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Mayan Families
May 24, 2010

My family and I learned about Mayan Families in December 2006. We were immediately touched by the stories told by Sharon on her blog. Through her words and pictures she let us know of the needs of the indigenous people in the highlands of Guatemala and more importantly, she gave us the opportunity to help them through her organization. I joined the group Mayan Families Connection and together, we have helped and we have watched Mayan Families grow. When I visited the first time, in the summer of 2007, there were only a couple of hundred students being sponsored through Mayan Families. I speak Spanish and I helped collect and translate information for the sponsors. My husband and children gave schools donations we had brought. It was an incredible experience for all of us. Sharon and the local staff showed us the land where they were hoping to build a community center for the town of Tierra Linda. It was only a dream. When we returned to the USA we collected supplies and sent them to Mayan Families. I was lucky enough to help with their website and the sponsored student program. The next time we visited, in the summer of 2008, there were more than 800 sponsored students and they had started construction on two community centers, one in Tierra Linda and one in San Jorge! Right now there are more than 1400 sponsored students. Mayan Families and their supporters have build community centers in small towns, they have build classrooms, provided schools with materials, desks, chairs, books and food, have started preschool programs in Panajachel and in two towns that had never before had one. They have offered sewing and computer classes. They have provided micro loans to help women start or grow a business. They have provided thousands of vitamins to children. Mayan Families have helped people with medical needs, food, energy efficient stoves, water filters and support. They have provided employment to many locals. There are many other ways they have helped the communities where they work, there are too many to list. I have seen Mayan Families grow and I have seen the difference they have made in hundreds of people's lives, there in Guatemala and here in the USA by giving us the opportunity to help. My husband, children and I are planning to visit Mayan Families for the third time in July 2010. We cannot wait to go back and help as much as we can.

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The Great!

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

every time we have visited, we have seen the extremely positive change they have brought to the people and the communities in the highlands of Guatemala.

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

being able to help side by side with their staff when I have visited. Meeting the people that have been helped and seeing the positive difference it has made in their lives.

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

very dedicated and motivated. They work long hours and never complain. Very proud of their work.

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

provide opportunities for the communities to grow. Empower children and women by giving them opportunities to study and start businesses to support their families.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

MY ROLE:
Volunteer & I volunteered at their headquarters for one month in 2007, a week in 2008 and I have been helping with their student sponsorship program for more than 3 years. I update the student's pages on their website.