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.
Mayan Families was a pleasure to volunteer with and it didn't take long to realize how important their work is to the community. Their services are essential to many families and the results are tangible. I had an excellent time volunteering with them and hope to return when I can.
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!
Mayan Families assisted our organization, Global Hands of Healing, with our medical, dental, and vision mission trip and the week could not have gone better. Mayan Families identified the villages that would benefit the most from our services and arranged for us to set up in each of these villages to provide much needed health care. They provided the help needed to set up and translate and anything else that we were not able to provide for ourselves. Mayan Families is doing amazing work in these villages, especially with the children and the elderly. We will definitely partner with them again for future mission trips to Guatemala.
I recently traveled with a group called Global Hands of Healing to Panajachel, Guatemala. With the help of Mayan Families, we completed 4 days of medical/dental/vision clinic in 4 small villages surrounding Panajachel. We COULD NOT have done this work without Mayan Families' help. They organized where we would set up our clinic each day, they informed the people in the villages that we would be coming, and they provided safe transportation and great translators for us! We also got to know many people at Mayan Families personally and shared several meals together. The people working for Mayan Families are truly devoted to helping underprivileged Guatemalans (and their pets!) and are extremely friendly and accommodating to their volunteers!
Our daughter who is an emergency nurse in Vancouver wanted to volunteer, so my husband and I really liked the work Mayan Families was doing when we helped 6 years ago. We requested information about specific work that we would be doing if we came back. There were lots of opportunities and projects on the go, where we could help. Mayan Families is very good about giving you information about where to stay, and getting you from the airport with shuttles etc.
We made the arrangements and just returned from Panajachel, Guatemala. We spent 2 weeks helping Mayan Families in Pana. We arrived at the beginning of June, and there were many medical clinics helping in all the small villages around Lake Atitland. It was amazing to see many volunteers just showing up wanting to help.
We met many wonderful staff, volunteers and quickly became involved in what ever was needed.
My husband and I came to help volunteer with Mayan Families 6 years ago in 2005, as we were making our way through Central America. The organization based in Panajatchel, Guatemala has a passion for helping the indigenous men, women and children who have been devastated by natural disasters and poverty. We were willing to help where ever they needed us. There was a great need at the time to help rebuild homes, for those who were devastated with the mud slides and flooding after Hurricane Stan. The adobe washes away over time with the floods and needs to be replaced. We worked on three projects (two in Panajachel and one in San HorHay) over the course of 2-3 weeks. One family of 13 had been living under a piece of metal roofing for atleast 5 months. It was so rewarding to be part of a group of volunteers who came from all over the world to help. Mayan Families knew their familie's needs and placed us on a team to do construction. To see the appreciation through the smiles of the families that we helped was so worthwhile and meaningful, as they finally had a small wooden frame house with bunk beds, an outside kitchen which was a framed open structure with a roof and an out house.
We witnessed families that had been given micro loans to buy chickens and a rooster, or to run a small store out of their homes. There were sewing classes to teach the single moms, while their children were being cared for. Children were being sponsored to go to school and become educated. Clinics were set up to help children with spina bifida due to a lack of folic acid in their diets. So many worthwhile needs were being met. Love, compassion, and a drive to help others was very evident by those involved with Mayan Families.