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Natik Esperanza

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Community Improvement & Capacity Building, Economic Development, International, International Economic Development, Microfinance

Mission: Natik empowers marginalized communities to transform themselves through collaborative and innovative solutions to poverty. We facilitate partnerships and dialogue between grassroots organizations and young leaders to expand educational opportunities and work toward economic empowerment for women.

Target demographics: empower women economically and children with education

Geographic areas served: Santiago Atitlan, Guatemala and Chiapas, Mexico

Programs: For Women: highly accompanied micro loans for small entrepreneurial ventures, and fair trade artisan work. Education of children: scholarships for secondary, high school and university, tutorial help, community and traveling library.

Community Stories

12 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have served with Natik in a variety of roles since first visiting Guatemala on a Natik-sponsored trip in January 2014. Seeing the organization in action was a powerful introduction to the work Natik does and, more importantly, the way it does it. That is to say, Natik is all about integrity-filled relationships and working in collaboration to support the community-identified goals of its partners. Natik exists to provide foundational support for its partners to foster local leadership; promote educational opportunities in multiple contexts; and develop pathways to economic, sustainable, and socially just futures. I saw with every artisan we visited and every student we learned from, all of whom talked about their agency within their communities to make positive change, with the respectfully catalytic support of Natik.

Following this trip, I immediately joined Natik's Education Committee and became a donor. I joined the Board a few years after that, and am honored to lead the Board as its current chair. Natik walks its talk--and that's the kind of vision, mission and values I want to be part of.

Advisor

Rating: 5

Natik Esperanza is unique in its dedication to community leadership and engagement in the disadvantaged and culturally diverse Maya communities where it works. Through its consistent long term work, Natik has helped build new opportunities, particularly for youth in contexts of rapid social and cultural transformation. Its work helps build leadership that is ground and committed to community.
As a small organization, Natik depends on a dedicated staff and board. As an advisor, I have bben impressed by their abiity to identify opportunities in contexts of very limited organizational development and their persistence in building the relations needed for true local leadership in their activities.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered with Natik in both Mexico and Guatemala in 2013 and had the most amazing time. Their approach to development was fundamental in helping me understand how to better support communities as they drive change from within. I have continued to support Natik over the years and their work has only amplified since 2013.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Natik is one of those organizations that stands out because of its deep roots within the community. Not only does Natik work with local communities, but the programs are led and run by locals who understand their community needs. Natik then empowers the community leaders to create solutions to their identified needs. Volunteering with Natik was a life-changing experience for me and I would go back to Mexico again in a heartbeat.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

I had the privilege of working with Natik for one and a half years. The first 6 months were done remotely and then I lived in Chiapas for nearly another year. As a Fellow, my responsibilities were varied and dynamic. Given that it is such a small organization, I was able to gain experience at the highest level in many areas including project design, fundraising, promotion and volunteer management.

My time with Natik was a great compliment to my graduate studies and previous professional experience in sustainable development. Because the majority of the organization's staff is from the communities where Natik works, they can find the correct volunteer, intern, or service learning experience for most anyone. If you are passionate about supporting grassroots projects in the development sector, Natik is the organization for you.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I began volunteering with Natik in 2007 and have been consistently impressed with the quality of people involved with the organization. I have learned a lot from collaborating with so many people with various backgrounds and talents but a common purpose. Natik's leaders are open minded and action oriented - I have seen ideas translated into reality in a matter of weeks!

Natik's work is based on long term relationships of respect, listening, and trust. Over the past few years, Natik has developed and strengthened its programs in response to the hopes expressed by local leaders and community members. I am excited to see how Natik evolves, and confident that it will continue to have a strong positive impact on the communities where it works.

1 Trevor J.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Its incredible to think that this organization has been around for 10 years. What started as a very small organization run by a few college students has grown into a stable and effective non-profit run by all sorts of young professionals, volunteers, and experts in international development. Throughout the years Natik has remained committed to the communities it works with. While it has grown, it has stayed agile, efficient, and flexible. It has tremendous follow through on its projects.

Review from Guidestar

1

Board Member

Rating: 4

Natik was founded by individuals who value innovation, efficiency and entrepreneurialism. Since it's founding 10 years ago, Natik has worked tirelessly to use the funds committed to it in the most efficient way to create sustainable empowerment.

Through personal experience, I know that the team at Natik is incredibly committed, incredibly focused on method, and wiling to go the extra mile for each of its partners and volunteers. This organization is full of genuine, serious spirit and it will only grow and make a bigger impact over time.

Review from Guidestar

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

I have worked with Natik in a variety of capacities. I first started working with Natik in 2005, when they were one of the most agile and adaptable NGOs operating in a small Guatemalan town that had recently been devastated by a hurricane and resulting mudslide. Though small, Natik had deep roots in the community and was able to partner with larger organizations to ensure that funds were delivered quickly and responsibly. Since then, I have stepped back from direct work with Natik while remaining a donor. I believe firmly in the important work they do with women and children, and think they are a model for respectful and collaborative work with their local partners.

I now work in the field of international development and can say that Natik, while small, implements many of the best practices and methods used by large and sophisticated development organizations, while upholding their longstanding commitments to friends and partners in Mexico and Guatemala. They have recently undergone a process of strategic planning that has helped them to streamline their programs and better serve those most in need.

They are a good organization that is constantly getting better.

Review from Guidestar

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I worked with Natik during the summer of 2013 as the Just Apparel Project Development Intern, as a part of an internship for my graduate studies at the University of Denver. I spent 2 months working for Natik in Santiago Atitlan, Guatemala and I really felt like I was able to gain a lot of experience working in international project management through my time with this organization. One thing that makes Natik unique is the way that the organization leaders are so open to interaction and collaboration between people from different cultures, backgrounds and passions. It's really a great organization and I have been so proud to see our projects benefit local communities first hand! I have continued to volunteer my time with Natik after my internship concluded and plan to continue to be involved with the organization for many years to come!

Review from Guidestar

3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I worked with Natik as part of my graduate studies and enjoyed the time I was able to spend with them. They are a small non-profit, but make a large impact in the communities in Chiapas, Mexico and Santiago Atitlan, Guatemala. Because they are small, they treat all their employees and volunteers like family and make sure you feel involved, included, and that you are able to help in a variety of aspects in their projects.

Review from Guidestar

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I moved to San Cristobal de Las Casas, Mexico in September 2013 with my husband and started volunteering for Natik then. Natik has many opportunities available to anyone interested in nonprofit development projects. I am currently involved in one of their remedial education projects where I travel to a nearby town to help out with their Saturday school, Yo'onik. I even had the opportunity to go to Guatemala to observe another one of Natik's projects, Puerta Abierta, to get ideas from their school for Yo'onik. It has been a joy to work with the children and get them excited about learning. Working with Natik has been very rewarding and I have been able to learn so much through them.

Review from Guidestar