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Review for Mayan Families, San Diego, CA, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

I have known Mayan Families a year after they started, when I came to Panajachel, at Lake Atitlan Guatemala, seven years ago. This was in 2006. I am simply amazed at the difference they have made in our small town, and every day you can see the huge difference they have made. There is no mistaking the changes that have taken place in the many villages around Lake Atitlan, all with the mark of Mayan Families. This is all due to the good-hearted, dedicated people that work with Mayan Families, the many volunteers, and the wonderful indigenous peoples that participate in the programs. I love living here now because of these changes, and I am so grateful that I can participate in them, too. Gratefulness on both sides counts!

The difference we see in the families, now with access to medical care, health & education, elder care, workshops, sewing and trade school programs, Mothers Day Baskets, Christmas baskets, Onil stoves, water filters, street dogs, street cleanup and recycling, micro-loans, savings accounts, women's empowerment, orphan care and more: just about anything that needs doing, Mayan Families has a hand in doing it.

It has grown from Sharon Smart & her husband Dwight working out of their own home to take in stray dogs and homeless children, to a very large group of fantastic volunteers and staff in Panajachel, where practically every cent goes to help so many. I think Mayan Families helped put more than 2,000 students through school. And they provide scholarships, shoes, books, supplies, pencils, paper, backpacks and more. No stone is left unturned to help these children who will be able to bring their families into the world of "reading and writing" and out of the third world suffering and poverty they have lived in for so long.

Education, Encouragement and Enabling are the key words here, and "enabling" in the best sense of the word, to help bring about a world that blends the indigenous culture with the modern challenges we all now face. It's a bridge here that people want to cross, and Mayan Families helps them do it.

Along with educational scholarships, I love the fact that they have started JOB TRAINING PROGRAMS that can be used here at home and are opening up international markets for the indigenous artisans around Lake Atitlan. The whole world is beginning to be at their fingertips, and it's a great doorway to "the other side." Along with the many medical missions and educational programs coordinated by Mayan Families, they are a hotbed of productivity & activity!

We need more people and groups in the world like Mayan Families... they are a role model for us all! I do all I can to help the good people at Mayan Families, and I hope you do too!

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Role:  General Member of the Public