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Mayan Families
May 21, 2010

Mayan Families changed the face of our program making it a precedent setting sports program for Mayan children and particularly female children. Instead of high minded pronouncements, Mayan Families simply put girls on our playing fields and into our teams. Now almost half our athletes are girls. More than 40% of our coaches are now women. The social impact of these changes is significant in rural Guatemala where traditionally sports were for boys only and girls were supposed to stay home, wear their traditional ankle length skirts and care for smaller children. Girls did not participate in physical education in school. That is changing. All of a sudden their dads are buying them athletic shorts, T shirts and sneakers. Moms and dads have seen their daughters playing on our teams and winning - they are proud of their daughters and want to support their efforts in sports. And the girls have a new confidence. They know they can play well, that they can compete with boys and win. We even have mixed teams, up to 16 years old, the girls are highly valued by their teammates and the boys want them on the team because they are winners. Mayan Families pointed us in the right direction, supported us along the way and helped create a program that is lighting the torch for social change in the Guatemalan Mayan Highlands.

The Great!

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

the state of Solola, Guatemala. I have come to know Sharon and Dwight very well. Both their daughters are in the sports program and one of them is in training as a peer basketball coach.

Ways to make it better...

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

provide more support to extend Mayan Families to many more areas of Guatemala.

More feedback

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Mayan Families is a hands on organization that is very much in contact with Mayan Indian people. The speak fluent Spanish, know everybody by name, know what people really need and do everything possible to get it for them.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

professional,caring and respectful to the people they are helping.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

work itself to death helping people who are in terrible need through no fault of their own.

Ways to make it better...

I could have brought more resources to the table.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

the magnitude of the problems facing the Highland Maya, ranging froim imminent starvation to lack of health and education to lack of economic opportunity

One thing I'd also say is that...

Mayan Families is simply a terrific group of super humanitarian people.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

MY ROLE:
Professional with expertise in this field & Asked Mayan Families to assess our program to make it more responsive to real needs of Guatemalan children.