Mujeres de Maiz Opportunity Foundation

Rating: 4.96 stars   78 reviews

Address:

P O Box 1954 Sequim WA 98382 USA

Mission:

We are dedicated to partnering with and empowering indigenous women in Chiapas, Mexico, by providing them with access to education. Our goal is to help break the cycle of poverty, build self-esteem, and create positive role models.

Results:

In August of 2013, we will be welcoming 24 girls and women on scholarship. We are funding three full year children's programs to strengthen academic skills, develop creativity and foster environmental stewardship. We also fund an adult literacy program, now in its second year. We fund workshops, provide eye exams and glasses, toothbrushes and toothpaste. We have donated a laptop to each community. We have just completed our capital campaign which has enabled the cooperative to fulfill a dream of their own center and a legacy for their daughters. Our new composting toilet project is underway in 3 communities.

Target demographics:

Indigenous women and children who live in poverty.

Direct beneficiaries per year:

Approximately 155.

Geographic areas served:

12 communities in the highlands of Chiapas, Mexcio

Programs:

Scholarships Zinacantan Saturday Children's Project Crucero Saturday Children's Project Altamirano adult literacy program Ocosingo Children's Project Eye exams and glasses Computers Eco-friendly composting latrines Twice a year toothbrushes and paste

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More Info

360-683-8979
www.MujeresDeMaizOF.org

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Reviews for Mujeres de Maiz Opportunity Foundation

Rating: 5 stars  

A Spanish teacher from Washington, while traveling in Mexico, saw a need and came home to begin the process that led to the Mujeres de Maiz Opportunity Foundation. Indigenous women and girls in Chiapas, the poorest state in Mexico, rarely continued their education beyond elementary school. Their talents, skills and confidence weren't given opportunities to grow and develop. Through the efforts of that teacher, the board members, volunteers and donors, scholarship students now continue in school, some through college, and also share their new skills and knowledge with their local communities. Educating girls and women pays off. I have seen this first hand when I traveled to Chiapas with Mujeres. This is a well-run organization with very low operating costs and high payoff.

 
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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

When I'm looking for an organization to support, there are several things I look for. They include: Does it do good work, does it do it well and is it efficient?
Mujeres de Maiz Opportunity Foundation shines in all these areas.
I have spent time in Chiapas and seen the foundation's good work, done well, which focuses on educational support for indigenous women and children in Chiapas, the poorest state of Mexico, but includes other support such as eye exams and glasses.
As one of the volunteer board members (there are no paid staff) I also applaud the efficiency of this organization.
If you are looking for a cause to support, I'd encourage you to learn more about and to consider Mujeres de Maiz.

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

Make it even better known.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

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

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

 
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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

I traveled to Chiapas with Judith Pasco, founder and chairwoman of the Mujeres de Maiz Opportunity Foundation, a few years ago. I was so impressed with the work done by this non-profit that I became a donor, a volunteer and finally a board member. The things that impress me are: the relationship between the organization and the women and girls in the cooperative, the exceedingly low cost of administration (no paid staff), the effectiveness of the programs and the dedication of the group's supporters.
This is an exceptional group with a clear mission that is efficiently carried out.

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

Continue to expand the donor base.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

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

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

 
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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

Before I joined the board of Mujeres de Maiz Opportunity Foundation, I traveled to Chiapas and saw first-hand the work that is being done to help the women and children with their education. I spent a morning in one of the Saturday schools, run by Mujeres scholarship students who help their younger neighbors with their school work. I saw the women wearing glasses, for the first time able to see clearly. I attended a group meeting of the cooperative and saw the dedication and determination to better their own and their children's lives. As a board member, I can attest to the hard work of the volunteers who raise the funds for the foundation and the transparency of the organization. It does good work, does it well and economically.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

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

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

It's impressive to see how many of the girls and young women have grown in confidence and maturity having participated in the programs sponsored by Mujeres de Maiz Opportunity Foundation. Some of the most shy, timid girls have gone on to lead educational projects in their own communities.

It makes me proud to be a part of this worthwhile organization.

 
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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

I am continually impressed by the results of this small nonprofit organization. They have a very specific focus: educate and empower indigenous women who have been traditionally discriminated against in the Mexican culture. With the education they've received through scholarships, many have advanced in ways they could not have imagined.

 
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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

I have followed the progress of this group since it's inception. In 2009, my wife and I traveled to Chiapas to visit the area and see firsthand the young indigenous women who are the recipients of the scholarships Mujeres de Maiz funds. We were impressed by the difference education can make in the lives of these girls. They become more self confident and self sufficient, gaining economic independence and helping others find their way. It's a great 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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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

I first learned of this organization not long after it was created. It seemed like a good idea and contributed to it. Over the years, I've seen it grow and expand to more and more women and girls in need of education and assistance in getting small businesses established. 2 years ago I visited the area in Chiapas where the Foundation is based, met some of the young women, and saw first hand results of their work. They are learning computer and networking skills, small business techniques, and are growing in confidence. What great advancement in a short amount of time! I will continue to support this excellent foundation.

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

Chiapas.

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

I would expand the base and include as many girls as could be accommodated. I would increase donations so that they could own a permanent facility in San Cristobal.

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?

The problems of gender inequity, poverty, racism.

Why did you make your donation at this time?

I make an annual donation.

What would you tell others about this organization?

It's very well run, specific,targeted, and has low overhead and management costs.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

Mujeres de Maiz OF continues to give opportunities to indigenous women and their families in Chiapas, Mexico, through education. We continue to help individuals by offering scholarships for secondary through university level work. In return several of the recipients give their time to the children of their communities by conducting Saturday schools. The children receive remedial help as well as enrichment activities. We are pleased that this year another community has joined in this project. One of the strengths of Mujeres de Maiz OF is letting the women in Chiapas decide what their needs are. Due to a solid group of supporters, we feel grateful that we have been able to see through completion all proposed projects as well as continue to fund ongoing scholarships and workshops. As a board member, I feel privileged to be able to visit the women at least once a year. I am awestruck by how confident and well-spoken the women have become. Change began as a hope and now change is an ongoing reality.

 
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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

I am constantly amazed at the positive changes in the lives of the indigenous women with whom we, Mujeres de Maiz Opportunity Foundation, partner. It seems like such a short time ago when the possibility of education beyond the primary level was non-existent. This year two of the women received their university degrees and next year one is going to be involved in a nursing practicum! Even those who are not direct scholarship recipients are enthusiastically participating in adult literacy programs and workshops. The children are taking advantage of remedial and enrichment sessions on weekends. Sometimes as a board member it seems that all we do is raise funds. But my annual trip to Chiapas to reunite with the women humbles me, energizes me, and fills me with a profound sense of the worth of what we do.

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

try to find a core of people besides the board who would independently fundraise for us.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

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

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

 
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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

As a founding board member, I have been a part of Mujeres de Maiz OF since its inception 6 years ago when we gave one scholarship. Now, in addition to 19 women/girls receiving scholarships from the secondary to the university levels, we fund two children's programs which meet all year round on Saturdays and a women's literacy program. Last July I went to Zinacantan to watch elementary aged girls and boys share stories they had written, to listen to a puppet show they had organized, and to participate in multiplication practice. The children told us that they were very happy with the help they get at the Saturday school. And they were glad that their teachers don't complain to their parents about bad behavior and missing homework which used to happen often. The program is so successful that the children have requested to meet on Sundays as well!

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

By offering scholarships to girls, Mujeres de Maiz OF has produced role models.The trust we have developed with each other has allowed young women to have options in what they do with their lives. Juana got a civic job due to the computer training she received on scholarship. She is working to preserve her native language. In another year, Yolanda will be a certified teacher. Ana Belen continues on her course of becoming a human rights attorney.

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

In the short time Mujeres de Maiz OF has been a nonprofit, it's accomplishments have been amazing. We have a loyal but small base. If Mujeres could broaden its support, there would be no dream too big.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

Going into its tenth year as a nonprofit partnering with indigenous women in Chiapas, Mexico, Mujeres de Maiz OF maintains its high level of commitment and quality of programs. As a board member, it is inspiring to visit the women in Chiapas at least once a year to interact with them and follow the amazing progress of individuals as well as group advances. The devotion the women have to their families, community, and culture make them role models in Chiapas. Donations are used judiciously and reap incredible results.

 
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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

Each time I visit the indigenous women in Chiapas I am amazed at the educational progress they have made. This coming December two of our scholarship recipients will graduate from university! It has not been easy for them. Yolanda had to take a year to remediate in order to be competitive at the university level. Her family was not always supportive of her efforts. It is gratifying to see her pride in having accomplished her goal, acknowledging that her success would not have been possible without the support she received from Mujeres de Maiz O.F. She helps organize and teach a Saturday school for elementary students in her village as a way to give back service to her community. She beamed when she told us how proud she was to wear her indigenous dress to university classes. She is proud of her village and heritage and serves as a role model for young women.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

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

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

I have been working with Mujeres de Maiz for over three years and am just as enthusiastic about this organization as I was when I first learned about it. The board and supporters are truly committed to helping the indigenous women and girls of Chiapas, Mexico.

 
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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

I have been involved with Soroptimist which is an international service organization that supports women and girls in bettering their lives. Our local Soroptimist club has been supporting Mujeres de Maiz for several years because Mujeres's goal of supporting Mayan women and girls to better their lives through education fits the Soroptimist goal. As I learned more and more about Mujeres and the number of lives of girls and young women who are being changed by the scholarships and support of Mujeres, I became a member of the Mujeres Board in 2012.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

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

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

This is an organization where every penny is counted and every penny counts. I have been able to meet with the women in Chiapas and see firsthand how the support we are offering has allowed them to make positive changes in their lives and in their communities. What is especially encouraging is the fact that the women are now proposing and creating the opportunities that best meet their needs. It's also exciting to have women getting degrees after having started with us in sixth grade.

 
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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

I am not easily persuaded to serve on a board these days, but am proud to be a member of the Mujeres board. We have been to Mexico to see our work in action and are able to tell our supporters how every penny of their donations is spent. Being in constant contact with the women and communities we support lets us know that our efforts are making a difference in their lives.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

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

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

As Board Chair of Mujeres de Maiz Opportunity Foundation, there are a number of things that make me very proud. One is the fact that the women with whom we work assess their own needs and make proposals to us. This enables us to help them in the ways that will have the most impact. Another is the fact that we can see the changes over the past 7 years in the ways that the girls and women relate to each other and to us. 7 years ago there was little eye contact, little expressing of opinion, extreme shyness, almost no opportunities for life choices and feeling valueless. Now, especially in those who have continued their education through scholarships funded by us, we see assertiveness, decision making, eye contact, literacy teaching, and an ability and desire to express opinions. Moreover, the two continuing Saturday Children's Programs are in their 3rd year and flourishing, as it our adult literacy program. More women and girls are getting eye exams and wearing glasses. A new project provides the education and building materials for 28 families to have composting toilets. And, our supporters are the best!

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

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

Life-changing

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

 
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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

This year was amazing for Mujeres de Maiz OF. Seventeen girls received scholarships this year and two of our long standing scholarship recipients will graduate from university in December, 2012. The two Saturday Children's Programs are flourishing and serving about 55 primary school children. Not only are the children strengthening their academic skills, but they are learning to write their Maya language, They have the chance to express their creativity in various art and theater projects and are becoming stewards of the environment by learning about recycling, composting and planting trees. When we visited the community of Crucero, we found a new structure that the parents of the children had built to house the program. It demonstrates how much the parents value this program. The programs are in their 3rd year. The adult literacy program in Altamirano is also in its 3rd year and the 27 adults will complete their primary school education this year. We hope very much that funding will allow us to continue funding for these dedicated students and their instructor. Mujeres continues to fund workshops and eye exams, glasses and laptop computers. Three new valuable projects have been proposed and we are actively seeking grants and looking at more ways to fundraise because at the moment we are unable to take on more projects.

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

my many visits to Chiapas. I see the changes in the women...they are beginning to value themselves and see that their opinions have worth and want to share in the governance of their communities. Scholarship recipients are role models. Adult women who never thought they would read and write are experiencing the joy of accomplishment.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

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

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

How did you learn about this organization?

I am a founding member.

What is this organization's top short-term priority?

Providing education in its many forms.

What is its top priority in the long run?

Empowering poor, indigenous women so that they may lead fuller lives, have decision-making opportunities, and be role-models in their communities. Education is the key.

 
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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

I have been the Board Chair since we formed Mujeres de Maiz OF in 2006. At the beginning we were thinking only of scholarships to the indigenous women in the cooperative in Chiapas, Mexico, but what has transpired has been amazing. Soon we were funding workshops and eye exams and laptop computers. Then full year children's programs and adult literacy classes came into being. We also take toothpaste and toothbrushes every 6 months, have donated 100 children's backpacks and each community received a solar lamp. Now we are involved in helping the cooperative purchase a facility of their own. What we love is that while we provide access to education, the women assess their own needs and make decisions about the paths they are taking.

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

... the scholarship girls who become role models in their communities, the women who learn to read and write who start to participate in the governance of their communities. I've seen the trust build year after year. I've seen the women start to speak their voice. I've seen more and more children interested in continuing their education.

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

Can't think of anything at this point.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

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

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

How did you learn about this organization?

I'm a founding member.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

I have been proud to be a board member of Mujeres de Maiz Opportunity Foundation since its inception. All of us on the board have traveled to Chiapas, Mexico at least once, where we have had the opportunity to connect with the women who are being empowered to further their education and share what they know with the other members of their communities. 91% of the money we have accumulated with our fundraising efforts goes directly to the women. Each time we visit Chiapas we are able to see the number of scholarship recipients growing and an increase in programs and educational opportunities that the women are initiating in their communities and with each other as a sewing cooperative.

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

....seeing firsthand the increased opportunities for and empowerment of the indigenous women of Chiapas, Mexico.

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

...I can't think of any other changes that we aren't already generating as we make our way on this venture.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

I was introduced to this organization several years ago. Since that time, I have been increasingly impressed with the work they have done and how they have progressed and grown. I feel as though my donations have been put to good use, as they began by funding scholarships for a few girls in the Chiapas area and are now able to fund an increasing number of scholarships. Added to the program have been the provisions of paying for eye exams and glasses, programs on dental health, women's literacy programs and Saturday children's literacy programs. I have also been to Chiapas and personally witnessed the difference these programs are making in the lives of the young women there.

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

the Chiapas area of Mexico. The women of the cooperative are grateful, dedicated, self-motivated, directed, determined and inspiring. This lets one know that however they can help will be beneficial, much appreciated, and utilized well.

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

Increase exposure. I have found that once a person learns of this organization and how it helps, it inspires them to want to help as well. The women of the cooperative need a place to call their own and if Mujeres can help them attain that goal, it would be a wonderful achievement for all concerned.

 
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