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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Community Improvement & Capacity Building, Emergency Assistance, International, International Development, Personal Social Services

Mission: As an accredited 501(c)(3) non-governmental organization, Mayan Families' mission is to facilitate sustainable development programs in impoverished communities throughout the Lake Atitlán region of rural Guatemala. Our objective is to stimulate long-term progress through school sponsorships, health initiatives, vocational training and microfinance, while providing emergency aid to those in critical need. Our organization operates on the principle that all people should have access to the basic necessities of life. We strive to accomplish our goals through working democratically with the communities we serve. Sign up for Our Newsletter and see how you can support us further: http://bit.ly/1beeo1p

Results: Mayan Families has supported 3,620 students in the past 10 years through our Student Sponsorship Program from the Preschool to University levels. We operate 7 Preschools year round that feed and educate malnourished children. Currently, our Education Program has 2,554 active students.Our Trade School has trained 364 people in different disciplines: 92 sewing students, 46 carpentry students, 221 computer students and 5 welding students. We have provided 344 Microloans to help impoverished Indigenous Mayan Women. 1,364 clients and families benefited from financial and nutritional support throughout 2014-15. This year we donated 425 Stoves, which reduce air pollution and help create a safer home environment. In 2015 alone, Mayan Families gave out 455 Water Filters, giving 3,315 indigenous families gained access to clean water. We have also held over 6 years of Clinics in the poorest communities in rural Guatemala. Our medical team has seen over 2,000 patients via mobile clinics in over 10 different communities, as well as over 1,000 patients in the Charlie Gomez Medical Clinic. We have served a daily meal to 85 elderly, reducing the rate of disease and cutting down malnutrition. Mayan Families have had three sets of 25 women and their children pass through Well Mother Well Baby and see statistically significant improvement in their lives We have had 65 kids in critical need receive food aid and education. Please go to our website for more information on our programs and impact: www.mayanfamilies.org

Target demographics: Indigenous Mayan Guatemalans living in extreme poverty

Direct beneficiaries per year: Thousands of Guatemalan families living in extreme poverty

Geographic areas served: Guatemala

Programs: Mayan Families programs: Student Sponsorship, Preschool Nutrition Centers, Tutoring Program, Reproductive Health & Family Planning, Family Assistance, Community Development, Natural Building Workshops, Medical Program, Elderly Care, Income Generating Programs, Microloans Programs, Animal Welfare, Women Health and Children Aid.

Community Stories

253 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I absolutely fell in love with Mayan Families. I recently have returned from a trip to Panajachel, where we collaborated with them. Hearing about all the different projects they do is astounding, and it was amazing to help out with them. Specifically, we aided with the stove building and visited some of the pre-schools. I am very, very impressed with the dedication and the passion Dwight and Sharon put into their work, as well as all the volunteers and workers with Mayan Families. This NGO really is making a huge difference in the area and I am flattered to have worked with them.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Mayan Families is one of the most amazing direct service charity I have ever seen. They understand well the needs of the their community, develop programs that have amazing impact, and turn on a dime whenever disaster hits -- which is far to frequent in this part of the world. I also love how they work hard to find ways for their donors and volunteers to help -- wether from their homes in the US or Europe or on the ground in Guatemala. As a person who has know the organization now for over 5 years, I find that they work hard to ensure that whatever the program they employ the local community -- from full time employees to buying aprons for their cooking class from the students in their sewing school. This is a group that I can recommend without hesitation -- once again after being with them a month this year. Thank you to Mayan Families!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering at Mayan Families for the past three months. In the short amount of time with the organization, I've learned a great deal about the language, culture and customs of the indigenous communities. The employees here at Mayan Families take such pride in helping the different communities around Panajachel; their positive vibes and smiles are infectious! Couple that with the powerful energy surrounding the lake and this is quite a unique place.
The week preceding Christmas, I had the wonderful opportunity of helping host a Christmas party six days in a row, in a different villages’ school each day.
Seeing the faces of ecstatic children clutching the only Christmas present they received all year, while posing for a photograph with their family next to Santa Claus and a Christmas tree, was incredibly powerful.
The adults were also very grateful for their gifts. Just by looking at them, you would not be able to tell that many live on a dirt floor and often struggle to pay for a can of beans to cook over an open fire. Some are forced to use string to keep there ear piercings open, because they cannot afford earrings, however they were incredibly cheerful and comported themselves with dignity and respect. Words really can’t do it justice.
Not only does it feed the soul to be helping these people, but I’ve also learned a lot and acquired a much different perspective on life. I would highly recommend donating, volunteering, or just visiting this organization.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been to Guatemala twice in the past year, and working with Mayan Families was incredible on so many levels. The dedication of each and everyone of their staff/volunteers is inspiring. The Mayans are a proud and beautiful people, and Mayan Families respects their dignity and works to help them achieve independence through support of educational programs, etc...I plan to return to Guatemala in the near future, and look forward to working again with Mayan Families.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 4

My husband and I just spent a week in Panajachel and had an opportunity to see first-hand the outstanding work that Mayan Families is doing in the surrounding villages. From pre-school to elder care and animal welfare, Mayan Families is making a difference. We were able to visit the village where our sponsored children live, and met with them and their families. It was a pleasure to see the smiling faces of families who received Onil stoves, food, clothing and other supplies. Mayan Families makes things happen! I can't wait to go back again to see the progress being made.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had the opportunity to work directly with Mayan Families through the KIDS dental mission trip to Guatemala this year. Their staff and volunteers were extremely kind and helpful with the children we treated as well as their parents. Their translation services and cheerful attitudes made our program so much more successful. I am proud to have worked with this organization and would highly recommend them.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been on several non-profit boards and I have never seen such a dedicated and hard working group. I saw many mothers and children who have been given hope because of Mayan Families.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had the pleasure of working with Mayan families and Dr Renner and Purobi and their KIDS organization giving dental care to children in need in Guatemala. Without them translating and providing logistics, none of this would have been possible. They were kind, helpful and always had the children's best interest in mind. A great group and I highly recommend them.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered as a private pediatric dental practitioner for a pediatric dental mission this past august in Guatemala. Mayan families did an amazing job having things organized for us so we could efficiently and safely treat as many Mayan children as possible in a two week period. The local Mayan family volunteers did an amazing job helping translate and make the children patients feel as comfortable as possible. I hope to return one day!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered for two weeks with Mayan Families and I had an awesome time seeing how this nonprofit works and contributing my time and efforts. I spent a good deal of time with Mayan Families working at a dental clinic in several villages and also visited a few preschools where we did arts and crafts and distributed food bags to students. Great way to spend my time in Guatemala - I saw so much and learned even more than I ever would have as a typical tourist. Will definitely be back soon!

Bruce23

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We visited Mayan Families as part of a 19 person church group installing stoves, distributing shoes, etc. We observed how the Mayan Families organization is in touch with the individual needs of the families they served. We would return from doing work and mention a specific family. The MF staff and especially the leader (Sharon) would then mention a few specifics about the family and their individual situation . . . right from their memory with no notes! It told me that they treat these several thousand families as real people with specific needs.

I also saw how MF react to new information . . . we would make observations about specific situations and they would clearly responds . . . sometimes with action during the time we were there and sometimes noting for future action.

I was also impressed by:

1. the obvious personal commitment of MF staff and leadership
2. the orientation toward action . . . there didn't appear to be too much "overhead/administration" stuff
3. how well MF documents the services they provide via photos