro-bono dental care to impoverished children in three countries. We have been working with Mayan Families for last three years. After our trip there last year, I became a donor as well because I truly believe in their dedication, effectiveness, and efficiency in what they do. This year we worked in 4 different villages around Panajachel with Mayan Families for 5 days. Everything was extremely well organized. The staff who worked with us did so tirelessly and with a smile on their face all day long, every single day. We ended up treating more than 800 needy children. I can not say enough positive things about each and everyone in Mayan Family. We have worked with numerous organizations in Central America over last ten years, and Mayan Family gets my highest score.

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

every village we went and treated children. The Mayan Family's pre-school students have excellent oral health and hence generally good over all health. The staff members know the communities and its people. They care for each other and treat each other with dignity and respect.

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

expand its efforts to more communities around Guatemala.

 
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