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Mayan Families

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Community Improvement & Capacity Building, Emergency Assistance, Human Services, 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

128 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Diane

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Dwight and Sharon run a top-notch organization. It's amazing to see it in action as so much gets done with a small staff. Can't say enough good things about them.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It was my pleasure to work at Mayan Families during the month of Feb. It is a wonderful organization that serves many needy families. I was able to input "thank you's" to the many sponsors that help support children so they are able to attend school. It was very rewarding to see some of the very heartfelt notes. The staff is very welcoming and I plan to volunteer there again next year when we return.

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Karen-John M.

Donor

Rating: 5

I retired as a teacher from a U.S. school that had a Spanish bilingual program in the 1990s, but this program was rejected by voters in the late 90s. The texts in Spanish had languished in our school's store room for more than 10 years. My husband and I connected with Mayan Families to get these books shipped to Panajachel and have them distributed to the public schools in the area. We spent two weeks working with the Mayan Families staff to sort the 2000 pounds of books and get them delivered to schools that literally had no textbooks. We saw not only how they helped with our project, but also got to observe their tireless efforts to support many other projects to help the indigenous people of Guatemala improve their lives.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have never seen a charity do so much with what they get. I feel 110% good about everything I give to this organization. I know that every penny I give them goes to individual people very in need. They are committed to helping as many people in Guatemala improve their lives, and they continue to build a grass-roots movement of supporters who continue to give amounts small and large at every opportunity. I have yet to find a more worthy charity.

Donor

Rating: 5

Mayan Families is a wonderful organization working in the Highlands of Guatemala. I am extremely impressed with all Mayan Families is able to accomplish with its budget, and with the job it does communicating with its donors and other stakeholders.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

My family and I sponsor 2 children to attend school in Guatemala. I am continually amazed by the comprehensive nature of this organization. During our short time as sponsors, we have seen the family get food, an education, celebrate the holidays, and receive medical attention. These are the most dedicated, hard-working, creative, and committed individuals that I have ever met. There impact is immeasurable.

Review from Guidestar

Mike G.

Donor

Rating: 5

Mayan Families is an outstanding organization, providing assistance to families in the Highlands region of Guatemala. Their program in which donors can sponsor a student to afford a public eduction is a particularly successful program and one that is well-run by the organization. My family has sponsored a student for three years and we have received consistent updates on the student's progress through school. I highly recommend Mayan Families to those willing to give.

Review from Guidestar

Kelli M.

Donor

Rating: 5

I personally have contributed to their Christmas, Easter and Valentine's Day programs, have helped continue the education of two children, and have provided families with food, beds and clean water equipment. Because of their work, I am able to make a difference in the lives of these families, and in their community when crises hit Guatemala. I'm amazed at the reach of impact this one organization has been able to accomplish.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

I've never been changed by an organization the way I have been by Mayan Families. We have been donating to MF for four years and now the organization and the children/families we donate to have become deeply woven into the culture of our family. MF has created an organization that lets donors select exactly where they want their donations to be used so that in time relationships are built between the giving and the receiving families. I learn through updates from the staff and letters written by the children what is going on in the lives of the families we sponsor, and then if I choose I am able to respond to that information with a donation for a needed item. Additionally there is a very active, very committed yahoo forum where information about people in need is posted and where the members can brainstorm ideas for how to best help, often working together for a solution. It's incredible to feel like I'm truly making a difference in a person's life!

Review from Guidestar

Evelyn H.

Donor

Rating: 5

When my daughter was in the process of adopting her daughter from Guatemala, she was doing research on the internet and discovered Mayan Families. They have SO many worth-while projects which directly impact the people of Guatemala. Trying to provide scholarships from pre-school through the university, trying to protect the people- from abusive relationships, to providing food, housing and medical care, trying to raise awareness of humane treatment of animals and protect the environment with onil stove are only a few of the many on-going projects. When we visited Mayan Families on the pick-up trip, I was very impressed with the organization and the people involved in it. They were all very competent and caring. They carefully guard the donations they receive so that maximum benefit can be had from their resources.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

While visiting Guatamala in 2008 I was able to meet the families being served by the Mayan Families ...They are so well served, with respect & dignity & most importantly educating the children as well as the mothers in garment/craft industries for them to get work. It was very heartening to witness and I am now sponsoring a child that attends their San Antonio school which needs further funding. I would love to see their work flourish. Sincerely,Eleanor Briseno, Florida, USA

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

I have never known a charity like Mayan Families. The dedication that they put into helping the poor people in Guatemala is amazing. When I send money to them to help the family I sponsor I get photographs and letters back from my sponsored student to thank me and my family for everything that we have bought. I feel that other charities should take note from this one because some problems I had with other charities was that you were never told specifically where the money was going. Mayan Families you do, the love and support that they show the people is heartwarming. They deserve all the support and help that they can get. I love being apart of this family network. Also, if there is a delay in getting back to you MF will let you know why there was a delay. Just amazing!!!!!!!!!

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

Mayan Families is a great place in Guatemala for indigenousand ladino people in the Lake Atitlan area to receive help in a LOT of different ways. They promote environmentally sound programs, like onil stoves, economically with microloans, educationally with scholarships from pre-school through university, and healthy living through visiting medical personnel and access to private doctors and nurses and medicine, water filters, dental care, classes on controlling diabetes and much more. They also are active in promoting humane care of domestic animals, with spay and neuter clinics every month. They are a fantastic organization.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

In helping those that need it most, Mayan Families has shown to be a wonderful organization. Poverty and strife are mainstays with nearly all Indigenous populations in Guatemala. Mayan Families provides basic supplies, care, and education to really make a difference in the lives of those they touch.

Review from Guidestar

Jeanne C.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been a donor and supporter of this charity since 2006. I have met one of the founders personally as well. I appreciate that every dollar donated goes to people in great need. There is a great deal of accountability, and they share results with the donors frequently. The charity has grown in the past 5 years, but it retains a personal touch. I have made it my #1 charity and intend to increase my support in the future.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been involved with Mayan Families for more than three years as a sponsor for a child to attend school. We receive regular updates and are able to see the difference Mayan Families makes in the lives of the communities they serve. When disasters, such as mudslides and floods, affected the region around Lake Aitlan, Mayan Families was able to respond quickly and effectively to provide shelter and necessities for families that truly had nowhere else to turn. Their preschool feeding program gives young children the chance for a healthier life, and the early education improves the chance that the child will succeed in school and not drop out. I believe every dollar I donate to Mayan Families is a dollar well spent. I only wish I could give more!

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

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

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

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