I have just returned from my August 2016 trip to San Martin Chiquito with Xela Aid. I have travelled to Guatemala many times since 1993 to work with this amazing Humanitarian group. We did many projects at our beautiful clinic and held a near vision clinic as well as distributing sunglasses to protect the eyes of these agricultural workers. Xela Aid is a totally transparent non profit where partnership to help the Guatemalan Mayan people is their goal. I always return in awe of what a little help can do for so many people. We always receive much more than we give. If you want to volunteer with a group in a third world setting you should find out more about Xela Aid.
I have just returned from an amazing trip working in Guatemala with Xela Aid. I have been before, in fact many times, but every trip brings new satisfaction in seeing how this group has expanded their horizons and included extra projects that have literally changed the lives of the people living in San Martine Chiquito. This trip I taught some of the women to make candy and cookies that they might be able to sell to earn some money. It was so much fun to share their kitchen, their experiences, and their great sense of humour and friendship. I was also able to dispense reading glasses to about 50 people who needed single vision readers to enable them to continue to sew, weave, or read. It's a privilege to be a part of Xela Aid and to make a difference in the lives of those we work with. It has definitely changed my life.
Xela AID 06/27/2014
Dear Colleen, The women of the village are still talking about your baking workshop, and want to know when you will be back to teach them new recipes. Their only complaint was that they would have liked to have another WEEK with you! Perhaps this can be arranged in the near future. Thank you for your many years of loving participation in Xela AID service projects, and as a member of our Board. Warmly, Leslie Baer Dinkel Executive Director Xela AID
My family and I have just returned from our third volunteer trip with Xela-Aid in Guatemala. I cannot say enough about the quality of this organization, how well executed the trips are and the difference this non-profit makes in the lives of their recipients and volunteeers. Our group performed handyman work on the clinic, trained Mayan women in cooking techniques, taught English, shared art projects, installed clean water, taught hair cutting skills, shared knitting - there was something for everyone. We received much more than we came to share.
Xela-aid provides a great introduction to the culture and meaningful volunteer opportunities. They are an organization full of integrity and one you can trust.
We will be back!
My husband, two daughters and I participated in the August 2015 Xela-Aid trip. The experience has forever changed our perspective of wealth, and we are deeply grateful to both the American and Guatemalan Xela staff members. The volunteer trip provided a perfect balance of cultural immersion and service work. Leslie and staff carefully blended our talents and interests with the needs of the community in San Martin Chiquito. We went to share our talents and received far more in return. Each of us has been inspired in our own ways to carry the experience forward.; and as a family, we chose to sponsor a young woman through her university days.
Xela-Aid’s model of developing self-reliance is healthy, not simply a hand out, and develops giving and receiving. It is inspiring to see the recipients of Xela-Aid paying it forward and giving back to their Guatemalan community.
I was proud to be a part of creating healthy self-reliance within an organization full of integrity. I can wholeheartedly recommend Xela-Aid to anyone yearning to make a difference.
An unexpected bonus was spending the week with other like-minded volunteers and bonding as a group. The friendships we formed are invaluable treasures. Xela-Aid is truly an experience we can’t wait to repeat.
Just returned from a wonderful trip to Guatemala with Xela Aid. Participated in a clean water project, shoes for the kids, and new computers for students in college.
I honestly cannot think of a more worthy cause this XelaAID - I just returned from a two week trip with Xela AiD to Guatemala and saw first hand what they are doing there in San Martin. What is impressive is that they do not simply provide stuff-they teach self reliance through mediums such as a co-op store that sells the wares the women make, or the pre-school (guarderia) they assist with, the computer lab, the clinic, the mental health resources they are providing is amazing. I cannot say enough about this organization.
If you're looking for a worthy cause to become a part of, you found it in Xela AID.
I've never had an experience with a nonprofit the way I had with Xela AID. Everyone was so welcoming and generous. Traveling to a new place to help those less fortunate is very rewarding, but after seeing what this organization is doing, it's encouraged me to try and do more, not just for Xela AID, but for other organizations. Leslie, the founder, is the most generous, caring person I have ever met in my life. You can see how genuinely concerned she is with making Guatemala a better place and works so hard to do everything she can to achieve that. The impact this organization has on the people of San Martin and neighboring villages is amazing. People are so unaware of what's happening in these places and the help from Xela AID is so impactful. I had the time of my life volunteering with them and would absolutely do it again.
Volunteering with Xela Aid was amazing! They have all kinds of programs that you can choose from and they are very flexible if you want to change to another program. It really was a life changing experience because not only do you volunteer, but you also get to know everyone. You end up becoming a family and make bonds that will change your world. The leaders of our trip did an amazing job at immersing us into Guatemalan life and culture. One thing they did was assign us a buddy and we got to eat lunch at their home, so we were able to see how they live and connect with them on a deeper level. The leaders are what really made this trip for me, they were very kind and generous, it was all worth it!
I recently returned from a great trip to Guatemala with a group of volunteers for the non-profit organization, Xela AID. The trip was wonderful in so many different ways. The projects involved working in the village of Mayan indigent people in the highlands area. These were so meaningful and well planned out. The people in the village were so warm, and appreciative that the whole experience will be remembered and treasured for the rest of my years.
Xela AID is an amazing organization. I would encourage all to support it any way possible.
I had an amazing trip with Xela AID. It is always hard to put down on paper all of the emotions and feelings one has when describing such a special trip. The opportunity for meaningful volunteer work imprints wonderful memories. The immediate connections with the kids and adults of the village will be a lasting impression that I will cherish for many years.
I loved traveling with such a caring group of volunteers and appreciate the organized excellent leadership.
Xela Aid deserves high marks for the positive effects of its presence in the community of San Martin, Guatemala. A long term commitment - by a group of dedicated individuals - has resulted in tangible and substantial improvements for the community in the areas of health, education and employment. The successes have been achieved by the combined efforts of the Xela Aid board, a devoted and capable full-time staff of local Guatemalans, partnerships with other NPOs, and organized groups of volunteers; with resources contributed by donors and grants. Xela Aid is focusing efforts and making progress toward its vision of a locally self-sufficient organization that can achieve long-term sustainability.
My experience as a volunteer was educational and enriching. The trip was was well-organized, active and enjoyable. The volunteers were eager and talented. While a single individual, volunteering for a short period of time, has a very small impact, many volunteers over many years can make a difference. Many volunteers over many years is Xela Aid’s strategy for the volunteer component of this remarkable organization.
I recently returned from my first visit to Guatemala as a Xela AID volunteer. The experience was incredibly heartwarming. The impact this organization has had on the village of St Martin over the years, and what they have been able to accomplish is impressive. I felt my time there was well spent, and I left with a connection to the people in the village and my fellow volunteers; a group of friendly, hard working folks with variety of expertise. Everything you do in Guatemala is greatly appreciated.
The trip was well organized, and I can highly recommend both the organization and the service trips offered by Xela AID.
Xela Aid is full of wonderful people, both stateside and in Guatemala. The leaders of our trip did an amazing job of utilizing each volunteer's talents and bringing the group together in meaningful ways. The staff in Guatemala are warm, welcoming, talented, and passionate. Overall, the trip was a great balance of relaxing/enjoying all that Guatemala has to offer and working on projects in San Martin. I highly recommend!