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Mujeres de Maiz Opportunity Foundation

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Civil Rights, Education, Educational Services, International, Women, Womens Rights

Mission: We are dedicated to partnering with and empowering indigenous women in Chiapas, Mexico, by providing them with access to education. Our goal is to help break the cycle of poverty, build self-esteem, and create positive role models.

Results: In August of 2013, we will be welcoming 24 girls and women on scholarship. We are funding three full year children's programs to strengthen academic skills, develop creativity and foster environmental stewardship. We also fund an adult literacy program, now in its second year. We fund workshops, provide eye exams and glasses, toothbrushes and toothpaste. We have donated a laptop to each community. We have just completed our capital campaign which has enabled the cooperative to fulfill a dream of their own center and a legacy for their daughters. Our new composting toilet project is underway in 3 communities.

Target demographics: Indigenous women and children who live in poverty.

Direct beneficiaries per year: Approximately 155.

Geographic areas served: 12 communities in the highlands of Chiapas, Mexcio

Programs: Scholarships Zinacantan Saturday Children's Project Crucero Saturday Children's Project Altamirano adult literacy program Ocosingo Children's Project Eye exams and glasses Computers Eco-friendly composting latrines Twice a year toothbrushes and paste

Community Stories

16 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been fortunate to have traveled to Chiapas to see the work of the foundation firsthand. I witnessed those that had received scholarships from Mujeres de Maiz and graduated from school, return to their community and are now teaching others. While I visited, a pediatrician from the US which had worked with Doctors Without Borders was teaching the woman about prenatal care and answering questions. The foundation continues to supply tooth brushes and teach dental hygiene. They also provide optometrist visits so those that may have never had the opportunity to get glasses can get them. The foundation has not only provided a path for individual growth, it has created an environment where students become the teachers and continue supporting their community.

Mujeres de Maiz Opportunity Foundation is also one of the few nonprofits that directs nearly all donations to the people it's meant for. Expense of running the foundation is kept to a minimum with none of the foundation members receiving salaries for their time and efforts.

I am fortunate and proud to have had the opportunity to experience firsthand what a wonderful organization Mujeres de Maiz is. I have and will continue to donate my time, money and resources to this foundation as it continues to support the education of others and uses the donations it receives to directly benefit the people it's intended for.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

In December 2010 I had the pleasure of traveling to San Cristobal where I had a wonderful experience learning more about the work the Mujeres De Maiz Opportunity Foundation performs. The educational opportunities reach not only the local woman but the lessons learned are taken back to multiple states within Mexico. The outreach and focus to work with a culture and not change it was great to see. The foundation is truley there to support and educate. Mujeres De Maiz Opportunity Foundation might be a smaller organization but its ability to change so many lives it grand.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Mujeres de Maiz does more with the money they receive than any other non-profit we donate to.
They have an all-volunteer board and exceptional community support. As a non-profit working in Chiapas, Mexico, Mujeres does not decide what to fund. The women of the weaving cooperatives decide what their needs are. Mujeres de Maiz has funded education for women and children, helped in procuring a permanent building designed by the women for workshops and meetings, provided eyeglasses, helped with a latrine building project and much more. One of the rewarding things that has happened is that some of the “girls” who were provided scholarships have returned and are working to support the programs. The participants decided they needed to help in developing and instructing a children’s program. The programs continue to grow for a population that is often neglected in their own country. I am proud to be a volunteer and donor of Mujeres de Maiz.

cblaze

Donor

Rating: 5

Mujeres de Maiz gives people hope and fosters the determination needed to plan for a future. Many of these women never anticipated a better life for themselves and/or their children. It is such a heart warming experience knowing that Mujeres de Maiz provides education and a attainable goals for these families. My life is enriched by associating with the board and Judith Pasco. What an inspiration!

Previous Stories

Donor

Rating: 5

The Mujeres de Maiz has improved the lives of so many women and girls. They now have hopes and dreams that will become a reality. As they strive to attain their educational goals, they are role models and tutors for the younger generation. Entire communities can begin to sustain themselves. The ripple effect brings promise and fuels the desire to reach for a better life.

It is my pleasure to support this fabulous foundation; it truly Makes A Difference in all the lives it touches.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

For many years now, my sister has been involved with Mujeres. We have talked often of her experiences--visiting Chiapas, local fundraising efforts, her Board responsibilities. Clearly, the Mujeres programs in Chiapas have a profoundly positive impact on that community. When my sister asked me last year if I would volunteer to keep the books for the organization, I enthusiastically agreed. I am proud to do my part to support the dedicated people that run this organization, all the volunteers, the donors, and especially the women of Chiapas that benefit so greatly from Mujeres.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is an organization where every penny is counted and every penny counts. I have been able to meet with the women in Chiapas and see firsthand how the support we are offering has allowed them to make positive changes in their lives and in their communities. What is especially encouraging is the fact that the women are now proposing and creating the opportunities that best meet their needs. It's also exciting to have women getting degrees after having started with us in sixth grade.

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am not easily persuaded to serve on a board these days, but am proud to be a member of the Mujeres board. We have been to Mexico to see our work in action and are able to tell our supporters how every penny of their donations is spent. Being in constant contact with the women and communities we support lets us know that our efforts are making a difference in their lives.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Mujeres de Maiz Opportunity Foundation is a great nonprofit. I have had the opportunity to participate in a few fundraisers and have been continually impressed with the foundation and its achievements.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been excited about Mujeres since it was created several years ago! In 2013 my husband and I lived in San Cristobal for a couple of months and we visited some of the recipients and stayed overnight in their home. As a retired community college employee I am especially proud of the educational parts of the programs. It is also a triumph that the organization has now bought a building! Mujeres is grass roots and very special!!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been involved in one way or another with Mujeres since it's inception. I've traveled to San Cristobal de las Casas a couple of time and have been there when scholarships were given to the young indigenous women and witnessed the pride. I have experienced the excitement and enthusiasm for learning at the cooperative. This organization is making a difference in lives and I'm proud to be a supporter and "Friend" of Mujeres.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have traveled twice to San Cristobal de las Casas & had exceptional experiences with this organization, and thus the remarkable young women who are recipients. The educational opportunities that are being provided to young indigenous women by Mujeres de Maiz Opportunity Foundation with small amounts of money is amazing and the women are so appreciative. The money goes so far. I would encourage you to find out more about Mujeres de Maiz and when you do you will want to participate any way you can. I believe that educating women makes a huge difference in their family and their community and this organization does just that.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I traveled to Chiapas with my Grandmother (board member) and several other board members a few years ago to visit with the women of the cooperative and see the work that is being done by them and the foundation. I have gone on many cultural trips and this was by far the most rewarding, the Mujeres Foundation is inspirational in what they have been able to accomplish in a relatively short period of time in Chiapas. I greatly enjoyed the meeting the women of the cooperative and was struck by their dedication to education and also to give back to their communities. I support this foundation regularly and would encourage others to do the same!

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been actively supporting this organization for only a few years and wish i'd started sooner! They work directly with the communities they have built relationships with, and they have a grassroots approach across the whole organization, from Chipas to here. Many of the board members are active in our local community on the Olympic Peninsula, and bring their professionalism, integrity and passion to their work with the Mujeres de Maiz Opportunity Foundation. My husband and I were so inspired by this this fantastic non profit, we started volunteering with its fundraising efforts, including the annual fundraisers, "Men with Guitars" and "El Día de los Muertos Dinner and Auction...fun times!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is a wonderful way to increase one's own knowledge and to find a way to assist indigenous women make the most out of their lives through higher education. There are no "middle men" involved. It is a very direct person to person contact, as well as a fine opportunity to see Chiapas.

Julie83

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I respect the way this organization goes directly to the women of Chiapas and asks them what they need in order to succeed. The women and girls set their own goals. They're greatest desire is education for themselves and their children.

Donor

Rating: 5

I love this charity! It is small and intimate and it feels like you are making a huge difference in the lives of women in Chiapas. It also seems like almost all dollars are used to do good work and very little for overhead. Definitely a group worth being a part of or donating to.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I traveled with the Mujeres de Maiz organization to southern Mexico in December 2011. It was a fantastic experience to watch the interaction between the members from the US and the people they served/helped in Mexico. It was apparant that there is affection and respect on both sides. I loved seeing the girls/women that were continuing their education because of this organization give back to their communities by conducting Saturday school with elementary age children. I could see the confidence these young women are gaining. I also appreciated that monies raised by the group go to the people served and not to admin/overhead costs.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This organization, Mujeres de Maiz, reaches a part of the world that most people do not know exists. Chiapas is an area of Mexico next to Guatemala that has a large population of indigenous people who lack educational opportunities. Judith Pasco saw that the women who started a co-operative to improve their lives needed assistance. The money she raises goes directly to women to continue their education. These women usually remain in their villages to assist others, providing classes for children and adults, counseling, and market opportunities. This non-profit offers funding and advice, but does not dictate how the women should run their co-operative. It is a fine example of helping people help themselves for they know what is needed and what should be done in their culture.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

In December of 2010, I was able to visit the Mujeres de Maiz women by traveling to Chiapas, Mexico. After meeting with the women in the city of San Christobal de las Casas, we were able to visit some of their villages. They are an amazing group of women, working hard to improve their education and making the opportunity to change their own lives. We shared laughs while attempting to teach each other basic greetings in our own languages. Their fiber art products were beautiful and showed high quality work. After receiving a scholarship from our organization, the women must donate volunteer hours in their communities. The children's education programs were a result of these hours. While visiting the children's program, we played a rousing game similar to duck-duck-goose and laughed our way through the delightful interaction with the children.