Over 1.8 million nonprofits and charities for donors, volunteers and funders

2017 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Mayan Families

49,223 pageviews

Nonprofit Overview

Target demographics: Indigenous communities around Lake Atitlán

Geographic areas served: Guatemala

Programs: Initiatives focused on improving Education, Nutrition & Health, and Economic Development

Community Stories

433 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Hello, My husband and I have been sponsoring students with mayan families for 3 years. Last week we made a 10 day visit to Panajachel Guatemala to visit and work with mayan families and visit our students. Our expectations of mayan families far exceeded even what I had thought about their ministry. Firstly, the entire town knows Sharon the director by first name...they call her the "mother Theresa" of this area. We worked with them side by side at the preschool, sewing classes, feeding programs for the children, families and elderly. Getting from small village to village is quite a challenge as they have to travel up small winding roads up the mountain...many are wased away from the mud slides. That does not stop the team. Every single member of mayan families I witnessed working very hard...harder than you can imagine for the people. The highlight of my trip was visiting my sponsored students....it was as if we were part of the family. The excitement they had to meet us and they were so appreciative of our support but we felt more like relatives. I absolutely loved my families and can tell how our support really does make a difference in their lives. Just getting back from Guatemala I can say first hand this organization is worth the $5000 grant. I have told all my friends and family about our experience and am encouraging them to sponsor children...the need in this area is so great. Mayan Families is making a huge impact in the lives of the people...I've seen it!

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

I've watched Mayan Families amazing growth over the years while my sponsored child grows along with them. I receive letters and timely online photos of her progress and her family. Mayan Families communicates updates of progress as well as outreach for needs. I enjoy the ongoing opportunity to help both my child and the people of the Lake Atitlan community especially during this past year of such unusual struggles. A fantastic group of talented, organized and committed people. A fine example of the 'never doubt that one person can change the world' philosophy.

Review from Guidestar

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have been involved with Mayan Families for 4yrs now. The services they provide the people of Guatemala is incredible. The feedback they give to those who are helping is incredible. I sponsor 3 children to go to school and I continually receive letters, pictures, updates. It is very fulfilling and heartwarming to see what your support does. They do so much for so many people. I recommend them to all.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I sponsor 2 children thru Mayan Families and often donate to other Guatemalan families as needs arise. I'm always impressed with the professionalism, compassion and dedication shown by the Mayan Families staff. Consistent, precise communication is offered to donors and friends of Mayan Families via email, listservs, blogs and websites. When floods destroyed their own home, staff members ignored their own needs and instead quickly relocated to help their neighbors and our sponsored students who were also affected. I recommend Mayan Families to my friends and coworkers who want to make charitable donations that truly make a difference in peoples' lives.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

Mayan Families is an amazing organization that provides sponsorship for schooling, medical needs, feeding programs, animal control programs, among others. I have sponsored a child with Mayan Families for 3 years and have been thrilled every time I get a drawing, note, or report card in the mail from my student.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My husband and I are very impressed with how Mayan Families is managed. The Directors (Sharon, Patti, Dwight) are extremely responsible and passionate for the work they do. We donate money for children's education and general expenses - and are happy to do so! Keep up the good work!!

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

Mayan Families is an excellent organization helping people in Guatemala. We sponsor 2 students and I have involved some of my friends to help too. They are passionate helping, hard and honest group working for just for one goal: to make Guatemala a better place for those who live there.
Their constant efforts to find sponsors, create new services for the Guatemala community make of this organization an excellent one!

Review from Guidestar

Kimberly R.

Donor

Rating: 5

I love Mayan Families. We sponsor a preschool student at a preschool in Panajachel and were fortunate enough to get the chance to meet her and her family on a recent trip to Guatemala. We also got to go and see one of the Mayan Families preschool in San Antonio Palopo while we were there. There is such need in this area of Guatemala and Mayan Families is there to help people as well as the animals in the area. This is such a deserving non-profit.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Mayan Families is a great organization. All of the staff and vonlunteers are very kind and professional. They are helping in so many ways in the community. There is never a need to big or too small for them. They make you feel at home, even when you are far from your home. I am happy to have had the experience to work with them.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I recently came back from a missions trip to Panajachel and La Barranco. I was not only introduced to Mayan Families org but to Sharon and Dwight and several other leaders; and saw the great deeds they do and the great care they give. I witnessed the senior adult feeding program, a preschool in progress, a preschool being built, confidence in the eyes of mothers knowing their children would receive schooling and proper nutrition through sponsorship, and I also witnessed kindness to animals in need; spaying, neutering, and rescuing. I am proud to say I became a sponsor enabling a child to attend school. Unlike another organization I have been involved with where I sponsor two children for 5 years, I was able to have personal contact through Mayan Families . I was able to meet the child and his family and visit their home and village. I learned of their personal needs so I can be of real assistance to them. And best of all I was invited back anytime to see the improvements, the growth made from my small contributions. I cannot wait to return in a year, til then I know I can call, write to any one of the Mayan Family org workers and they will be able to tell me how my new little family are doing.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

After we adopted a little girl from Guatemala we sponsored an 8yr old girl "Maria" through Mayan Families to go to school. This was 3 years ago and we have continued to sponsor her each year to go to school. We also have sent family aid as well as clothing and care packages to her and her siblings. Mayan Families is great because we have a website we can go to to see pictures of her receiving the gifts we send or the holiday food baskets. They also forward on copies of her report cards as well as drawings and personal letters. Since she does not know English, the staff at Mayan Families translates the letters before forwarding them on. Mayan Families makes it easy to donate through paypal and has registered as a nonprofit so my donations are tax deductible. I love the fact that we can help a specific family with our donations or we can choose to send our donations to a random family or different funds such as medical aid or general funds.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We worked along side many others to install stoves, pass out clothing and food in Mayan villages in the highlands above Panajachel, Guatemala. While I was mightily impressed for a week - it is sobering to realize these folks at Mayan Families are there 24/7/365 knowing the needs of the communities, working to care for families, and to provide critical help for individuals. They are amazing. They juggle priorities against resources all the while training indigenous folks by providing real work and real income.

We brought bags of food to families whose corn crop had failed the second year in a row. We passed out clothing. Shoes were the greatest need for the children. And we got to look into the beautiful brown eyes of the little boys and tell them we had no more shoes. I would have emptied my bank account to go to Walmart and buy ALL the shoes so each child could have a pair. This isn't the beaches of the coastal areas of Central Americal. This is narrow and steep rocky paths just to get to someone's little home. Their homes were often a lean-to with corregated metal, dirt floors and bedding on the floors. Shoes seemed basic but most had none.

I am home but I often think of the work that Mayan Families does with these gentle people trying to hold on to their traditions, language, arts. I know whatever $$ is sent to them will be stretched every way possible.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered for the third time with Mayan Families in Dec, 2010/Jan, 2011. I have sponsored a child through their Education program for three years, first meeting the child I sponsor on my first visit with Mayan Families in 2009. The organization had arranged to visit patients in the local hospital and give them water, crackers and stuffed animals for Christmas. One of the staff members of Mayan Families dressed up as Santa. The conditions at the hospital were horrid and depressing, and the visit from Santa and small gifts transformed people's Christmas experience. We then went on to visit a small village outside of Solola, where we handed out several hundred stuffed animals to children who otherwise would have had nothing for Christmas. I was amazed at the personal touch of the director and staff and how they quickly welcomed otherslike me to join them in their outings. The organization is incredibly accessible and allows for a high level of personal interaction between the sponsors and students and sponsors and staff. The organization focuses on immediate needs of their students and families as well as working on underlyingsocial issues and causes of poverty.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am an adoptive parent of 3 boys from Guatemala. We have gone to Guatemala many times and helped various organizations there. My husband is an ophthalmologist so we go to do eye exams and send the glasses back. I am impressed with Mayan families and Sharon and Dwight who head this organization. I learned of Mayan families from adoption listserves that I am on about Guatemala. On our last trip, we visited Mayan Families and took donations. They have a LOT going on there, trying to help Mayan families there in various villages nearby. They also work with other charitable organizations there to provide the best possible services without duplication. I could see that Sharon and Dwight have dedicated their lives to this. They help with housing, school, medicare care, food, clothing, disaster relief, and basically every place there is a need. We have helped financially on several occasions and plan to continue doing so. Their use of the funds is very well thought out and careful. I have recommended them to other people who were looking for a reputable charity to help there and I will continue to do so.

Review from Guidestar

Suzanne C.

Donor

Rating: 5

Mayan Families is a terrific organization. They do amazing work in Guatemala every day. We sponsor 4 children for school. we also have been able to offer family support through food donations, stove and sink purchases. The staff at Mayan Families goes above and beyond to take care of the people of Gautemala and also to attend to the needs of their supporters. Being a part of this amazing organization- leaves you wanting to do more.

Donor

Rating: 5

Mayan Families does a great job here in Guatemalan of helping families in need.

They do a great job of connecting their donors to the people they are helping. We are sponsoring a specific child to attend school for a year and we will continue to sponsor him until he finishes school.

Keep up the good work!

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered and am a donor with Mayan Families. The reason i love this group and will continue working with them for the rest of my life is because of the tireless desire to help everyone they possibly can. MF spend as much money as physically possible on their programs with minimal spent on overheads, fancy offices, caras , homes or their own lifestyle. The only thing I would change would be concentrating on the current projects and not taking on any new o es for at least a couple of years.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

This orgainization does amazing things for children and families in Guatemala-who would otherwise not have the essentials and education Myan Families provides. Consider a donation, it really does make a difference.

Review from Guidestar

MaryJo W.

Donor

Rating: 5

Mayan Families does amazing work in the Lake Atitlan area of Guatemala for impoverished Mayan kids and their families. Providing food, clothing, school scholarships, medical aid, housing, elder care, stoves, water filters and so much more. I'm constantly amazed at what they accomplish with such a small staff.

In addition, Mayan Familes' goal of transparency is second to none. Not only do my husband and I get updated pictures of the kids we sponsor for school, but pictures of all the kids and families at event after event--a new preschool is opened and we're treated to dozens of pictures of the opening. A family gets a new house and we see the pictures. When "our family receives a tamale baskets at Christmas, we see their picture taken with their basket. When the kids get their school supplies, again their pictures are taken. My husband and I know exactly where our donation is going. And we get that wonderful connection of knowing more about "our" kids and "our" families.

Thank you Mayan Families! You guys are the best!

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Mayan families is an amazing organization that has done some great work to support families in meaningful ways in the Guatemalan state of Solola, where my daughter's birth family lives. When you donate to Mayan Families, you get to see your donation make a real difference. I know first hand how great the need in that region is and they are an organization that is making a deliberate and effective impact in the lives of many Guatemalan families.

In addition, when my family was visiting my daughter's birth family in the region, my son became ill. The Mayan Families staff helped get us to a pharmacy where we could buy the medicine we needed to help him.

Review from Guidestar

Debbie W.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

An amazing charity... we need more like them to help all the children in Guatemala!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I recently spent a month in Panajachel, Guatemala and visited Mayan Families. Dwight, the director, spoke with our small group about the work of Mayan Families. I was especially impressed by the 360 degree approach that this organization uses to address the poverty of the local Mayan population. Their efforts at fund raising is word of mouth and their gratitude for even the smallest of gifts was truly inspiring. Dwight enthusiastically commented that even a $25 gift from a friend of mine would make a huge difference in their work. Their initiative to support children in going to school is a critical aspect of their work . Educating the children is the only possibility of creating a future for them that isn't one of total poverty, and malnutrition.

Review from Guidestar

Susan F.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I first became involved with Mayan Families in 2006 and I was able to visit with them and my sponsored student a few months later. I was fortunate to return last year to spend a week volunteering with them and I cannot praise them enough for their hard work, long hours and above all, their caring personal commitment with such upbeat can do attitudes among so much poverty and despair. It’s been a pleasure to watch them grow as an organization and expand their programs to help so many indigenous poor in both short term and permanent ways.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I love all the hard work Mayan Families does. I especially like how they keep someone like me informed of what is happening and how I can help

Stacie H.

Donor

Rating: 5

Mayan family’s is amazing! The people who run this organization are true angels. They care about everyone from children, the elderly, adults and animals. I have been to Guatemala three times and have seen the poverty that exists. So many of this Mayan family’s have hope knowing that a sponsor may be found for their child or that a child’s ill parent may be able to seek medical treatment. Perhaps you may be a Mayan family that is fortunate enough to receive a Mother’s day basket, Christmas basket, education for your children, a mattress to sleep on, food to eat, a stove, a filter so that you may have clean water to drink from. These are all things we take for granite, but Mayan family’s help provide these items to the most needy family’s. There is no better gift than helping someone in need and I know my donations are spent accordingly and updates are always provided on their web-site and through e-mail. Please help Mayan family’s continue to do God’s will.

Carrie P.

Donor

Rating: 5

We love this charity, it is amazing! They give us so many opportunities to provide food and other necessities to people in need in Guatemala. They provide pictures showing the people receiving the food so you really know who you are helping. I adopted a child from Guatemala six years ago and have been working with Mayan Families ever since. They are a blessing.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

While visiting Guatemala with some friends from another NGO, we were fortunate to spend an afternoon with Mayan Families, learning about their work. Hearts of Gold!! They give their all to the poor people of Guatemala, helping in a wide variety of ways. We visited a sewing center where the women not only learn a trade, but are given a sewing machine upon graduation so they have the tools needed to support themselves through their work. This is true sustainable development work.

Melissa D.

Donor

Rating: 5

I became involved with Mayan Families after the adoption of my daughter from Guatemala in 2009. My family and I sponsor 3 students through Mayan Families and also send money for food for these families on occasion, as well. The staff is great as keeping us up-to-date with e-mail updates, photos, report cards, and letters/drawings from the students. I've also run several fundraisers to support this organization for additional donations. The staff is wonderful to correspond with and work with.

Donor

Rating: 5

We have been a sponsor to a student and have provided frequent gifts as well. I love this organization because it is personal. I get to see the effects we are having through report cards, photos, and email updates. The staff is amazing and always has a quick and thoughtful response to any requests or questions. I wish I could give them 100 stars!

Donor

Rating: 5

While we were in process adopting our child from Guatemala many times we would bring down rubbermaid containers to Guatemala containing clothing, toiletries, baby items, candy, books etc. to be given to needy families. Mayan Families was always punctual and professional and I always felt like the items we took the time to bring down with us on visit trips to see our daughter we being put to good if not great use. In addition, I have had dealings with Mayan Families and their animal welfare program and at one time almost transported a dog for them to the USA however, they found someone closer to where the dog's permanent home was going to be. Bottomline, this organization contains "no fat" and they do great great work! Kudos to Mayan Families!!!

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been impressed with the professionalism of this organization! I have donated tamal baskets and am now sponsoring a child. Their website is very informative and I always get a quick response to my questions. This organization is the best way to have a fast/direct impact on the individual lives of people who are living in poverty without wasting money on overhead and marketing! Highly recommend Mayan Families to all!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

In the aftermath of Tropical Storm Agatha here in Guatemala, Mayan Families gathered extensive amounts of food and distributed it to families in rural Mayan villages who had had their houses destroyed by the storm. I noted that the organization put a great emphasis on ensuring that their aid was given to the true victims of the storm, and that the aid met the most pressing needs of those they were serving. Since most of the Mayan Families staff are indigenous Guatemalans from the local communities, this was a much easier task for them to accomplish than had it been done by an outside organization wtihout connections locally.

Review from Guidestar

lindseyrieder

Donor

Rating: 5

I have followed Mayan Families for a few years, and donated many times, though I have not yet sponsored a family or child. I think they are a very innovative program and have done a lot to help many people with the many needs in the community-- from elder feeding programs, to family medical help, to student sponsorship to animal spay and neuter clinics-- they do so much in the community. They also take many pictures and have transparency via their website, blogs and digital photo archives.

I have always found this organization to be great, the staff friendly and organized and the help they provide to be wonderful!

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

These folks are the real deal! If you have a few dollars extra, send it their way.
Best,
Birgitte

Donor

Rating: 5

Mayan Families is an organization which helps the indigenous people in Guatemala. The people who live in Guatemala are poor, have no resources and no money. They can barely survive. They cannot afford drinking water, housing. Mayan families provides services for these people to help them receive food, medical services, safe drinking water, sponsor children to attend school, and many many more services. They have built preschools, sponsored feeding programs for children, families and elderly. All of their work is done through donations, people sending items and money to their organization. They have dedicated their lives to help these people who are just trying to survive and be able to feed themselves and their children. And they do this solely through donations. They are an incredible organization whose only goal is to truly help the people who cannot help themselves due to extreme poverty.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

I became active with the Mayan Families organization after the adoption of my first child in 2004. Since then I have particpated from afar by being a member of their Yahoo group and making donations of money and items to assist them with their work. Two years ago, I started sponsoring a child's education through their organization and have sent food baskets and gifts to the child's family for special occasions. All of this has been successfully directed by the MF staff. I have been so impressed with their dedication and committment to the less fortunate of Guatemala. I have used their work as an example to my two young children on how to give back to their birth country and this summer, we hope to visit the MF staff and our sponsored student during our family vacation.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Unless one has seen the poverty of other contries, one can not understand the importance of any help these families get from anyone let alone the magnitude of the help provided by Mayan Families

Donor

Rating: 5

Mayan Families is one of my favorite non-profits because I know that every penny I send goes directly to help the people who need it, and not to fancy advertising or overhead. It is a blessing to see photos of those you support and know you've actually made a difference in their lives. We just love MF and will continue to support them!

Donor

Rating: 5

I am the mom of two children we adopted in Guatemala. We love this country, and love the people of Guatemala. The poverty is staggering, and we wanted a way to help. I learned about Mayan Families soon after coming home with our children, and I have contributed to their wonderful charity several times.

I love the detailed updates they give, and the customer service is excellent. I receive personal emails after I donate, so I know they received my contribution.

I love what Mayan FAmilies does, and I will continue to support them in the future. When my children are much older, I hope our whole family can volunteer with them.

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I work at a major public university studying the effects of clean water, adequate sanitation, and hygiene practices on the health of people in developing countries. A recent masters student was interested in studying the effectiveness of Mayan Families' water flter program, so I contacted the director to ask about cooperation. Although the staff there was swamped with activities related to Christmas dontations and the start of school, the director found time to learn about our program and needs and enthusiastically put her support behind our project.

I am moitviated to write such a posative review because of the expressed genuine desire for their group to get the true answer and not necessarily one that might be more appealing to donors. We have not completed the project, so we don't know what the answer will be, but I am thrilled that their support was given so freely and without contingencies.

I think this goes beyond just water and sanitation and demonstrates this organization is looking for real results based on evidence. Their effective use of donations, extensive local staff, international partners, and volunteers means all contributions have a multaplicative effect.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

Becoming involved in Mayan Families is one of the best decisions I ever made. We sponsor a child to attend school. I love seeing....the daily pictures they post of their work, the letters I receive from our child, sending gifts and food to her family, the ability to volunteer in their efforts, and the message board where you can communicate with other donors/volunteers/employees. My greatest Christmas gift this year was receiving an email on Christmas Eve from Mayan Families saying my sponsored child's website was updated and seeing pictures of her receiving their tamale basket and holding the picture my daughter drew her. I love this organization. They have given me so much!!

Review from Guidestar

Allison B.

Donor

Rating: 5

I was first made aware of this wonderful organization when one of my friends from college traveled to Guatemala and maintained a blog about the nonprofits she was working with. I was startled to learn just how far a little money goes in Guatemala, and how many different ways that little bit of money can be used to help people.

I have donated to Mayan Families several times, most recently when they sent me an email about the Valentine's day project they are doing, where a child from the San Antonio Feeding program will design a card for a $10 donation. I wasn't interested in the card so much as what the Feeding program was and I was impressed by the variety of services they offer to the children (a hot meal, homework help, etc).

I really believe they are in a position to empower the lives of the people they serve. And that's why I keep donating.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 4

I have been sponsoring a student through Mayan Families for 3 years now and I can tell you that this is a top notch organization. They are always available to answer questions, and they frequently make post related to your sponsored student/family on the sponsor webpage in order to kee you up to date. I haven't gone to visit yet, however I plan to do so this fall. I am able to see how my sponsorship and this organization are making a difference in the lives of the indigenous Mayan people of Guatemala.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

I was referred to Mayan Families when visiting a friend in Panajachel, Guatemala and I have continued to be impressed with the commitment of their volunteers & staff and breadth of their programs: from educating & feeding school children to caring for the elderly and filling the gaps in between (warm blankets, stoves, water filters, medicine to mention only a few) Mayan Families does an admirable job with very little. And, they have not forgotten animals which shows the depth of their compassion. I am honored to support their work.

Jan Bryan

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

This program allows you that "sense" of having a personal connection as a donor, in a format ie. internet, that doesn't necessearily promote a feeling of connectedness.

It is this sense of connection that is important to us as donors. We will be giving in the future specifically to this organization because of the feeling of unity their website and services provide.

Review from Guidestar

Joy D.

Donor

Rating: 5

We are parents of a son adopted from Guatemala about 11 years ago. We wanted to give back to the country, and discoverd Mayan Families, a small non-profit in the Highlands of Guatemala. We began with school sponsorship of one child about 4 years ago, and began sponsoring his 4 year old brother last year. The people who set up Mayan families and their largely indigenous staff are hard working, and go out of their way to help many impoverished people. Over 1600 children from preschool to university are able to go to school.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

Our family sponsors a Mayan Family- family to help them rise above proverty through the donations. Upon visiting the coutry once, we requested a visit with our sponsored family. The staff at Mayan Family did not hesitate to arrange the meeting for us. After talking we became curious about our sponsored family living conditions and again Mayan Family wasted no time in arranging transportation for us. We found our family was living well except every child had an obvious infection conjunctivitis that was terrible. The staff at Mayan Family was vital in making sure every member of the family received the necessary antibiotic treatments. 1 month later we received progress report and a picture of the children. Their eye were bright and filled with health color and outlook about their future, thanks to Mayan Family.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been involved with Mayan Families for more than 3 years now. I have sponsored up to 6 children for school at one time because I feel so passionately about the work they do. I have been involved with other organizations but Mayan Families is very different. They are hands on and if I have any concerns or questions, I can email any number of people and get information based on real contact with Mayan families. Many of us stay up to date and connected to them via Mayan Families Connections on Yahoo and often they post about a specific need or crisis. As a group, we all reach out and make changes happen. We built houses, give lifesaving medical treatment, feel the elderly, buy beds, food, water filters...the list goes on and on. My heart is constantly being tugged to give more and more because their work is so vital and we see amazing results. This is THE best organization...I'm proud to be a part of it.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been involved with Mayan Families for 3+ years, and I am currently sponsoring 3 siblings so they can attend school. I also coordinate several shipments each year from the U.S. of student care packages and general distribution items for MF. I am continuously awed by the amount of work that the MF staff is able to accomplish. They are having such a positive effect on the local community - through providing medical care, helping students attend school, managing preschools, assisting the elderly, helping sterilize pets, etc. What I really find great about MF is how communicative they are with donors and sponsors. I receive not only frequent updates on my sponsored students but also on what is going on in general. They are SO many ways to contribute to the good deeds that MF does, and MF does not push anyone to contribute - they just share information and let each donor decide what they want/can do.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

Why do I donate to and support Mayan Families? Trust. The orginazation communicates through email, blogs, Facebook, Twitter and Picasa. They let their donors know the specific needs of the children, families, elderly and animals on a daily basis, so we can play a vital role in assisting the community everyday and at the time of a crisis The staff of this organization works tirelessly to help their community and to make sure the donors are kept up-to-date by pictures and emails to know exactly where the money is being used. Our family sponsors a little girl so she can go to school and get an education. I feel we are helping the world one family at a time. Mayan Families lets us know what the needs are for her and her family so we can help them too. I love seeing the pictures of our student holding her backpack and new shoes at the beginning of the school year. I feel so proud of her when we get the copy of her report card and see how hard she is working to get an education. Another favorite picture is of the family receiving their tamale basket during the holidays. Mayan Families supplied, through the donations of their supporters, 1,600 tamale baskets to families in December. The families treasure these baskets because it gives them something special to eat at Christmas. People wait all day in line to receive these baskets that were put together lovingly by the staff of Mayan Families and their volunteers. We donate money to the general fund to help with some of the many ongoing projects. They invite doctors, dentists, nurses, teachers, and anyone who can come to visit them and help for a day, week, month or longer. Their primary mission is to improve the lives of people in need. Mayan Families shows respect, compassion, love, support and trust to the people of Guatemala and for this I am grateful.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I recently had the awesome opportunity to visit Guatemala for the first time with a group from my church and spent some time with Sharon from Mayan Families. We made home visits with Sharon to several of the families that they sponsor and helped to pass out some supplies the families needed. It was very heart warming to see how this program is working to make a huge difference in each of the families situations. The people were so thankful for the smallest of items they received. I plan to return in the future to help Sharon and her staff in any way I can.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

Tbey are an excellent grass roots charity that saves many lives in guatemala. We sponsor several children and are always updated and allowed to see what a difference a group of people can make. Tbey are very impressive.

Donor

Rating: 5

What a wonderful organization! A year and a half ago 2 friends and I decided to sponsor a Guatemalan child and to pay for her schooling, just $180 a year. Since then, thanks to Mayan Families, I have become more and more connected with this child, a young girl named Lory. They post photos of her on-line every month or so, (including pictures of her report card!) and they let me know how her family is doing. I get crayon drawings Lory makes in school to hang on my walls and thank you notes from her (translated for me). When a special holiday is coming up they will provide food baskets for Lory's family for a very small donation, and I have been able to send boxes of clothing and gifts for Lory's birthday. My reward is always a picture of Lory receiving the food basket or my gift with a big smile. Lory calls me godmother, and I feel blessed that Mayan Families has given me this wonderful god-daughter. They do a terrific job of helping many poor Guatemalan children at the same time that they are bringing some happiness into my life.

Donor

Rating: 5

I could never say in words how much I respect and appreciate these people. They not only service the poor of Guatemala, they work very hard to keep us, the sponsors, informed of all they do. Every day their information is updated through blogs and e-groups, and any question I have ever asked was answered the same day. And the photos! It seems each stage of their programs is journaled for us and history with their strict photo keeping.
MayanFamilies has said that they would like to use this money for a preschool, which I know can only be a blessing in that community.
I sure hope they win!

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

As the parents of two children adopted from Guatemala, we were looking for a way to give back to the country of their birth. We currently sponsor a number of children for school through Mayan Families. We have also provided financial support for families in need of assistance with housing, food or medical . As someone who has been involved with many nonprofit organizations, I have found Mayan Families to be extremely transparent in showing donors how their contributions are utilized. The staff is responsive to and respectful of donors. They are truely making a tremendous difference in the lives of the people of the area who have so little and have seen so much hardship. I had the pleasure to meet several staff members on a recent trip to Guatemala. They went out of their way to facilitate a meeting with one of my sponsored children ( including a visit to her home, a trip to buy shoes and lunch with her father.) I was touched by the generousity of spirit in which they offered their time as well as the respectful and supportive attitude shown to our sponsored student and her family. Time and time again , I have seen evidence of their tireless efforts in support of those they serve. I look forward to working with Mayan Families in the future.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am a member of several listservs whose members share a common concern for Guatemala. On these listservs I have read about the amazing work of Mayan Families through firsthand testimonials of volunteers and other contributors as well as those who have sought and received help for loved ones in Guatemala. I have only heard high praise about Mayan Families and have never heard a bad word.

Donor

Rating: 5

As the parents of a daughter adopted from Guatemala, we looked for an opportunity to give back to her country. We have be so very impressed with this charity. We sponsor 2 children to enable them to go to school. We have also donated money for food. We receive hand drawn pictures and notes from the children we sponsor. We have sent gifts of clothes and other items and been able to see photos of these gifte being opened. I can not think of any other charity with this extremely personal touch.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I first came in contact with Mayan Families when I began sponsoring a couple of children through them to attend school. I was immediately impressed with the way the charity is respectful of the people, working within the community and within the culture and not as outsiders stepping in with what they "think" should be. I was also impressed with the way they kept in contact with me as a sponsor, sending me copies of my sponsored child's report card, sending me photos of my child receiving their school supplies and keeping me updated on my sponsored child's situation. I was so impressed with the results I was seeing Mayan Famlies accomplish that I went from sponsoring a couple of children to sponsoring 10 children.

I keep updated with the activities at Mayan Families through their web sites and blogs. I became aware that they were raising money to build a community center in the community of San Jorge, Guatemala. Mayan Families saw a need for a preschool in this community. Many of the families in this community speak a local Mayan language in their homes. When their children began school, which is taught in Spanish, they immediately fell behind due to the language barrier and many would drop out of school early. The community center would serve as a preschool and would begin teaching the children Spanish, which would allow them greater success in school and employment within Guatemala. My church assisted in raising the money for this center. Mayan Families involved the community in the construction of this center and kept my church updated on its progress. Eight members of my church traveled to Guatemala to view the center during its construction. My group was not only impressed with the center but with the staff of Mayan Families. Every staff member had a dedication to their work and a selflessness. They truly love the people they serve. While visiting the charity, I saw one of the founders of the charity grab a sweater out of her daughter's closet to give to a child when she noticed how cold the child was and the charity did not have a sweater to fit her. The founder did not know I was watching this event transpire. Several of the staff members even volunteered their time on their day off to assist me in a volunteering endevour I was undertaking.

The community center in San Jorge now holds a very active preschool and will soon hold an afterschool program for students needing assistance with their homework. The center is a sanitary location for medical and dental clinics and a meeting location for community groups. My church could not be more happy with the results...with the lovely building and with all of the positive ways the building is serving the community. The medical clinics held in the center have actually saved lives.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

Mayan Families is a wonderful charity. Our family has sponsored pre-school age children for several years, and we look forward to many more years. It feels very worthwhile to give some of our resources to those who have so little, and education of the children is so important.

Review from Guidestar

Lori R.

Donor

Rating: 5

My husband & I adopted a baby from Guatemala in November 2008. We were able to spend a few days touring the area; experiencing the plight of people who always have a gracious smile on their face. In our travels we learned that the vast majority ( like 75%) of the population is illiterate.



To make matters worse, volcanno erruptions and torrential rains in 2009 devistated the homes and fields in leaving many families homeless and without a means to support themselves.



Myan Families lets families like mine give back to the people who gave us our children. I can only pray that the food baskets I've donated made it's way to our child's birth family.

Additionally, Mayan Families offers the opportunity to sponsor a stunt so he/she can go to school and break the cycle of poverty.



A $5,000.00 donation would allow Mayan Families to fund the restoration of preschool and a feeding program.



Mayan Families is truely teaching the kind people of Guatemala how to fish and not just giving them a free meal.



Please award your prize to this most deserving charity.



Lori Kensler

Dublin, Ohio

Review from Guidestar

Adina B.

Donor

Rating: 5

It is hard to find an organization that is as upfront with what they do with their money as Mayan Families. Our family has donated and we have friends who have volunteered with them and their reputation is always outstanding. The money goes directly to those in need, whether that be ground corn and beans for starving people, materials for children to go to school, medical care for those who can't afford it or many, many other necessary things for the people's they serve survival.

Review from Guidestar

Maura M.

Donor

Rating: 5

Mayan Families is an outstanding organization that serves the impoverished Mayan population in the highlands of Guatemala through educational, nutritional, medical, housing and other support. We have supported them with physical and financial donations for six years and could not be more happy with the service they provide to the population they serve, as well as the information they share with the donors. We receive letters from the students we support as well as copies of their report cards, and updates and photographs through the Mayan Families website. It is a fantastic organization.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

We've been supporting several students through Mayan Families. They are teh only organization that I've worked with to provide such personalized donor support including email updates from sponsors and opportunities to celebrate special events in the children't lives. They welcome sponsors to visit. They provide a wealth of services to those in desperate need - and it all started because a group of people cared. That care has grown and real lives are changed - and as a donor I'm humbled to be a part of that change.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

Mayan families is an incredible non-profit agency that works tirelessly to provide assistance, education, medical support, shelter, guidance and compassion to the people of Guatemala. A place that is very close to my heart, as my two children are from Guatemala. With a wonderful staff in Panajachel that employs many native people, an amazing network of supporters, volunteers and donors abroad who stay connected via an internet group and web sites, they are able to bring so much to so many people. From distributing Christmas toys to building and staffing schools to building house to caring for the sick and the elderly, providing food and clean water - they never stop. I feel very blessed to be able to play a small role in what they do. I am humbled every day by their generosity, spirit and compassion. The

Review from Guidestar