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!
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!
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
Mayan Families is so important to the indigenous families of the Lake Atitlan area. These unselfish, humanitarian people provide needed clothing, shoes, food, education, and homes to the families and children of these villages. However, they also are totally involved in working with Mayan people of all ages -- from the youngest children to the elderly. Mayan Families finds a way to provide homes for those families who cannot provide for themselves. Medical and dietary assistance is brought to the elderly. They selflessly spay and neuter dogs and cats in the villages.
Having spent a week volunteering for Mayan Families, I was amazed at Dwight and Sharon's dedication to helping preseve the lives and dignity of the Mayan Families. Their focus is to help eliminate malnutrition (e.g., food baskets, chickens) , provide education for the young people (e.g., school sponsorships for preschool through university), improve the quality and health conditions for the families (e.g., ONIL stoves, walter filters, clothing, shoes, medicines/medical care), and celebrate/respect the cultural beliefs and traditions of the Mayan families in this area of Guatemala.
I've worked with Mayan Families now for 2 summers (1 week per visit) and have really been impressed by the breadth of the work they do and the way they are embraced by the local communities they touch. They are tireless and while things can appear chaotic to the untrained eye - underneath the surface a lot of wonderful work is done. They are AWESOME at providing tangible feedback to both those who are there doing the work and through their photo-documentation of all the work they do. I really have enjoyed my time working with them and believe they are making a tangible differences in the lives of thousands in their area.
i spent several months in Panajachel, Guatemala as a volunteer with Mayanfamilies, doing a variety of things. I was really impressed by their grass roots approach and the fact that assistance was given really quickly to those who needed it. I was also really impressed by the dedication of the staff who are mainly indigenous, so are learning skills and being educated as well. They may never have been able to achieve this without the help of Mayan families. I am in touch frquently, and hope to return in 2012 to be hands on in this wonderful organisation again. Sharon and Dwight and all their amazing staff deserve the best.
I arrived from Australia to volunteer for Mayan families, just prior to "tropical storm Agatha." I witnessed at first hand, Mayan Families immediate response in assisting those people in urgent need, providing food and clothing to those pueblos hardest hit.I have seen the wonderful work that is being done here by an unstinting and committed staff.
I have sponsored a student for the last four years and I send her and her family donations of food during the year. I love receiving letters from her and she always is so thankful for her education sponsorship. She has many dreams for herself and I am blessed to be part of her achieving her goals in life.
I had the opportunity to intern with Mayan Families for two months this summer. My only complaint would be that I wasn't working with them long enough. I've never met people so kind and compassionate and it was very nice to be reminded that those type of people exist. The Guatemalan and foreign staff, alike, were all very respectful and warm. I worked in the office for the most part, but when I was able to visit the various programs, I was very impressed with their organization and their direct impact on the community. I definitely will come back to work/intern/volunteer with Mayan Families again. They are truly an amazing organization that is definitely worth supporting!
I volunteered with Mayan Families for 3 months and had a fantastic experience! The staff is friendly and helpful and always willing to stop to answer questions or just to say hello. Sharon and Dwight are both incredible people... their dedication and loyalty towards the indigenous Mayan people is unsurpassed. I had the pleasure of working outside of the Mayan Families Headquarters, in the lawn where the people wait to receive assistance. Everyone I talked to shared the same attitude of thankfulness and joy towards the assistance that Mayan Families had provided to them. I would highly recommend working with or supporting Mayan Families!