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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

38 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Donor

Rating: 5

This organization uses every donated dollar better than any non-profit I know which is important to me when I consider donating to important causes.

Previous Stories

Donor

Rating: 5

The board works so hard that I know my donation dollars to Mujeres de Maiz will go further than at any other charity.

Donor

Rating: 5

The Mujeres de Maiz Opportunity Foundation was born in and of the hearts of just a few women from Sequim, WA, who saw a need in Chiapas, Mexico. These women do an incredible job, but that’s because their hearts are in it. They money they raise goes a long way because they know how to maximize it, and they know what is most important. They have improved the lives of not only the women and girls who they’ve assisted and educated, but also the lives of their families and their communities. The scholarships and training the organization provides are like pebbles dropped into the water—the ripple effect keeps on going. Girls who have gone thru schooling now help instruct others. Those who have received, gladly decide to give back. It is a continuous cycle of education, hope and caring. I whole-heartedly support this organization and what they do.

Donor

Rating: 5

As a former teacher, I want to support a charity that is efficiently run and that empowers women and girls through education. Mujeres de Maiz is just such an organization. The board members all volunteer considerable time and energy on fundraisers in order to provide scholarships and educational programs for the women and children of Chiapas, Mexico. The foundation distributes an annual newsletter to supporters clearly depicting programs and services provided by the donations. Mujeres de Maiz is an excellent foundation and very worthy of support.

Donor

Rating: 5

I continue to be amazed by the work Mujeres de Maiz has done over time.
They currently have 21 girls & women on scholarship. Education is changing their lives & positively benefiting indigenous communities in Chiapas as the scholarship recipients share information & teach children. The boardmembers do not take salaries so all their fundraising goes for the benefit of the program.

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.

Donor

Rating: 5

I've attended fundraisers for Mujeres de Maiz, and have seen how hard the board members and other volunteers work. They listen carefully to the women with whom they work, and then partner with them to develop the programs that are most needed.
By funding scholarships for girls and women in rural Chiapas, Mujeres de Maiz is helping provide the tools for community development -- on the people's terms. The "scholarship girls" know best what their communities need, and when they are fortified with education, they are able to address those needs. So the scholarships benefit the whole society.

Margot H.

Donor

Rating: 5

A true ""local" success story that shows how much a few dedicated people can accomplish.
I look forward to the annual fund raising dinners and the inspiring reports and slides from their most recent trip to Chiapas.
I hope to become more involved in the future.
Margot Hewitt

Previous Stories

Donor

Rating: 4

Every year at the annual (delicious) fund raising dinner we hear success stories of girls and women in Chiapas who have continued their education thanks to help from Mujeres de Maiz.This is important because woman are more apt to return to their home village and educate and support other women.

Margot Hewitt

Donor

Rating: 5

I can't think of a charitable organization where the donated dollar goes further. This group has funded so many indigenous women and girls through their education. These scholarships follow their recipients for as long as the women stay in school. This has been such a life changer in these communities. Perhaps best of all, the local peoples are asked what they would like help with, instead of having outsiders impose projects on the communities. I can't recommend this organization highly enough.

Previous Stories

Donor

Rating: 5

One of the qualities that I love the most about this organization is that they LISTEN. Instead of coming into a community and announcing what they will provide, they take the time to hear what is needed. What an enormous contribution they have made by listening and serving!

Martha23

Donor

Rating: 5

After 11 years, Mujeres de Maiz continues to change lives of, not only indigenous women, but entire families and communities in San Cristobal Chiapas, one of the poorest countries in Mexico. Providing scholarships to continue education after 5th grade is life changing. As the young women have continued their education, they have started children's programs in their own communities. I am thrilled to know the impact that my donations make.

Previous Stories

Donor

Rating: 5

Mujeres de Maiz is an organization that not only changes lives it speaks to the soul of those on both the receiving side and the giving side and you wonder who's really giving and who's really receiving. I have been involved with Mujeres since it's inception and friends with Judith Pasco even longer. I have been down to San Cristobal several times and have experienced the beauty, the poverty, the injustices and the dedication the young women in the cooperative have to better themselves. The day we took them for eye exams, and most were fitted with new glasses, was literally eye-opening for them and humbling for us. It was a day filled with giggles! You donations will be honored and well invested in helping to change lives of these remarkable indiginis women with compassion respect. If you haven't already, I encourage you to read "Somewhere for my Soul to Go" by Judith Pasco, then you'll get it.

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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puzzlejan

Donor

Rating: 5

I continue to donate to this organization because they have a proven record of making a difference in the lives of indigenous women in Chiapas, Mexico. They have provided opportunities for women to access education, and their program includes provision for recipients to pass on what they learn to other members of their community. They have built a program designed to meet specific needs identified by the women of the community, and they have built a local leadership base. The work of this foundation is a good model for other programs.

Previous Stories

Donor

Rating: 5

As a retired social worker, I recognize the qualities of an effective organization, and Mujeres de Maiz Opportunity Foundation provides assistance in an effective and empowering manner. The organization focuses on needs identified by the women they serve, and these women are involved in the design and review of these services. Women in the community receive support in attaining their education, and then they are expected to provide assistance to others through teaching Saturday school, through leading workshops, and through participation in community events. The wholistic programs serve the academic needs of the scholarship recipients, the physical needs by funding eye glasses, the social needs by providing community events and a community center, and the wellness needs by funding eco-friendly latrines.

Donor

Rating: 5

Judith Pasco, a Spanish teacher, founded Mujeres de Maiz 11 years ago to help impoverished, undereducated women in Chiapas, Mexico. This local charitable organization has grown over the years, providing scholarships for education, offering literacy classes, reading glasses, computers and classes in using them, and training local women to do most of the teaching and now managing the ongoing daily work of the organization. ALL of the money raised by Mujeres de Maiz goes to the work in Mexico, as the founder and board in the U.S. have always worked as volunteers.
I have given to many different non-profits over the years, but this is the most worthy of them all, in my opinion. These devoted women have truly made a positive difference in the lives of rural girls & women in Chiapas, Mexico, empowering them to make a lasting difference in their communities.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I år var jeg i Chiapas og så med egne øjne nogle af de projekter, som Mujeres de Maíz har startet der. Det var en stor oplevelse at konstatere, at projekterne ikke blot hjælper de mennesker, der er involveret, men også griber om sig og sætter ny ting i værk. Samtidig er det også vigtigt at se, hvordan projekterne er integreret som en naturlig del af og fortsættelse af pigernes og kvindernes liv. De får ikke en amerikansk uddannelse, men lærer at hjælpe sig selv og andre med den uddannelse, som de har valgt i det mexikanske system. Desuden var det for mig vigtigt at se hvor uselvisk og effektivt de frivillige amerikanere fungerer i den mexikanske verden.

Previous Stories

Donor

Rating: 5

I gør et fantastisk stykke arbejde som er helt uselvisk og som giver mening for den enkelte person som får glæde af jeres støtte og som samtidig er inspiration for andre til at følge op på jeres indsats.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have traveled to Chiapas and have witnessed first hand the wonderful work this charity does. Our church has donated money to this group every year since 2007. We pick out non-profit organizations that are well managed, that give most of the donated money in direct services to the target group with very little overhead, and that provides maximun benefit to the people served. This group qualifies on all these points.

Previous Stories

Donor

Rating: 5

Our church has sponsored this organization since its inception. I became interested in the project and visited the indigenous villages where work was being done. I met a couple of the women who received scholarships, visited the sewing cooperative and had workshops to inform me of the current issues facing the women and girls in the villages.

Almost all of the money donated goes to the services for the women.

Linda S.

Donor

Rating: 5

Mujeres de Maiz is an awesome organization dedicated to help educate, empower and mentor the indigenous women/girls through out the San Cristobal de la Casas area in the Chiapas state of Mexico. The continued support through the years of this group is inspiring. Donations are never used frivolously.....all support is used where intended, the continued support of these beautiful women/girls. Some years ago it was my privilege to meet some of the women and children being empowered through the support of Mujeres, it was a beautiful to see lives enhanced through education that was not available in the past. The best part is that this is all paid forward because as each young woman blossoms she in turn gives back to her community!! The opportunities that are opened for these women/girls touches my heart. I know there are many organizations helping to empower, but Mujeres remains at the top of my list.

Previous Stories

Donor

Rating: 5

This organization continues to be among the most dedicated in their outreach to help with the education and life building skills for the young women of Chiapas Mexico. The women now have their own building in town for gathering and to showcase their crafts. The dedication of each volunteer and the Board is amazing....sponsoring multiple fundraisers annually that have helped so many. Not only do each of the scholarship recipients receive an education that otherwise would be unattainable, but then each gives back to their community in amazing ways.... classes for the children, helping their peers and increasing awareness of each person being able to better their life situation.

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Donor

Rating: 5

I was so impressed by reading Judith Pasco's book, 'Somewhere for My Soul to Go' that we read her book in my book club and invited Judith to speak with us about her work. In both her book and in person, she charmed us with her stories and inspired us all to find our own passion and apply it to a cause we love. She and her organization have provided an outstanding model of how to do this...they have improved the lives of indigenous women and girls in Chiapas in the 8 years since Mujeres de Maiz was created. This organization is well worth supporting because of the vital work they do.

Donor

Rating: 5

Mujeres de Maiz is an awe-inspiring organization, founded on the desire of one woman, Judith Pasco, to help the underprivileged women of rural Chiapas, Mexico. Over the years her organization has helped many worthy young women to complete their educations, improved literacy, provided vision care and dental hygiene supplies to those in need, offered empowerment to oppressed women and teaching to their children. Through their work, the women in the villages Mujeres de Maiz serves have become increasingly self-sufficient, self-confident and created cohesive groups to support personal growth among their members.
Amazingly, all this work has been done by dedicated volunteers, there are NO salaried employees of the foundation, and 100% of donations go directly to helping the women and children of Chiapas. Fundraising is mainly done through an annual community dinner with live and silent auctions and an annual concert, "Men with Guitars."
This is by far my favorite charity EVER, and worthy of any support you can offer.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been donating to this organization from the very beginning. I have always been impressed by their fundraising events accompanied by their emphasis on education to the supporters of the work that they do. They are very committed to the women of Chiapas and they empower people to make decisions on the paths they will follow and not tell them how to do it. They educate and support without dictating. The Board is all volunteer and I always feel my donated dollar is being wisely used!

Donor

Rating: 5

After returning from a trip to Chiapas in 2011 with a few board members and others like me who were curious about this vibrant non-profit Mujeres de Maiz Opportunity Fund, I amazed myself: I created my first digital photo album! I wanted to tell everyone I knew what an incredible, insightful, inspiring, dynamic program this is. How could I introduce my friends to Yollie, Juana, America, Christina, and other young women who now go to school and university because they have earned scholarships, who mentor children and adults in their own communities, who are learning how to create economic opportunities through computer skills, who share knowledge about health-care practices in their home towns, who support each other in recognizing their dignity and self-worth and their right to be respected and to participate in making decisions that affect their lives and families? And this photo story needs to be in bright colors, because these women also work long hours as weavers, on backstrap looms, kneeling on the ground, creating apparel of exceptional beauty.
The story of Mujeres de Maiz keeps spreading because we can't stay quiet about it; and now I have a story book in living color to share!

Previous Stories

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My husband and I have been casual supporters of Mujeres de Maiz Opportunity Foundation for four years because we have listened to and been impressed by the story from the founder, board members, and other participants in our community. It is an amazing opportunity to participate in conversations and contributions and activities with a group of people who are passionate about the people they serve, who know these people personally, and who engage with them in discerning the projects that will best achieve the Foundation's goals. Then, this past December, I traveled to Chiapas, Mexico, with several other supporters and a couple of Board members, on a tour arranged and led by Judith Pasco, Founder. We celebrated the Guadalupana with the women of the cooperative; we visited several of the communities; we participated in the Saturday school program that two of the Mujeres scholarship participants have established in their home town; we sat down to lunch in one of the homes around a gaily painted table; we watched a demonstration of weaving with a back-strap loom, which many fo the women use to make products for sale to support their schooling and families; we noticed that some of the women now wear eyeglasses because a need was identified and subsequently eye exams were provided and glasses supplied as prescribed; and we met with the on-site coordinator who represents the Foundation and brings the Mayan women of Chiapas and the women of Sequim, Washington together to create and nurture opportunities for higher education, better health, and improved economic opportunity. Now I know that what "Mujeres" is achieving in partnership with these Mayan women of Chiapas is so much more than what I had expected, and the experience enriches every participant. I can never again be a "casual" supporter.

Virginia13

Donor

Rating: 5

Mujeres de Maiz Opportunity Foundation has accomplished a lot in seven years. The indigenous women and girls who are scholarship recipients are also enriching their communities by creating and teaching workshops and classes. So the educational benefits continue to enrich lives. The board works with tireless enthusiasm throughout the year as volunteers. All funds raised go to support programs.