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Mujeres de Maiz Opportunity Foundation

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Civil Rights, Education, Educational Services, International, Women, Womens Rights

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 2018, we will be welcoming 24 girls and women on scholarship. Four of these scholarships are new, the rest are continuing. As of now, 5 recipients have completed university, and this year 4 are currently at the university level. We strongly believe that even one or two years of additional education opens up possibilities and empowers women. The 8 children's programs that are operating were conceived and run by the scholarship recipients as a way to give back to their communities. These programs strengthen academic skills, develop creativity and foster environmental stewardship. . We fund workshops, for the bi-monthly meetings of members of the cooperative. We also fund three 1 1/2-day workshops per year that focus on the scholarship recipients. We provide eye exams and glasses to all members of the cooperative . We have donated a laptop to each community, 3 laptops to the women's center and we buy new laptops as needed. In the past 5 years, completed projects include: the purchase of a building that serves as the women's center in San Cristobal de Las Casas; a project that provided 20 families with eco-friendly latrines; and an adult literacy program that lasted 6 years in a remote community. In our 13 years of working with this weaving cooperative, we have seen that women and girls have found their voice, value their opinions, value their work, and are assuming leadership roles in the cooperative and in their communities. The scholarship recipients serve as role models for the younger girls. More and more are postponing marriage and having children until a much later age than before.

Target demographics: Indigenous women and children who live in poverty.

Direct beneficiaries per year: Approximately 150

Geographic areas served: 12 communities in the highlands of Chiapas, Mexcio

Programs: Scholarships, Zinacantan Chilren's program, Crucero Saturday Children's Program, Altamirano Children's Program, Ocosingo Children's Program, Huixtan Children's Program, Naranjal Children's Program, Las Ollas Children's Program, Yajalon Children's Program, Eye exams and glasses, Computers, 20 eco-friendly latrines (completed), Twice a year toothbrushes and paste, Workshops

Community Stories

121 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been a supporter of the Mujeres de Maiz Opportunity Foundation since it began. I am in my third year as a board member.

What strikes me the most is how excited the women and girls are about education. Those who have received scholarships from the foundation come back to their community and educate others. It is a perpetual cycle of learning and teaching. These women and girls are a great example for all of us.

The foundation is grateful for our supporters. Th funds we raise help raise the level of education and opportunity for the women and girls in Chiapas.

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Donor

Rating: 5

The Mujeres de Maiz Opportunity Foundation provides opportunities to women and girls to improve their lives. I learned of this organization through my local Soroptimist club. We have been giving money to the foundation since their first year. Their mission closely matches the mission of Soroptimist. The Mujeres group has a proven track record of living their mission. They don’t just give lip-service; they take action and get things done. Many of the girls who have become educated have passed along what they have learned to other women and girls. Like a pebble in a stream, the effect continues to spread. There is a definite impact. As the women are educated they get stronger, as individuals and as a community.

This past year, Judith Pasco, the Board Chair, published a book. It includes some of her experiences in Mexico. I attended Judith’s first book reading/signing. I believe that the Mujeres de Maiz Opportunity Foundation was not just merely part of the book. I believe it is the experiences of what the foundation has done for the women in Mexico that inspired Judith to go within herself, where she discovered the story and the courage to put it into print. It is exciting to see the power of the ripple!

Donor

Rating: 5

Each year I happily anticipate Mujeres de Maiz local fund raising events because they are either fun, delicious, musical, inspiring, educational or all of the above. They are at once community outreach events and Mujeres family of supporters celebrations. And there is another component--I treasure updates of the programs and the young women as both mature over time. I love recognizing women I met as girls when I visited Chiapas some years ago; I cheer for their accomplishments such as university degrees, and I marvel at their creative ideas and energies in continuing and creating new programs to meet their current needs and those of their communities. And I'm in awe that this is happening because volunteers in my hometown care passionately about empowering women in a rural community who are discriminated against because of ethnicity, gender, and poverty.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is a wonderful foundation that helps young girls and women fulfill their dreams. The group that started this have done amazing programs with the ladies and many have moved on to achieve their goals. I have helped on a few of their fundraisers and the people involved are so caring and focused on their goals to keep this foundation going. Props to all the individuals that support Mujeres de Maiz.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is a fabulous nonprofit the educated women and girls in Chiapas, Mexico. I was introduced to this group a few years ago and have volunteered at various fundraising events that they have hosted. I hope for continued support for this nonprofit in the coming year.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Mujeres de Maiz Opportunity Foundation has a dedicated board of directors, a wonderful community of supporters, and most importantly, a cause that is so worth supporting.

When I read their newsletters and attend their events I am amazed at how many women and girls lives have been transformed through the programs and services the foundation sponsors. Eye exams and reading glasses were provided first to the women of the cooperative after we realized some of them had very poor eyesight. Then we provided laptops so they could access resource material and communicate beyond their communities. Their bi-monthly meetings host speakers on a wide range of topics, including family planning, relationships, substance abuse, tools for marketing goods, current events, etc. They are continuously learning.

The girls we sponsor on scholarship also have access to eye exams and glasses. They have learned Spanish so they continue their education.
Many have gone on to complete high school and some have gone on to university and become nurses and teachers. Some work in law advocating for women's, children's and human rights. Their education has helped them start small businesses, sell the sewing and weaving that the women of the cooperative create and has increased their capacity for empowerment. With empowerment, they have found a key to open doors they would never have imagined.

There has grown a warm, caring, and respectful collaboration between Mujeres de Maiz Cooperative in Chiapas, MX, Mujeres de Maiz Opportunity Foundation in Sequim, WA, and the supporters and donors around the world that make the work possible. This 3-way partnership has achieved so much more than anything we could have dreamed. It has opened and joined hearts, minds and hands. And Wallets!

As one of the founding board members for 12 years, I can attest to the accountability, resourcefulness, and competency that all three groups of people bring to make this non-profit effectively achieve goals. I continue to support this very worthwhile endeavor. Your donation is a great investment in our collective future.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Mujeres de Maiz Opportunity Foundation is making a big difference in the lives of young women and children of Chiapas, by creating educational opportunities, by supporting development of skills, and by encouraging scholarship recipients to give back to their local communities. I have seen firsthand the difference this kind of caring and support has made, and am glad to have been able to be a part of it!

Board Member

Rating: 5

This organization is very efficient in it's use of funds, keeping operational costs low yet with maximum impact to participants in their Southern Mexico communities.

Mujeres de Maiz Opportunity Foundation is fortunate to have a wonderful director, Carmen, to organize programs locally and meet with the girls/women. Much of the success achieved by the scholarship recipients can be attributed to Carmen's work.

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Board Member

Rating: 5

With many years of experience with this fine non-profit, I can say that the money raised and sent to the young women in Chiapas is used very efficiently. All the recipients earn their scholarship money by doing required community service projects such as early childhood education projects in their home communities. For many of the recipients, the results have been life - changing in very positive ways. I'm proud to be a part of this foundation.

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suzihagen

Donor

Rating: 5

Education is a vital part of empowering women and girls, and providing them with access to educational opportunities is Mujeres de Maiz Opportunity Foundation's mission. I appreciate that the foundation focuses on one area where it can have an impact. I am happy to support the foundation's work.

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Donor

Rating: 5

A friend introduced me to Mujeres de Maiz because of my work with women and girls overseas. MdM gives more value for the donation than any I’m aware of. And their work is first rate. Grassroots efforts are the most effective in creating change, and empowering women and girls is the most effective means.

Margot H.

Donor

Rating: 5

Every year I look foward to seeing the slides from Chiapas and hearing the wonderful progress reports. It is amazing what a small group from the Olympic Peninsula can do.

The latest was a sale of masks made in Chiapas. Proceeds will support the scholarships.Due to the Covid 19 Chiapas is unable to sell the beautiful flowers they grow, so they have lost that sourse of revenue.



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Donor

Rating: 5

I am so impressed with the organization and amazed with all they do one on one. I look forward to the annual dinner as we get to hear the latest news and see photos of the women we are helping.
Margot Hewitt - Sequim

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Donor

Rating: 5

I learned of this foundation several years ago and recently became involved on a personal level. The foundation supports and promotes education of girls and women who would otherwise advance educationally to at most grade school. This organization has granted educational scholarships to girls and women with the result of physicians, teachers, nurses and other professionals returning in service to their community. As a woman who pursued my education through the doctoral level with similar support, I wholeheartedly encourage others to recognize and promote this amazing foundation and its works.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I've written many newspaper articles about the Mujeres de Maiz Opportunity Foundation in the 14 years since it began. So I've witnessed the conscientious work of the board members and volunteers. I've also attended the organization's fundraisers. These events are simple and completely volunteer-run, so there's no fat on them.

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Donor

Rating: 5

I've attended fundraisers for Mujeres de Maiz, and have seen how hard the board members and other volunteers work. They listen carefully to the women with whom they work, and then partner with them to develop the programs that are most needed.
By funding scholarships for girls and women in rural Chiapas, Mujeres de Maiz is helping provide the tools for community development -- on the people's terms. The "scholarship girls" know best what their communities need, and when they are fortified with education, they are able to address those needs. So the scholarships benefit the whole society.

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Board Member

Rating: 5

At the November fundraiser letters from several of the scholarship recipients were read. Those in attendance were quiet as the words of appreciation touched their hearts. The work of the Mujeres deMaiz Opportunity Foundation is invaluable. It changes lives for the better - and not just the lives of the women and girls in Chiapas, Mexico. It changes the lives of all who support this organization. I am grateful to be one of those supporters.

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Board Member

Rating: 5

The Mujeres de Maiz Opportunity Foundation has a proven track record of living their mission to empower indigenous women in Chiaps by providing access to education. Many of the girls who have become educated have passed along what they have learned to other women and girls. Like a pebble in a stream, the effect continues to spread. There is a definite impact. As the women are educated they get stronger as individuals and as a community. I was amazed by how organized the women are who are running the workshops in Chiapas; their documentation is quite in-depth and shows their dedication and focus. For years I have been a general supporter of the Mujeres group. Now, as a new board member, I get to support the organization at a deeper level. It is refreshing to recognize and be a small part of the ripple.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

We traveled to Chiapas with Judith, visited "her gals", are fully convinced of the good the organization does, and have contributed financially ever since. Highly recommend it!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

There are very few small non-profits like this who place an emphasis on literacy programs and providing scholarships for educating indigenous girls starting in 6th grade. I am blessed to have met Yolanda (Yoli), the first scholarship recipient in 2006, and visit her home several years later. She completed her university degree in 2013 and was the only indigenous representative from Mexico at the United Nations Youth Forum last year! I am honored to support them this little organization who is making a powerful difference not only in these young women's lives and communities, but in our world.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have continued to be a board member of Mujeres de Maiz Opportunity Foundation because I embrace the goals, Integrity and work of the organization. I have seen firsthand the effects of improved educational opportunities in the lives of those in the communities of the girls and women of Chiapas.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I think that Mujeres de Maiz is a fantastic organization because it supports indigenous women and young girls in a country dominated by both machismo and racism. The support is given in a way so that the women can carry out their dreams without leaving their homeland and in a way so that they stay in their culture. I have personally visited Chiapas and seen the work done by this organization first-hand.

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General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Jeg har fulgt Mujeres de Maiz Opportunity Foundation gennem nogle år. Jeg må sige at deres arbejde har gjort et stort indtryk på mig. For det første synes jeg det er virkelig genialt at hjælpe mennesker som forbliver i deres eget miljø og deres egen kultur. For det andet kræves der at de mennesker som får hjælp, selv skal gøre en indsats, således at det bliver muligt for dem at realisere nogle af deres drømme. For det tredie er det meget vigtigt at det er piger og kvinder der bliver hjulpet, så det måske er muligt at nedbryde nogle af machosamfundets barrierer. Bestyrelsen i Mujeres de Maiz Opportunity Foundation gør et stort og uselvisk arbejde, og har samtidig forstået at organisere indsatsen ved hjælp af lokale, meget effektive medarbejdere.

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Donor

Rating: 5

I have known the founders of this amazing organization for many years. My husband and I, many friends and I believe some local organizations support them. We have attended their fundraisers, which as well as being great social occasions, provide lots of information and updates, pics and films, about their work and the achievements of many of the women and children in Chiapas, where the foundation operates. I can't over-emphasize the importance of the work they do, in lifting up the very poor people of this region, providing training, health assistance, education and so much more support. Every birthday, I ask my husband that my gift be a donation to them in my name. These are a capable, dedicated group of people.

Donor

Rating: 5

This fabulous group of women truly saw a need and addressed it with all of their hearts. Their organization and dedication to the indigenous women and girls of Chiapas is amazing. The reports, photos and stories of the successes of the women with their schooling and cooperative businesses have kept the community the founding women hail from engaged and supportive. We all look forward to fundraising events to hear more. We feel like we are touching the lives of the girls and women, like we are really a part of their lives. The organization is a model to be copied and shared.

Eric R.5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have worked directly with Mujeres de Maiz Opportunity Foundation, helping with events and even traveling to Mexico to experience for myself the great work this organization accomplishes. The time spent in Mexico, visiting the communities supported by the Foundation was wonderful. The communities had full trust in the representatives and were eager to share their experiences. Mujeres de Maiz is an excellent non-profit. Not only do they provide education and other resources to the communities and children, the donations received go directly towards supporting their continued work.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been associated with and a donor of "Mujeres" for nearly 10 years now, and have been to San Csristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, and surrounding communities, several times. The work that this small group of dedicated and passionate people do is amazing. The education of the indigenous girls /women is making a difference in their world and ours . The children growing up with mothers who are educated past the 4th grade and some into university, are finding worth and value in themselves that they may not have otherwise. The education and community that has been built had provided worth beyond imagination. This is indeed a worthy organization! (Obviously my "word for this day" is Worth and well deserved!)

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General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The results of the work that happens from this organization has been astounding to see over the years. Several of the original scholarship recipients have gone on to university and have brought back their knowledge to the communities and have gone on to provide more education to their small communities. The seeds have been planted and have flourished due to our original support and the opportunities provided to the indigenous women. I LOVE supporting this organization!

Cathy V.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I went to Chiapas to see how the Mujeres de Maiz Opportunity Foundation works: who the recipients are, how they live, what they do with the opportunities they are given. I saw poor, indigenous girls who had few prospects for a better life until they got more education and I saw how they used what they learned to benefit themselves, their families, and their communities when they had the opportunity to continue with their schooling.
Later, I joined the board of directors and I have become even more impressed. This is a well-run organization that has a much bigger impact than you would expect from a small non-profit.

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Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been involved with Mujeres de Maiz (women of corn) Opportunity Foundation for a number of years, beginning with a trip to Chiapas with the founder and board chairman, Judith Pasco, where we visited the programs supported by the foundation. I later joined the board of directors. Volunteers and supporters raise money to help pay for education for indigenous women and children in the poorest state in Mexico. I have seen how these women live, been to their homes and eaten with them, and I have seen what a difference education makes for them and for their families and communities. The ripple effect of education for women is impressive, and Mujeres helps make it happen in an efficient and cost-effective way.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

Clearly dedicated volunteers continue to lead, guide and help this non-profit in providing opportunities for young women in Chiapas to achieve great things.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Mujeres de Maiz is the kind of organization my husband and I like to support...instead of just handing out money, Mujeres changes lives by enabling and encouraging the indigenous women of Chiapas, Mexico, to get an education and, thus, better their lives as well as the lives of their children. Sandy Reed

Board Member

Rating: 5

For many years I've been impressed with the effectiveness and positive impact that this organization has on the lives of young women in Chiapas. Supporting this organization helps to deliver cost-effective assistance to those who wish to continue their education, and has made a real, tangible difference in the lives of many already. Even more, in recent years the kind of support has expanded to include providing eye exams and eyeglasses, supporting educational workshops, and much more!

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have enjoyed getting to help with the annual Mujeres de Maiz dinner over the years. It is always great food, a fun event, educational, and best of all helps provide educational opportunities for women in Chiapas.

Liam D A.

Donor

Rating: 5

Thirty years ago, we travelled through Chiapis and were impressed by the beauty, culture, crafts, people and complex politics of the area. A few decades later, we learned a group of our neighbors and friends had formed a foundation to support immediate needs and empower the women, children and communities of Chiapis. Although the Mujeres de Maiz Opportunity Foundation is a few individuals, their impact has been large and local. Our community in Washington state learns about foundation's efforts and accomplishments as we provide support to our neighbors serving the foundation.
The women and families reached by Mujeres' programs demonstrate success and brighten the future for their local communities. In this case, small is truly beautiful - a small group of dedicated volunteers through Mujeres has been amazingly effective in enhancing the beauty we and people of Chiapis experience in our lives.

Donor

Rating: 5

This organization uses every donated dollar better than any non-profit I know which is important to me when I consider donating to important causes.

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Donor

Rating: 5

The board works so hard that I know my donation dollars to Mujeres de Maiz will go further than at any other charity.

Donor

Rating: 5

The Mujeres de Maiz Opportunity Foundation was born in and of the hearts of just a few women from Sequim, WA, who saw a need in Chiapas, Mexico. These women do an incredible job, but that’s because their hearts are in it. They money they raise goes a long way because they know how to maximize it, and they know what is most important. They have improved the lives of not only the women and girls who they’ve assisted and educated, but also the lives of their families and their communities. The scholarships and training the organization provides are like pebbles dropped into the water—the ripple effect keeps on going. Girls who have gone thru schooling now help instruct others. Those who have received, gladly decide to give back. It is a continuous cycle of education, hope and caring. I whole-heartedly support this organization and what they do.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Mujeres de Maiz Opportunity Foundation is an amazing grassroots organization. When I donate money and time, I know it is going directly to educate young indigenous women on many levels. They are given opportunities they wouldn't normally have, and with their education they are also able to give back to their communities, encouraging others to further their education.
Also, when board members take trips to Chiapas (at their own expense), they transport much needed donated items (i.e. toothbrushes, eyeglass frames) to the communities they visit and are able to see the effects of the foundation's efforts firsthand.

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Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

Donor

Rating: 5

As a former teacher, I want to support a charity that is efficiently run and that empowers women and girls through education. Mujeres de Maiz is just such an organization. The board members all volunteer considerable time and energy on fundraisers in order to provide scholarships and educational programs for the women and children of Chiapas, Mexico. The foundation distributes an annual newsletter to supporters clearly depicting programs and services provided by the donations. Mujeres de Maiz is an excellent foundation and very worthy of support.

Donor

Rating: 5

I continue to be amazed by the work Mujeres de Maiz has done over time.
They currently have 21 girls & women on scholarship. Education is changing their lives & positively benefiting indigenous communities in Chiapas as the scholarship recipients share information & teach children. The boardmembers do not take salaries so all their fundraising goes for the benefit of the program.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been fortunate to have traveled to Chiapas to see the work of the foundation firsthand. I witnessed those that had received scholarships from Mujeres de Maiz and graduated from school, return to their community and are now teaching others. While I visited, a pediatrician from the US which had worked with Doctors Without Borders was teaching the woman about prenatal care and answering questions. The foundation continues to supply tooth brushes and teach dental hygiene. They also provide optometrist visits so those that may have never had the opportunity to get glasses can get them. The foundation has not only provided a path for individual growth, it has created an environment where students become the teachers and continue supporting their community.

Mujeres de Maiz Opportunity Foundation is also one of the few nonprofits that directs nearly all donations to the people it's meant for. Expense of running the foundation is kept to a minimum with none of the foundation members receiving salaries for their time and efforts.

I am fortunate and proud to have had the opportunity to experience firsthand what a wonderful organization Mujeres de Maiz is. I have and will continue to donate my time, money and resources to this foundation as it continues to support the education of others and uses the donations it receives to directly benefit the people it's intended for.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

In December 2010 I had the pleasure of traveling to San Cristobal where I had a wonderful experience learning more about the work the Mujeres De Maiz Opportunity Foundation performs. The educational opportunities reach not only the local woman but the lessons learned are taken back to multiple states within Mexico. The outreach and focus to work with a culture and not change it was great to see. The foundation is truley there to support and educate. Mujeres De Maiz Opportunity Foundation might be a smaller organization but its ability to change so many lives it grand.

Donor

Rating: 5

I can't think of a charitable organization where the donated dollar goes further. This group has funded so many indigenous women and girls through their education. These scholarships follow their recipients for as long as the women stay in school. This has been such a life changer in these communities. Perhaps best of all, the local peoples are asked what they would like help with, instead of having outsiders impose projects on the communities. I can't recommend this organization highly enough.

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Donor

Rating: 5

One of the qualities that I love the most about this organization is that they LISTEN. Instead of coming into a community and announcing what they will provide, they take the time to hear what is needed. What an enormous contribution they have made by listening and serving!

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have just returned from Chiapas where Mujeres de Maiz Opportunity Foundation partners with indigenous Mayan women by providing educational opportunities to individuals and groups. Over the last decade plus, the women have taken advantage of the support our donors give them. Among the scholarship recipients one can find a university graduate in nursing, another in English, and a third in computers, as well as several younger girls who are just finishing elementary or middle school. The effect of the success of these women encourages other girls to pursue what, at one time, might have been a dream but now can become a reality for them. However, what our supporters don't get to experience first hand is the heartfelt gratitude the women and their families express in words and hugs and sometimes even tears to us fortunate enough to be able to meet with them every summer. Mujeres de Maiz OF is a frugal organization. Our donations go a long way in providing the women with a path to a better life for themselves, their family and their community. Mujeres de Maiz is a top charity to support if you value education and gender equality and if you continue to have hope that everyone's future deserves to be better.

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Board Member

Rating: 5

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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Volunteer

Rating: 5

Mujeres de Maiz does more with the money they receive than any other non-profit we donate to.
They have an all-volunteer board and exceptional community support. As a non-profit working in Chiapas, Mexico, Mujeres does not decide what to fund. The women of the weaving cooperatives decide what their needs are. Mujeres de Maiz has funded education for women and children, helped in procuring a permanent building designed by the women for workshops and meetings, provided eyeglasses, helped with a latrine building project and much more. One of the rewarding things that has happened is that some of the “girls” who were provided scholarships have returned and are working to support the programs. The participants decided they needed to help in developing and instructing a children’s program. The programs continue to grow for a population that is often neglected in their own country. I am proud to be a volunteer and donor of Mujeres de Maiz.

Martha23

Donor

Rating: 5

After 11 years, Mujeres de Maiz continues to change lives of, not only indigenous women, but entire families and communities in San Cristobal Chiapas, one of the poorest countries in Mexico. Providing scholarships to continue education after 5th grade is life changing. As the young women have continued their education, they have started children's programs in their own communities. I am thrilled to know the impact that my donations make.

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Donor

Rating: 5

Mujeres de Maiz is an organization that not only changes lives it speaks to the soul of those on both the receiving side and the giving side and you wonder who's really giving and who's really receiving. I have been involved with Mujeres since it's inception and friends with Judith Pasco even longer. I have been down to San Cristobal several times and have experienced the beauty, the poverty, the injustices and the dedication the young women in the cooperative have to better themselves. The day we took them for eye exams, and most were fitted with new glasses, was literally eye-opening for them and humbling for us. It was a day filled with giggles! You donations will be honored and well invested in helping to change lives of these remarkable indiginis women with compassion respect. If you haven't already, I encourage you to read "Somewhere for my Soul to Go" by Judith Pasco, then you'll get it.

cblaze

Donor

Rating: 5

Mujeres de Maiz gives people hope and fosters the determination needed to plan for a future. Many of these women never anticipated a better life for themselves and/or their children. It is such a heart warming experience knowing that Mujeres de Maiz provides education and a attainable goals for these families. My life is enriched by associating with the board and Judith Pasco. What an inspiration!

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Donor

Rating: 5

The Mujeres de Maiz has improved the lives of so many women and girls. They now have hopes and dreams that will become a reality. As they strive to attain their educational goals, they are role models and tutors for the younger generation. Entire communities can begin to sustain themselves. The ripple effect brings promise and fuels the desire to reach for a better life.

It is my pleasure to support this fabulous foundation; it truly Makes A Difference in all the lives it touches.

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puzzlejan

Donor

Rating: 5

I continue to donate to this organization because they have a proven record of making a difference in the lives of indigenous women in Chiapas, Mexico. They have provided opportunities for women to access education, and their program includes provision for recipients to pass on what they learn to other members of their community. They have built a program designed to meet specific needs identified by the women of the community, and they have built a local leadership base. The work of this foundation is a good model for other programs.

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Donor

Rating: 5

As a retired social worker, I recognize the qualities of an effective organization, and Mujeres de Maiz Opportunity Foundation provides assistance in an effective and empowering manner. The organization focuses on needs identified by the women they serve, and these women are involved in the design and review of these services. Women in the community receive support in attaining their education, and then they are expected to provide assistance to others through teaching Saturday school, through leading workshops, and through participation in community events. The wholistic programs serve the academic needs of the scholarship recipients, the physical needs by funding eye glasses, the social needs by providing community events and a community center, and the wellness needs by funding eco-friendly latrines.

Donor

Rating: 5

Judith Pasco, a Spanish teacher, founded Mujeres de Maiz 11 years ago to help impoverished, undereducated women in Chiapas, Mexico. This local charitable organization has grown over the years, providing scholarships for education, offering literacy classes, reading glasses, computers and classes in using them, and training local women to do most of the teaching and now managing the ongoing daily work of the organization. ALL of the money raised by Mujeres de Maiz goes to the work in Mexico, as the founder and board in the U.S. have always worked as volunteers.
I have given to many different non-profits over the years, but this is the most worthy of them all, in my opinion. These devoted women have truly made a positive difference in the lives of rural girls & women in Chiapas, Mexico, empowering them to make a lasting difference in their communities.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

For many years now, my sister has been involved with Mujeres. We have talked often of her experiences--visiting Chiapas, local fundraising efforts, her Board responsibilities. Clearly, the Mujeres programs in Chiapas have a profoundly positive impact on that community. When my sister asked me last year if I would volunteer to keep the books for the organization, I enthusiastically agreed. I am proud to do my part to support the dedicated people that run this organization, all the volunteers, the donors, and especially the women of Chiapas that benefit so greatly from Mujeres.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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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Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have traveled to Chiapas and have witnessed first hand the wonderful work this charity does. Our church has donated money to this group every year since 2007. We pick out non-profit organizations that are well managed, that give most of the donated money in direct services to the target group with very little overhead, and that provides maximun benefit to the people served. This group qualifies on all these points.

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Donor

Rating: 5

Our church has sponsored this organization since its inception. I became interested in the project and visited the indigenous villages where work was being done. I met a couple of the women who received scholarships, visited the sewing cooperative and had workshops to inform me of the current issues facing the women and girls in the villages.

Almost all of the money donated goes to the services for the women.

Board Member

Rating: 5

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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Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

Linda S.

Donor

Rating: 5

Mujeres de Maiz is an awesome organization dedicated to help educate, empower and mentor the indigenous women/girls through out the San Cristobal de la Casas area in the Chiapas state of Mexico. The continued support through the years of this group is inspiring. Donations are never used frivolously.....all support is used where intended, the continued support of these beautiful women/girls. Some years ago it was my privilege to meet some of the women and children being empowered through the support of Mujeres, it was a beautiful to see lives enhanced through education that was not available in the past. The best part is that this is all paid forward because as each young woman blossoms she in turn gives back to her community!! The opportunities that are opened for these women/girls touches my heart. I know there are many organizations helping to empower, but Mujeres remains at the top of my list.

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Donor

Rating: 5

This organization continues to be among the most dedicated in their outreach to help with the education and life building skills for the young women of Chiapas Mexico. The women now have their own building in town for gathering and to showcase their crafts. The dedication of each volunteer and the Board is amazing....sponsoring multiple fundraisers annually that have helped so many. Not only do each of the scholarship recipients receive an education that otherwise would be unattainable, but then each gives back to their community in amazing ways.... classes for the children, helping their peers and increasing awareness of each person being able to better their life situation.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Mujeres de Maiz Opportunity Foundation is a great nonprofit. I have had the opportunity to participate in a few fundraisers and have been continually impressed with the foundation and its achievements.

Board Member

Rating: 5

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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Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This organization is unique in that it supports a multitude of areas: the arts, women's rights, protecting native culture, education, and social justice all in one! By donating or volunteering with this organization you are able to see the fruits of your labor go directly to those in need--the women themselves, rather than going through the politics of a larger nonprofit with a bunch of middleman "hidden" fees that strip the donation down only to a small direct portion. This organization donates what it says! This nonprofit organization has a mission to spread through money, resources and volunteer time--to enhance qualities of life all humanity should experience: education, healthcare, emotional wellbeing and hope for a better future. Knowing many of the board members of this organization well, I can assure you that this organization is only going to grow bigger, hleping more women in need each year. Please join their movement and donate! Thank you.

Donor

Rating: 5

I was so impressed by reading Judith Pasco's book, 'Somewhere for My Soul to Go' that we read her book in my book club and invited Judith to speak with us about her work. In both her book and in person, she charmed us with her stories and inspired us all to find our own passion and apply it to a cause we love. She and her organization have provided an outstanding model of how to do this...they have improved the lives of indigenous women and girls in Chiapas in the 8 years since Mujeres de Maiz was created. This organization is well worth supporting because of the vital work they do.

Donor

Rating: 5

Mujeres de Maiz is an awe-inspiring organization, founded on the desire of one woman, Judith Pasco, to help the underprivileged women of rural Chiapas, Mexico. Over the years her organization has helped many worthy young women to complete their educations, improved literacy, provided vision care and dental hygiene supplies to those in need, offered empowerment to oppressed women and teaching to their children. Through their work, the women in the villages Mujeres de Maiz serves have become increasingly self-sufficient, self-confident and created cohesive groups to support personal growth among their members.
Amazingly, all this work has been done by dedicated volunteers, there are NO salaried employees of the foundation, and 100% of donations go directly to helping the women and children of Chiapas. Fundraising is mainly done through an annual community dinner with live and silent auctions and an annual concert, "Men with Guitars."
This is by far my favorite charity EVER, and worthy of any support you can offer.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been donating to this organization from the very beginning. I have always been impressed by their fundraising events accompanied by their emphasis on education to the supporters of the work that they do. They are very committed to the women of Chiapas and they empower people to make decisions on the paths they will follow and not tell them how to do it. They educate and support without dictating. The Board is all volunteer and I always feel my donated dollar is being wisely used!

Sarah83

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This past year, I read Executive Director Judith Pasco's Book "Somewhere for my soul to go"about her journey to create the Mujeres de Maiz Opportunity Foundation and it inspired me in my own journey to create a children's education program. The compassion, humor and humility that this organization embodies is fantastic and an inspiration to our local and global community. I hope we can all link together in helping each other, one pair of reading glasses, one composting toilet, and one community dinner at a time. I have enjoyed every one of the Mujeres de Maiz fundraising events I have attended, it is always a fun, relaxing and well organized event. Thank you for the work you do.

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Client Served

Rating: 5

I love this organization. The donations they receive go directly to helping the women and girls in the Guatemalan cooperative. I have traveled with this organization as well to see some of the rural communities affected by their work and was impressed with the professionalism and compassion towards these communities. I highly recommend this group for anyone wishing to donate, get involved or travel with this group.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been excited about Mujeres since it was created several years ago! In 2013 my husband and I lived in San Cristobal for a couple of months and we visited some of the recipients and stayed overnight in their home. As a retired community college employee I am especially proud of the educational parts of the programs. It is also a triumph that the organization has now bought a building! Mujeres is grass roots and very special!!

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Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I met and got to know Judith Pasco over 20 years ago on a global education trip to Nicaragua. It is clear to me that this non profit was founded with soul, compassion, intelligence, understanding and most important a great respect for the integrity of the people it supports and serves.

Donor

Rating: 5

After returning from a trip to Chiapas in 2011 with a few board members and others like me who were curious about this vibrant non-profit Mujeres de Maiz Opportunity Fund, I amazed myself: I created my first digital photo album! I wanted to tell everyone I knew what an incredible, insightful, inspiring, dynamic program this is. How could I introduce my friends to Yollie, Juana, America, Christina, and other young women who now go to school and university because they have earned scholarships, who mentor children and adults in their own communities, who are learning how to create economic opportunities through computer skills, who share knowledge about health-care practices in their home towns, who support each other in recognizing their dignity and self-worth and their right to be respected and to participate in making decisions that affect their lives and families? And this photo story needs to be in bright colors, because these women also work long hours as weavers, on backstrap looms, kneeling on the ground, creating apparel of exceptional beauty.
The story of Mujeres de Maiz keeps spreading because we can't stay quiet about it; and now I have a story book in living color to share!

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General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My husband and I have been casual supporters of Mujeres de Maiz Opportunity Foundation for four years because we have listened to and been impressed by the story from the founder, board members, and other participants in our community. It is an amazing opportunity to participate in conversations and contributions and activities with a group of people who are passionate about the people they serve, who know these people personally, and who engage with them in discerning the projects that will best achieve the Foundation's goals. Then, this past December, I traveled to Chiapas, Mexico, with several other supporters and a couple of Board members, on a tour arranged and led by Judith Pasco, Founder. We celebrated the Guadalupana with the women of the cooperative; we visited several of the communities; we participated in the Saturday school program that two of the Mujeres scholarship participants have established in their home town; we sat down to lunch in one of the homes around a gaily painted table; we watched a demonstration of weaving with a back-strap loom, which many fo the women use to make products for sale to support their schooling and families; we noticed that some of the women now wear eyeglasses because a need was identified and subsequently eye exams were provided and glasses supplied as prescribed; and we met with the on-site coordinator who represents the Foundation and brings the Mayan women of Chiapas and the women of Sequim, Washington together to create and nurture opportunities for higher education, better health, and improved economic opportunity. Now I know that what "Mujeres" is achieving in partnership with these Mayan women of Chiapas is so much more than what I had expected, and the experience enriches every participant. I can never again be a "casual" supporter.

Virginia13

Donor

Rating: 5

Mujeres de Maiz Opportunity Foundation has accomplished a lot in seven years. The indigenous women and girls who are scholarship recipients are also enriching their communities by creating and teaching workshops and classes. So the educational benefits continue to enrich lives. The board works with tireless enthusiasm throughout the year as volunteers. All funds raised go to support programs.

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General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

Mujeres de Maiz exemplifies grass roots organization; it is a small group of very hard working and dedicated people who have an absolutely clear vision of their mission. They work long hours to raise money and fairly distribute it to the indigenous women of Chiapas with yard sales, musical and holiday presentations, dinners, solicitations of donations, newsletters. The women of Chiapas must design the projects that require funding they request and remain accountable for the success of the projects. Equally, the small size of Mujeres de Maiz keeps it accountable to the community that supports it. I believe that not a dollar is wasted.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been involved in one way or another with Mujeres since it's inception. I've traveled to San Cristobal de las Casas a couple of time and have been there when scholarships were given to the young indigenous women and witnessed the pride. I have experienced the excitement and enthusiasm for learning at the cooperative. This organization is making a difference in lives and I'm proud to be a supporter and "Friend" of Mujeres.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have traveled twice to San Cristobal de las Casas & had exceptional experiences with this organization, and thus the remarkable young women who are recipients. The educational opportunities that are being provided to young indigenous women by Mujeres de Maiz Opportunity Foundation with small amounts of money is amazing and the women are so appreciative. The money goes so far. I would encourage you to find out more about Mujeres de Maiz and when you do you will want to participate any way you can. I believe that educating women makes a huge difference in their family and their community and this organization does just that.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I traveled to Chiapas with my Grandmother (board member) and several other board members a few years ago to visit with the women of the cooperative and see the work that is being done by them and the foundation. I have gone on many cultural trips and this was by far the most rewarding, the Mujeres Foundation is inspirational in what they have been able to accomplish in a relatively short period of time in Chiapas. I greatly enjoyed the meeting the women of the cooperative and was struck by their dedication to education and also to give back to their communities. I support this foundation regularly and would encourage others to do the same!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

As the first Board Secretary (who resigned after five years for health reasons), the opportunity to be a part of the formation and growth of Mujeres de Maiz Opportunity Foundation has been a life-enriching experience. Watching the women and girls in the cooperative in Chiapas that we partner with take advantage of educational opportunities and become more self-confident and competent over the years means that our foundation is living up to its mission statement and helping to change more and more women's lives for the better. This quote by Larry Summers, economist, expresses my sentiments: "Investment in girls' education may well be the highest return investment available in the developing world."

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been actively supporting this organization for only a few years and wish i'd started sooner! They work directly with the communities they have built relationships with, and they have a grassroots approach across the whole organization, from Chipas to here. Many of the board members are active in our local community on the Olympic Peninsula, and bring their professionalism, integrity and passion to their work with the Mujeres de Maiz Opportunity Foundation. My husband and I were so inspired by this this fantastic non profit, we started volunteering with its fundraising efforts, including the annual fundraisers, "Men with Guitars" and "El Día de los Muertos Dinner and Auction...fun times!

Bela W.

Donor

Rating: 5

I really support this effort and have seen first hand how the women are benefiting and with such a respectful approach. This is not a top down organization - on the contrary the women benefiting (well we all are actually) are making the decisions and growing with the organization, thus becoming full autonomous players. Thanks to all who work with Mujeres de Maiz for all their effort and work.

laprofesora

Board Member

Rating: 5

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!

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Board Member

Rating: 5

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.

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General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

These are local, non-professional "folks" who give considerable amounts of time AND money to make a difference in the world - Year after year after year - 1 human being at a time.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is a wonderful way to increase one's own knowledge and to find a way to assist indigenous women make the most out of their lives through higher education. There are no "middle men" involved. It is a very direct person to person contact, as well as a fine opportunity to see Chiapas.

Melissa89

Donor

Rating: 5

This organization is THE BEST EXAMPLE EVER CREATED of how one single person can change the world. Mrs. Pasco has single handedly and then with the help of staff, created a strong non-profit group that by helping to educate a few girls from the mtn highlands of Southern Mexico, and creating a handicraft co-op, has changed some communities near Chiapas forever, allowing the women there to become more educated, and to slowly bring about healthy change for the communities, including solar power, health changes and even housing, so these girls can attend schools. Wish I could have been such a power!