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2016 Top-Rated Nonprofit

People for Guatemala Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Human Service Organizations, Human Services

Mission: To promote human advancement by engaging the poor in rural Guatemala through health, education and community development to effect long term change in families and their communities.

Results: Over 400 patients are treated each month in our medical clinics. Forty-five young adults are receiving scholarships to attend junior high, high school, and college . 3,200 families have received a Chapina stoves and we have constructed 27 village water projects providing running water at over 17,000 people.

Target demographics: improve health and education of the Maya living in remote villages

Direct beneficiaries per year: 25 communities, over 5,000 people

Geographic areas served: San Martin, Jilotepeque, Chimaltenango Guatemala

Programs: Teachers Helping Teachers Houses for Living, Skills for Life Healthy Homes - clean drinking water, Chapina stove, composting latriine Scholarships for junior high and high school students Health Care clinics Building water projects and schools

Community Stories

21 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

adriewool

Volunteer

Rating: 5

People for Guatemala exceeded my expectations! The organization I volunteer with partners with PFG during the summer. I have never come in contact with a local organization as sustainable and well organized as People for Guatemala. The founders and staff are incredibly tuned in to the needs of the local communities in the San Martin area. I cannot sing enough praises to this organization for making our experience genuine, special, and extraordinary.

Jordan N.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I coordinated with People for Guatemala and led a team of 36 people for two weeks. They kept us busy with plenty of meaningful projects and enriching cultural experiences.
They were well organized and prepared for our stay there and we couldn't have reached the success we did without them! The projects we coordinated together were sustainable and long lasting. They are truly changing the lives of the people in Guatemala. Their devotion and passion are exemplar and they radiated goodness with everything they do.
Thank you People for Guatemala!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Youthlinc couldn't accomplish its mission without incredible in-country coordinators like People for Guatemala! Youthlinc has partnered with People for Guatemala since 2015. People for Guatemala understands the needs of the people and helps us coordinate construction, vocational, business, education, and cultural exchange projects in the most sustainable way possible, ultimately developing a deep rooted service ethic in 30+ high school and college students each year. Lois and staff are extremely professional, organized, and committed to fighting poverty! It is a pleasure to work with People for Guatemala year after year! They have impacted the lives of hundreds of Utah students by creating experiences where students serve and learn from the people of Guatemala!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had the pleasure of working with People for Guatemala this summer. This organization does not work in the large towns and cities of Guatemala, but rather théy work in thé small villages up in the mountains. The needs of thes people are great, and many, if not most of their needs are addressed by this nonprofit group. Education (scholarships for high school and college) health (!physical, dental and mental) computer classes, English classes, as well as life skills classes. All this is accomplished by a small group of very decicated and capable personnel. All of the personnel are Guatemalans helping other Guatemalans. The fund raising is done by the founders, Ken and Lois Werner, who work tirelessly from their Guatemalan home to provide the funds necessary for the services so badly needed by these people. The group operates as a family and I felt honored to be a part of this family.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I participated in a 2 week service project in Guatemala and People for Guatemala was so prepared and they were not afraid to get down and dirty to help the people of their country alongside everyone in my team.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

Working with the People for Guatemala was an amazing experience and one that I will never forget. The two weeks that I spent in the community of Pacoxpon were definitely not wasted and we have this organization to thank for that. They made a point to make sure that my group and I were comfortable, and understanding of everything that was going on. They are extremely organized, kind, and I loved working with them! They really went out of their way to ensure our happiness while we were serving. Things like getting us peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch (something we were all craving), working along side us, and throwing us a very nice and beautiful goodbye dinner on our last night.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This organization and everyone is involved is AMAZING. When I went on a service trip to Guatemala, they were the whole reason it was able to happen. They coordinated everything in country, got translators, worked with the village, and made it all possible for us. They work so hard to change the lives of the Guatemalan people and it's beautiful.

Tristin H.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I did a humanitarian trip this past summer with Youthlinc. People for Guatemala were amazing in helping us to know what the village of Pacoxpom really needed and helped us schedule and plan so that we could make things happen. We could not have completed as much work as we did without them communcating and helping us plan while we were in the US. They are an amazing organization doing amazing things in Guatemala!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a member of the Rotary Club of Antigua Guatemala. For more than a hundred years the community of El Molino, San Martin Jilotepeque, Chimaltenango didn't have running water, they had to walk far to collect water and carry it to bring it home. This rural area does not have drainages. People for Guatemala, in coordination and collaboration with the local Municipality, the villagers, the Rotary Foundation, The Rotary Clubs of Vashon Island, Lake Union Neighborhood (Seattle), Fremont (Seattle), Mill Creek, Renton, West Seattle, Antigua Guatemala and Rotary District 5030, 84 families were benefited to have water at home. Also 130 composting latrines were built. People for Guatemala sent their nurses to provide training to the villagers about sanitation. The staff in Guatemala is professional, knowledgeable and compassionate about helping the communities. After several months the health of this village has changed. I can say People for Guatemala is a reliable organization to work with.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The villages People for Guatemala serve are far from the town of San Martin Jilotepeque. In some of these villages there is no water distribution services. When water projects are done in these communities everything changes: the health improves when they have clean water, the high percentage of intestinal diseases is reduced, specially in children; even general sanitation training is provided to the villagers, they can have a shower every day, wash their clothes, have clean fruits and vegetables. And these are things that normal people have to do every day, close your eyes and imagine a day at your home with no water...... they really change their lives forever!
This organization deserves your support...

Linda426

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been privileged to work with Ken and Lois Werner, the Founders of People for Guatemala during the past four years. I have witnessed first-hand the incredible dedication and the work that they do for the indigenous Mayan people of Guatemala, especially in the Department of Chimaltenango in the outlying villages of San Martin Jilotepeque. As a citizen of the United States, and fluent in both English and Spanish, I have had the opportunity to visit with many people living in these villages about the wonderful work that People for Guatemala has been doing for their communities in health care, education, water projects, vented stoves and composting latrines, just to name a few of their projects. I support the work of People for Guatemala 100%. The projects that they undertake are ones that are "life changing" for the people. With the vented stoves, the people no longer have to worry about breathing toxic smoke from the open fires in their homes, or getting burned. They don't have to carry water retrieved from distant sources; many children are becoming educated in schools with well-trained teachers; health care is provided at a central clinic, as well as mobile clinics that go out to each village once a month. It is an amazing organization, with integrity and a sincere desire to better the lives of the people they serve in Guatemala.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I worked with this nonprofit the last time I was in Guatemala to help in building stoves. They were more than accommodating with our schedule and needs during our visit. They were so welcoming and interested in teaching use about the culture in the area. I had not worked with a nonprofit before so it was important to me to learn as much as I could. Lois, Ken, and Amilcar were wonderful to work with!

jlcol55

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

People for Guatemala
I have been working with People for Guatemala for several years. I have personally been involved with projects where we built 3 school kitchens in Pacjo Tres Cruses, Cruz Nueva and San Jose de Las Roses; a medical clinic in Candeleria; installed Chapina Stoves; provided laptops for their teacher training program and provided medical care to local villagers as well.

People for Guatemala is the most professional and efficient mission group I have ever been involved with. Their model of receiving a request from a village, pre-planning, on site management and follow up is the key to their great success. Their focus to work in San Martin, Jilotepeque allows them to build close relationships with surrounding communities to build a synergy that continues when the project(s) are complete. Their partnership with Hombres y Mujeres en Accion creates a level of trust and confidence with the villages/villagers that allows the on-site work to go smoothly and allows us to build a relationship while we are there. I always tell my friends, “We do it with them, not for them”

Although I have only been a small part of the equation, if you look at the total impact People for Guatemala has made from 2010-2015, I believe you will agree with me when I say, “They have literally changed the trajectory of a generation of Mayas by providing them with the tools to break the vicious cycle of poverty and malnutrition while at the same time providing a pathway for a better life through education.”

Respectfully,
Jack L. Coleman
Harrodsburg, Kentucky

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Lois &Ken Werner/People for Guatemala are "the real deal." I have been going on mission trips for many years with several different types of groups; educational, medical, construction and I am totally sold on People for Guatemala. They have focused on San Martin, built a strong team and developed a vision that has brought so many diverse groups to Guatemala to work with the villagers. This model helps develop "their" needs to improve the lives of the children and villagers. So many groups come into a region and do what they feel is needed then go home.

Lois & Ken Werner/People for Guatemala have developed programs based on the needs of the people and require participation thus developing a true partnership and helps develop a pride in the village that will last for a lifetime. I have personally been involved with a school kitchen in Pacoj Tres Cruses; medical clinic in Candeleria and am anxiously awaiting going to Curz Nueva on November 8th to build another school kitchen. The work site is prepared by villagers. The building has been engineered. The material is on site. There are men, women and children that are so excited, so willing to help, but most importantly so humble/thankful for the improvements to their village.

People for Guatemala exemplifies the old proverb, "Give someone a fish you feed them for a meal; teach them to fish and you feed them for a lifetime" then goes one step further and leaves the fishing pole!

People for Guatemala is truly changing San Martin one project at a time; one village at a time!!

Jack Coleman
Harrodsburg, Kentucky

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been involved with People for Guatemala since its inception and am truly amazed at what has been accomplished in that time---water projects, stoves, medical and dental clinics, educations projects and much more. In every project the recipients are expected to be involved in the planning and implementation of the project and to give back in some way.
My involvment has been in the area of education. I have developed a kindergarten teacher training program and reading and math curriculum. Currently 40 teachers have/are being trained. Kindergarten students in rural villages are being taught to read and perform higher level math skills. The teachers are thrilled to have materials and to be able to teach kindergarten children more than just social and fine motor skills.
People for Guatemala is an outstanding organization which I highly recommend to anyone who wishes to contribute or be involved in some way. You can be certain that whatever is contributed will go directly to its designated project.

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

This non-profit organization is relatively new, but their accomplishments have far surpassed anyone's expectations. They are not a hand out organization. Their approach is to help communities organize and participate in projects that improve their own lives. As a result the people they are helping are not only acquiring new skills but experience a sense of accomplishment and self confidence that is invaluable. For example, if the community decides their number one priority is a water well, they are involved in the project from the beginning and provide much of the manual labor required as well as contributing financially, even if its just a small percentage of the total package. What's especially outstanding about this organization is that 100% of all donations go directly to the people of Guatemala.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was blessed to go with Lois and Ken (People for Guatemala INC) and some of their staff to several of the villages they serve. Their compassion, understanding, care, expertise and knowledge, love, dedication, and great resourcefulness have aided many. They work under the principal of letting the people help themselves, by providing them the tools and knowledge. I saw the village people deeply respected and loved and genuinely cared for by all the staff. I was able to see them helping "in action", and will forever be blessed by that experience. Thank you, People for Guatemala INC for all you do for those that so need your help! You make the world a better place!

Janeen S.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Excellent organization! They involve the people in their communities in both the decision making and the problem solving and they are ultra good stewards of the donor resources. They know how to make a little bit go a long way and they know how to get at the heart of the problem. As a long time volunteer and neighbor of the organization in Guatemala I see the work that they are doing every day and greatly admire them.

Peggy37

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have twice visited Guatemala and seen first hand the work of this organization. Here is some of what I have observed:
Men from a village working hard to dig a trench, several miles long, for a water pipe to bring clean water to their village
Women from a village being trained in how to construct stoves to replace smoky open air fires in their kitchens
A dirt floor being replaced with concrete
A man talking about how a well-constructed compost latrine built with blocks gave his family dignity when it replaced the open pit latrine they had been using
Women in a literacy class
Talking with scholarship students whose lives were being changed by the gift of continued education
Old tires holding dirt for gardens to provide fresh vegetables
People waiting for the health clinic with a caring Doctor and a well-stocked pharmacy
Elementary school teachers receiving training in teaching techniques
School students receiving supplies
Teachers receiving supplies
New classrooms
Computer rooms in several schools
A tutor to help the children learn about computers and other educational needs
This organization gives a HAND UP not a hand out

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My family and I had the privilege of spending some time with the people of this incredible organization while we were in Guatemala. We spent a day with them in a remote village helping them install some new stoves designed by Imilcar, one of the dedicated staff. The small group is making miracles happen in the villages by empowering the woman and working with them to make their lives better. Some of projects have included new stoves , running water for the villages and their latest undertaking building a medical clinic. What I like about this group is that they do not just hand things over to the people of the village. They work with them. It is a real community effort and the great partnership is evident when you spend time with them. I can;t say enough about this group and the selfless work they are doing for the Mayan communities that they work with.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

What I love about People for Guatemala is that they don't give "handouts" to the people they serve. They work with Mayans living in rural villages -- the sort of places tourists would never visit. The people in the communities have to come together as a group and present a proposal for their needs to PFG. By working in this way, the villagers learn how to organize themselves, how to work together, and how to better their lives. PFG will assist them with their needs -- whether it be putting a new roof on a school, installing Chapina stoves, or building a water system for their village -- by providing materials and training, but the people also need to contribute to the project financially and/or by providing the manpower. By being involved in the process, the villagers can take pride in their work and know they made it happen.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered with People for Guatemala for the past 3 years. Their focus is to break down the barriers of poverty and help Mayans living in extreme poverty change their lives by teaching them how to create sustainable solutions. Their sister organization in Guatemala is Hombres y Mujeres en Accion. They are well respected in the villages and work tirelessly to assist the families in rural Guatemala. People for Guatemala is currently assisting families in 18 villages with vented and safe stoves, water projects, school construction, computers, and conducting health clinics in 7 rural communities. Their organization is run extremely well and donors can rest assured that their donation is being used where it is desperately needed. The need is very great in this area.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I worked for People for Guatemala in 2010 as an interpreter. During my time with them I learned a lot about Guatemala, the culture, and the many challenges indigenous communities face. I also learned a lot about community development work, and the many do's and don'ts. I highly admire the staff because of their dedication, passion, and commitment to make a difference in the lives of those who are most vulnerable. It is because of my experience with People for Guatemala that I decided to stay and live in Guatemala, and work in community development.