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Adopt-a-Village in Guatemala

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: International, International Development, International Relief

Mission: The mission of Adopt-a-Village is to help empower Mayan youth of Northwestern Guatemala through education so they may develop improved social and economic conditions in their communities.

Results: - 9 primary schools built - 1 high school built and managed - multi-village sustainable gardening projects - multi-village reading program established - access roads constructed - 3 village water systems constructed - multi-village tuberculosis treatment program - 40 small homes built for impoverished Mayan families

Target demographics: Mayan youth in education

Direct beneficiaries per year: 1,000 people

Geographic areas served: Guatemala

Programs: Regional residential high school and middle school to serve scholarship students from 30 villages. Additional education aid to village middle and primary schools. Provides orphans and widowed mothers with food and clothing. Provides seeds and training for multi-village sustainable agricultural program.

Community Stories

36 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

3

Donor

Rating: 5

With a longstanding interest in this region, I was privileged to discover the work of this organization. I have supported it personally and through my affiliation with Rotary International. Frances Dixon and her many villager/members have created a multi-faceted organization grounded in local culture and committed to sustainable practice.

senor-david

Donor

Rating: 5

Hello Friends, I have worked with Frances for a few years now on projects and have seen the work of the organization, Adopt-a-Village. They are definitely serving well an almost-forgotten people when it comes to government services. Your donation will be channeled by a founder who has passed up the "good life" of retirement for a greater one working in the mountains of Guatemala.

Previous Stories
1

Donor

Rating: 5

Yes, I have become friends with Frances Dixon this year, founder of ADV, and see the good work of her small organization in NW Guatemala through the many windows provided by her on Facebook showing the education and nutritional work of the organization. I also have helped fund a project and can see the value of a group whose founder is always next to the heartbeat of its activity. David Pack

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Almost two decades ago I fell in love with the people of Guatemala and a year ago I returned for a visit with my family and the love grew even more. After our visit we wanted to find a way to help the people there. We started looking into starting our own organization, but that was looking like a long road and we were unsure how to find people to help. Then a friend Introduced us to an organization they worked with, but we didn't get the response we were looking for at that time. After a failed attempt I found Adopt-a-Village in Guatemala and liked their Facebook page. We started off by sponsoring a student, but before we threw our dedication to this organization and sought to promote it we had to see it for ourselves. So this summer our little family, my wife, seven year old daughter and I, packed our bags and headed to La Maya Juaguar. It was such a great experience! It is hard for me to put it into words. We were able to meet Frances Dixon, the staff, one of the local board of directors and we were nothing but impressed with the vision and execution of this organization and we are even more in love with what they do after we say it first hand. I was able to work on some needed construction projects and with with the students. My wife and daughter helped in the kitchen, gathered eggs, work in the green house, taught some yoga and played UNO with the students.

We are grateful we found Adopt-a-Village and are excited to work with them. The work they do to promote education and to educate is priceless to the people of the region. All who are involved weather as a student, teacher, member of the local community, volunteer, donor Etc are better off for being a part of it.

Susanne N.

Donor

Rating: 5

This organization is amazing. The leader, Frances, works at a very grassroots level and all the money goes exactly where it's supposed to. A truly wonderful organization across the board.

8

Volunteer

Rating: 5

When I first traveled to Guatemala in 2007, I soon realized it was not enough to be a tourist! The Mayan people, even after 500 years of oppression, genocide, and tragedy, were so warm, friendly, and likeable. I discovered Adopt-A-Village, and joined by sponsoring two kids to help with their education and health. The next year, I went down again as a volunteer to find out more. Folks, this organization is for real! It works in an extremely remote region, largely among survivors and returnees from the civil war. (Most non-profits in the country cluster around the sexier, safer regions of Antigua and Atitlan.) It is a small, flexible responsive organization. They listen to the local leaders for guidance, and they respect traditional culture. There is no paid gringo staff. Not a dollar is wasted. In my three trips there, I have witnessed amazing new construction and networks. AAV-G doesn't dispense aid; it builds opportunities. I find that I am a better person for having become a volunteer.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been supporting Adopt-a-Village in Guatemala (AAV) for over 13 years as a donor and actually worked for them for a short while. If you want a charity that lifts up families, children and widows, you don't need to look any further. They give a hand up and not a handout. Their goal is simple, educate children who then go back into these remote villages and teach the villagers how to prepare a garden, how to start a garden and then grow food for their families. These students go back and teach other children how to read, nutrition, and animal husbandry. How to be self sufficient and learn skills that will benefit their families. Through sponsorship, it helps to pay for the teacher who then goes to these remote villages and teaches children that Guatemalan Government has forgotten. AAV brings in volunteers who provide medical and dental care. They have brought in carpenters who have taught villagers how to build. All of things are done in a quite and respectful manner so that it is not the Americans coming in to save them, but partnering with them to learn the skills they need to have a better life. AAV does not have a religious affiliation, but in my book what they are doing is what Christians should be doing, helping others less fortunate than themselves.

AAV runs on a shoestring so that donations are used to get as much value as they can. Money goes to the children and families and not some big wigs salary. This grassroots organization is incredible. I wholeheartedly recommend AAV as an organization you should get involved it.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My field is nursing. I volunteered for Adopt a Village in the remote NW corner of Guatemala in March, 2015.
I saw first hand the mentoring and support for the desperately poor
so they can grow nutritious food and learn life skills. Frances Dixon's program is carefully managed and well thought out. I saw first hand how far an annual child sponsorship gift of $250 goes and what a huge difference it can make. Maya Jaguar High School also created by Frances and her non profit is producing students who are continuing on to the university level and returning to the community to improve lives. A high school education is a rare opportunity/privilege for Mayan youth. One person can make a difference. Frances has devoted her life to these people for many years. She has built a solid foundation that promotes self reliance and well conceived projects that will benefit villages the most.
Her corner stone is education.. The school is planned for expansion so please, consider giving to Adopt a Village.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been following (and donating to) Adopt-a-Village in Guatemala for many years. Check out the website (http://adoptavillage.com/) and facebook (https://www.facebook.com/adoptavillageguatemala/timeline) and you can see that Frances and the charity are doing good work.

Harry9

Donor

Rating: 5

Adopt-a-Village in Guatemala has brought about historic improvement in the quality of life for the poorest citizens in a remote portion of the country, through agricultural, computer and general education. The former is helping alleviate long-term malnutrition and the latter efforts have opened the world to the program's students.

Sue_114

Donor

Rating: 5

Having lived in Guatemala for six months and having fallen in love with its people, I was delighted to meet Francis Dixon and learn of her work through friends in a local Rotary chapter. I am so impressed with the accomplishments of this organization and how it has helped rural indigenous people. While I usually donate to local non-profits, Adopt-a-Village in Guatemala is one non profit that I wholeheartedly support. I feel confident knowing that the money is going directly to the needed services. I hope to return to Guatemala some day and meet and see the amazing people and work that has been accomplished.

Cecilia7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I heard about this wonderful nonprofit from a local npr station. They were interviewing Francis the woman that started this org. They help the indigenous people of Guatemala that have been so neglected by their government. Adopt a village has been instrumental in teaching the farming skills needed to feed themselves, helping to dig wells and also have build a school to educate their children. They have brought real hope into these remote villages.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

We adopted our son from Guatemala 14 years ago and wanted to have some kind of a connection with the Mayan people there. We were fortunate to hear of Francis and her work with Adopt a Village, and began sponsoring a child. We have been amazed at what Francis and Adopt a Village have accomplished over the years. We are so happy to be a part of this work in our small way. Her leadership and vision, the great efforts of volunteers, and the participation of the Mayan people have made Adopt a Village successful and effective.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I met Francis Dixon through our Rotary Club. I am amazed at what she has been able to accomplish in so few years. I honor the work Adopt A Village does to help lift the Mayan people of Guatemala out of poverty through education and sustainable agriculture. This is a very worthy cause.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I became involved with Adopt-A-Village Guatemala and their Maya Jaguar High School through Rotary. I met Frances at a Rotary conference and the program she has lead is NOT a duplication of service and has built in sustainability. Education is THE way out of poverty and rather than trucking in donations to the marginalized, indigenous Mayans, AAV is working to re-teach them the ways of their ancestors--how to farm, what to farm, and how to cooks and prepare what you grow. The high school is teaching Mayan youth how to use computers and technology and agronomy and literacy so that they can work--not just subsist. This program is not a hand out, it is a hand up and donations are not a give away, they are in investment that brings a future.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

My wife and I have supported students for several years. We have recently received word that the first of our students has graduated. We believe that we are helping to make a difference by donating to a small, grass-roots organization that was begun by Frances Dixon about 20 years ago. We are pleased and confident that our dollars are used appropriately. It's amazing what has been accomplished by donors who have caught the vision of Adopt-a-Village. Be an agent of change by finding out more about this dynamic, growing program. Your gifts will make a difference. Every dollar matters.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

In February, I spoke at a reading conference in Guatemala and met three teachers from the Adopt-a-Village school. We talked about their school at dinner that night, and I am now scheduled to conduct some training for their teachers early next year. I will be a volunteer and pay my own expenses. I have also donated funds to the project. I am very impressed by the dedication of these teachers and of Frances Dixon, who gives leadership to the effort. I listed myself below as a volunteer, but I am also a donor and a professional with expertise in their field of endeavor.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

my niece was adopted from Guatemala and thus began a great admiration of the Mayan people. I sponsor a little boy myself, as does my sister, but I also have a student club at my school which fundraises for this organization. We sell Mayan crafts that Adopt A Village provides and are planning on other snack food sales and even hopefully a big Day of the Dead day at our school. Our club has been helping to sponsor a high school student at their Maya Jaguar high school. As I am a Spanish teacher, I also help translate letters from sponsored children, including Cristobal, our own high school scholarship student. We love this organization and we especially admire and love Frances Dixon!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Frances has been described to me as an Angel and she truly is. She gives unstintingly of her time and labour and I take my hat off to her.
I am a Rotary advisor to our local Interact club and her example has inspired the members to raise funds for the high school. Well done Frances.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Why do I support this wonderful organization?

1) "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." I love that Frances Dixon and other volunteers have implemented a Sustainable Gardening Program for Mayan families in NW Guatemala. The high school students at the Instituto T├ęcnico Maya Jaguar learn agronomy and go to various villages to teach their organic gardening skills.

2) I sponsor a child to help foster connections to my adopted daughter's homeland ($70 per quarter--that's affordable). I'm hoping that my sponsored child, Carla, can get have the opportunity to become educated like her sister, Estela, who has gotten a scholarship to continue her studies in the Nursing field. We need to see more women as leaders!

3) My sister volunteers by translating letters into Spanish. We have sold Guatemalan crafts for Adopt-a-Village in order to raise funds for high-school scholarships. There are many other volunteer opportunities that you can help with--fundraising--or behind the scenes. Help by spreading the word--invite people to their Facebook group, send them the link to the webpage (www.adoptavillage.com), or email Frances at
[email protected]

1 Maureen Smitt G.

Donor

Rating: 5

This organization has been doing wonderful work for the people of the Guatemalan Highlands for nearly 25 years. They have built numerous primary schools, and now even have a high school, which teaches sustained agriculture and computer literacy. Student go into the field and help families, especially widows and orphans, who are the poorest of the poor. Very little money is used for administrative expenses, most things are handled by volunteers. There is "no high paid CEO". It is run fron the heart buy the founder Francis Dixon, who has devoted her life to these forgotten Mayans.

Donor

Rating: 4

AaV Guatemala seems to operate with virtually all resources going to the support and education of the kids who receive our "scholarships". The regular letters from the young people, and personal contact with Frances (whom I've had the pleasure of sharing dinner with once) reassure us that this is a dedicated, truly nonprofit operation with very low overhead for what is given to the children.

1 Lee_50

Donor

Rating: 5

It started with a quest to find an organization to help a poor friend that we helped in the states after a devastating tornado. After months of researching and talking to Christian and non-Christian organizations that were no help at all, I found AAV-Guatemala. My Friend Tomas, lives in Northern Guatemala as well and Frances Dixon was the only person who would speak to me and offer her advice and resources. Over the last 3 years I have seen the amazing and miraculous things that AAV has done for the impoverished In the Northern region of Guatemala. This organization is not just an Adopt a child and forget about it type of place. They teach the students, who then go out and educate the villagers and teach them how to help themselves. IF more organizations would do this, I believe we would see a decline in poverty in so many poor nations. Frances Dixon had dedication her life to this cause. Her love for these people is unwavering. I am proud to support AAV in my small way. Fondly, lee Belanger

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I've been a sponsor of children for more than a decade, ranging from wee ones to a teenager seeking higher education. I never have any doubt of where my money is going, because Frances Dixon, the founder, provides daily updates and photos on Facebook. I receive photos and drawings from the children I sponsor, and the hands-on work of volunteers in to the Guatemalan communities is not about aid: it's about teaching skills and building a sustainable community. I give unhesitatingly and would encourage others to do the same.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Francis has created this nonprofit so that the funding goes directly to helping children and their families of Guatemala in a sustainable way. Every dollar I give I know makes an impact on helping. What this group does is amazing. They do make a difference!

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Doing essential work from the heart. Truly special.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Upon returning from a trip to Guatemala I searched for a grass roots organization that was assisting these people who are severely oppressed. Frances is truly dedicated to this cause and also takes the time to get to know the donors. The effort she spends connecting with me is why I have donated my services to the organization. I believe the work being done by AAV Guatemala is making a large impact in weakening the never ending cycle of poverty. There is so much joy in the pictures of the people that Frances is helping. This is in contrast with what I saw that prompted my search for her organization.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Frances is a compelling voice in the plight of the Mayans in Guatemala.

I first heard the story via Rotary. My wife and I were so taken by the need, adversity, and tenacity these people displayed in simply living from day to day. We are proud sponsors of two of the children, Alberto (7) and Claudia (5) and have donated to the general fund as well. Alberto wears a single large red cotton T-shirt, the only clothing he possesses. That is soon to change.

It takes very little to make a big difference in the lives of these people. I hope you choose to help make a difference as well.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

After adopting our Maya daughter, we wanted to give back to her home country. I did significant research and was impressed with the leadership, the amount of my donated that is provided to the Maya people and that the meet essential needs and keep expanding services. The ways to assist empower not enable. We have been supporting basic living, education and vocation for multiple children and their families/parents. We have been a part of this phenomenal nonprofit for almost seven years and have volunteered as a village coordinator. Wonderful nonprofit and leadership!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have faithfully donated to this good work for 7 years or so now and have also served as a volunteer coordinator to interface with donors and the children they support. Frances does a great work and I can vouch that she uses every penny donated to this cause to help children and families in Guatemala.

-Bryan Jenkins

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I met Frances Dixon, founder and CEO of Adopt a Village, three years ago when she joined the Rotary club I then attended. I was impressed with her single-minded focus on, and passion for, elevating the Mayan people. Over nearly 26 years as an unpaid leader, she's helped to build a web of support that emphasizes educating teens (and soon, pre-teens) for futures that include higher education. Sustainable agriculture, direct aid for widows and orphans, and literacy projects are also part of the non profit's work. My husband and I support a young man through AAV scholarship program. We are proud of him and of the agency that brought him out of the fields and into the classroom toward a brighter future for him, his family, and his rural community.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Getting involved with Adopt A Village Guatemala has been an honor and a joy. I love being able to see pictures of the little girl who I sponsor, and to hear stories about what life is like for her in her village. I love seeing the progress that's being made for her family and others, as a direct result of the contributions from Adopt A Village. And I love that there are so many ways I can choose to be involved. I started by just writing a check. Now I'm helping to organize fundraisers. I hope, eventually, that I will be able to go down to Guatemala and spend some time working next to the other volunteers, and meeting some of these beautiful people for myself. I wish there were more nonprofits getting the job done the way this one does, and I highly recommend them to anyone wanting to make a difference.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

About 8 years ago my family began sponsoring two young sisters whose father had died. We're no less than amazed to see how a little support gave these girls the opportunity to study and thrive. We receive frequent letters from and photos of the girls. My daughter, who we adopted from Guatemala, is very proud to contribute her own money towards our sponsorship. I plan to support children via Adopt A Village indefinitely.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I heard about this organization from a friend who had worked with them in Guatemala. He praised it so highly that I was inspired to "adopt" a village child. Unlike some sorts of charities this one is totally personal and you know all the money goes right to the people in need. There are no high salaries, high admin. costs, mailings, "gifts", etc.. I receive letters and photos from my child and have met Frances and trust her completely. This group empowers the Mayan people, teaches sustainable skills and respects the cultural integrity of the people it serves, no hidden agendas! Adopt a Village is the perfect charity.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Under the leadership of Francis Dixon, this amazing organization provides educational opportunities to empower Mayan youth. I cannot say enough about the integrity and dedication of this fine organization and all it has accomplished over the past 25 years to assist hundreds of Mayan families. My favorite nonprofit!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I really like this organization because it is small but achieves big things. As an all volunteer organization, almost all donations go to help some of the poorest people in Guatemala.