Saturday, September 2, 2017
Securing a Home for Generations
Erin Crandell
blog image Written by Anna Aspenson, Food Security & Community Development Program ManagerEarlier this month, little Noé marched into Mayan Families accompanied by his father Manuel and his mother Francisca. He ran around and made funny faces, but his parents appeared distraught and worried. Th

Wednesday, June 14, 2017
Supporter Appreciation: Community Building with St. Michael’s College
Erin Crandell
blog image Written by Alysa Grude, Nutrition and Welfare Program Coordinator, and Anna Aspenson, Food Security and Community Development Program ManagerWe had an incredible time hosting the students from St. Michael’s College in May! These recent college graduates spent months before their trip raising f

Thursday, March 30, 2017
Why can't students in rural Guatemala get ahead?
Barbara Quillec
blog image Written by Barbara Quillec, Education Development ManagerThanks to various educational reforms since 2008, the rate of primary school enrollment in Guatemala now approaches 100%. Not only does the government now ensure six years of free primary school, but it has recently increased its effort to imp

Monday, November 14, 2016
Welcoming Back Upper Arlington Rotary Club!
Charlotte Burke
blog image Written by Charlotte Burke, Shelter Development CoordinatorThis past week, we were thrilled to receive another visit from the Upper Arlington Rotary Club. The Upper Arlington Rotary Club, from Columbus Ohio, has been a longtime supporter of our programs at Mayan Families, visiting Guatemala annually

Monday, November 7, 2016
Shampoo 101: Bringing Business and Innovation to the Community Garden
Community Development
blog image Written by Anna Aspenson, Strengthening Communities Program ManagerA garden can grow fresh, nutritious produce. However, when you add community to the equation, you add relationships and collective learning. At our San Antonio Community Garden we aim to cultivate a place of learning and leadership f

Wednesday, October 19, 2016
Education is an inalienable right. But is it actually?
Barbara Quillec
blog image Written by Barbara Quillec, Education Development ManagerDespite being a universal and inalienable right, achieving education for all remains challenging. Whether through discriminatory policies or lack of financial resources, there is a part of the global population that is consistently exclud

Monday, October 17, 2016
Community Rallies to Bring Reliable Water to Peña Blanca
Multi Media Email
blog image Written by Anna Watts, Multimedia AssociateEight-foot tall walls of corn obscure Don Marcelo from view as he strides confidently through farmland in the indigenous community of Peña Blanca. The path is a familiar one, well-worn by the many community members contributing to the construction of

Tuesday, September 20, 2016
Opportunities and Leadership Through the San Antonio Community Garden
Anna Aspenson
blog image Written by Anna Aspenson, Strengthening Communities CoordinatorOver the past year, we have seen our San Antonio Community Garden grow from bare dirt to rows of corn, amaranth, carrots, medicinal herbs, and seasonal fruits. Each crop represents an opportunity. An opportunity for learning and health i

Friday, August 12, 2016
Supporter Appreciation: Reviver Returns for more Fun and Projects!
Mark Prunella-Miller
blog image Written by Will Culhane, Donor Relations ManagerWe had so much fun working with two teams from Reviver that visited Mayan Families in July. Every year, Reviver brings their own special mix of work ethic, inspiration, and competitive spirit to the table, and this year was no different. Even though ea

Friday, July 8, 2016
Staff Spotlight: How Alejandrina found Self-acceptance and a New Voice
Erin Crandell
blog image Written by Rodrigo Saravia, translated to English by Erin Crandell As the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Program coordinator, Alejandrina runs informational workshops two to three times a week with both children and adults to promote better hygiene in and out of their homes.Photo by Rodrigo Sa

Wednesday, May 25, 2016
Supporter Appreciation: Futbol and Fun with Cat Reyes and Reviver
Erin Crandell
blog image Written by Erin Crandell, Communications and Marketing ManagerThis April, Mayan Families had the pleasure of welcoming back the incredible Cat Reyes, and her group Reviver.A long-time supporter, advocate, and fundraiser for Mayan Families, Cat Reyes has made an incredible difference in the lives of

Friday, April 22, 2016
Updates from Peña Blanca!
Erin Crandell
blog image Written by Erin Crandell, Communications and Marketing ManagerNow that we’ve spilled the beans on our big new project in Peña Blanca, let’s take a look at how some of our favorite Peña Blanca residents are doing!In the summer of 2015, we gave you a brief update on Rosa, Chi

Monday, March 21, 2016
The Devastating Effects of Household Air Pollution
Anna Aspenson
blog image Written by Anna Aspenson, Family Aid CoordinatorImagine cooking over an open fire inside your home; your young children play around you as you make tortillas over the flame. Half of the wall is black with soot. The smoke from the stove is irritating your eyes and making your baby cough. This is

Friday, March 11, 2016
Supporter Appreciation: King's Bay Rotary Club Brings a Fire Truck to Sololá!
Erin Crandell
blog image Written by Erin Crandell, Communications and Marketing ManagerThe community of Panajachel is receiving an incredible gift this month: a retired fire truck from the King’s Bay Rotary Club!Before this fire truck was donated, there was only one working fire truck in Panajachel, serving the whole

Friday, February 12, 2016
Preserving a Language, Empowering a Generation
Juan Haro
blog image Written by former Mayan Families Volunteer Mikayla RaleyLast month, Edward John, a member of the U.N. Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues made headlines when he said: "Today, one indigenous language dies every two weeks. Indigenous cultures are threatened with extinction.’'According to T

Tuesday, February 2, 2016
Five Reasons Why the Guatemalan Health System is in Deep Crisis
Tatiana Petrovick
blog image Guatemalans struggle with some of the worst health issues in Central America and, in some cases, the world. The country has the fourth highest rate of chronic malnutrition in the world, high maternal and child mortality, and a large prevalence of diabetes and heart diseases. Many of these health pro

Thursday, January 21, 2016
Supporter Appreciaton: Nursing Students Helped Families in Guatemala
Juan Haro
blog image Last week, Mayan Families had the pleasure of hosting a group of nursing students from Adelphi University. The students were part of a study abroad program focusing on public health. We were delighted to see new faces and welcome back some old friends. Students from Adelphi University installin

Wednesday, November 25, 2015
Mayan Families Joined Hundreds of Indigenous Women Advocating for the Recognition of their Rights
Juan Haro
blog image Last week, Guatemala City hosted almost 300 indigenous women leaders from hundreds of organizations and people from 22 countries in North, Central and South America as part of the VII Continental Meeting of Indigenous Women of the Americas. Participants met to discuss issues related to indigenous wo

Wednesday, November 4, 2015
Secure Land: Emergency Help Needed
Anna Aspenson
blog image For families in the rural highlands of Guatemala, access to land provides a safety net and a secure place for families to thrive. Recently Delia and her family came to the Mayan Families office with an urgent need for land to call their own. Delia, her husband Silvio, and their four children rent a

Thursday, October 15, 2015
Announcing our WASH Program to Honor Global Handwashing Day!
Katy Morris
blog image Happy Global Handwashing Day!According to UNICEF, 1,400 children under the age of five still die every day from diarrhoeal diseases which is often a direct result of lack of safe water, sanitation and basic hygiene.We’re soap-er (sorry, couldn’t help it) excited to announce we

Friday, October 2, 2015
Traditional Medicine Series - Part 1
Tatiana Petrovick
blog image Here in the Charlie Gomez Medical Clinic, we have found that many patients will come to us only after they have consulted with a traditional healer. In rural Guatemala, traditional, plant-based medicine is still widely used. As a result, we have tried to familiarize ourselves with the traditional pr

Friday, September 11, 2015
Success Stories from our Microloans Program: Rosario
Fernando
blog image There are several women in our Microloans program whose work captures our attention. Women who are proud of what they do and inspire us to keep working hard to provide them with the opportunities a loan represents.Rosario is a talented businesswoman from San Jorge. When she first received a small lo

Friday, September 11, 2015
Mayan Families Microloans Solidarity Groups
Fernando
blog image The field of microfinance has seen tremendous growth since its beginnings in the 1970s. Not only has the field grown in financial terms, but also in its outreach. After decades of developments in the field, the way in which microfinance institutions work has also evolved. Following the example of ot

Tuesday, August 25, 2015
Celebrating 100 Years of Life: Maria’s Birthday
Grace White
blog image Last week elderly in San Jorge and many Mayan Families staff gathered in the Elderly Care Feeding Center to celebrate a very special occasion: the 100th birthday of Maria Coroxón. Maria has had a difficult life, always scraping together a living to support her four children, especially a

Wednesday, August 19, 2015
Celebrating World Humanitarian Day: In Honor of the Hard Work of Reviver Volunteer Group
Mark Prunella-Miller
blog image In honor of World Humanitarian Day 2015, we wanted to extend a huge thank you once again to the volunteer group of REVIVER. We had the pleasure of working with them last week and they are truly the epitome of inspiration and humanitarian work.The group of 30+ volunteers, which we referred

Thursday, August 13, 2015
Loss of Rights for Young Guatemalan Mothers: Cristina's Story
Claire Allen
blog image For many indigenous mothers affiliated with Mayan Families, maternity and raising a family in the rural highlands of Guatemala often comes with a challenging set of responsibilities and concerns. According to the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (CEPAL) Guatemala has one of th

Wednesday, August 5, 2015
Vocational School: Graduating From The Sewing School To A Profitable Trade
Fernando
blog image The goal of our Trade School programs at Mayan Families is to provide people with skills and knowledge in a useful trade that will give them the opportunity to provide for themselves and their families. Our Sewing School graduates are making us proud by completing their training and getting started

Wednesday, August 5, 2015
Global Legacy Program Presents Sewing Machines
Fernando
blog image The Sewing Program at Mayan Families has been fortunate enough and proud to see several groups of women graduate over the summer. Thanks to the Global Legacy Program’s continued support and their visit this summer, the current Basic Sewing students will now be receiving sewing machines upon su

Tuesday, July 28, 2015
#World Hepatitis Day: How This Disease Affects Guatemala
Daniella Graziano
blog image Worldwide 400 million people are living with hepatitis B or C. Despite being a highly preventable disease, 1.4 million people die each year. This means that 4,000 lives are lost a day, which we believe is 4,000 too many. The loss of these lives is a tragedy of unnecessary pain and suffering. To prev

Tuesday, July 14, 2015
Hygiene Behaviors, a Worldwide Problem
Open
blog image         An important part of the Mayan Families Preschool Nutrition Centers’ curriculum involves teaching both preschool students and their parents about things like hygiene, nutrition, various health topics, and how to help their children succeed in school even i

Tuesday, July 7, 2015
Successful Round of Preschool Spanish Evaluations
Open
blog image In five of our seven Preschool Nutrition Centers, students do not speak Spanish at home. While we encourage the use of native languages, not speaking Spanish can be yet another barrier for indigenous people as it prevents them from success in Guatemala’s school, judicial, political, and medica

Wednesday, July 1, 2015
Stories From the Field: The Fascinating Story of Cruz and Tierra Linda
Fernando
blog image Tierra Linda is a small, isolated community located on the highlands above Panajachel. It takes an hour to drive up the mountain and then down on a narrow and steep road with many sharp turns in order to reach this impoverished town. It is a town in a rough mountainous terrain.The presence of Mayan

Tuesday, June 30, 2015
Bringing Back Adobe: Another Natural Building Workshop in the Books!
Ashley Ford
blog image By Jami AuslanderThe Mayan Families Construction team and a group of hardworking volunteers have completed another amazing Adobe Building Workshop! This workshop, we welcomed Jim, Tom, and their daughters Megan and Megan from Ohio, as well as local construction workers who were eager

Friday, June 19, 2015
Pneumonia Cases Increase with the Arrival of Rainy Season
Tatiana Petrovick
blog image I am writing this from the clinic at Mayan Families in Panajachel, Guatemala. There is a torrential downpour and everyone is running for cover under the blue tarp Don Bartolo, our groundskeeper, has preventatively hung for us.With the rainy season here, Jade, our other nurse, and I have been very bu

Tuesday, May 19, 2015
Vocational School Success: Sewing Class Graduation
Fernando
blog image Everyone knows that learning a new skill can be a big challenge. It takes time and dedication to become familiarized with new concepts and tools, but with hard work and dedication, it can be done and increase the earning potential of women living in poverty.This month, several women&n

Wednesday, May 13, 2015
Supporter Appreciation: Much More Than Home Constructions
Ashley Ford
blog image Santos Palaz is a 60-year-old man who in his youth worked hard to provide for and raise a family of five along with his wife Petrona. Unfortunately, his wife died 12 years ago as they could not afford the treatment she needed to battle the cancer she had.His living situation changed almost two years

Tuesday, May 12, 2015
A New Carpenter’s Graduation Speech
Fernando
blog image “It has been my lifelong dream to learn carpentry. Thanks for being part of my dream.” This is the message delivered by one of the students graduating from the Mayan Families Carpentry School. As part of our Vocational School programs, eight young men completed a year-long training

Monday, May 4, 2015
Remind her that someone cares this Mother's day
Grace White
blog image As Mother's Day draws near, many of our Kids in Critical Need feel a particular sense of loss and pain. In school, the children are encouraged to make decorations and cards expressing their adoration of their loving mothers. For our Kids in Critical Need their mothers have either passed aw

Thursday, April 30, 2015
Elderly Care Support: The Road Most Traveled
Grace White
blog image Every day at the Mayan Families feeding sites for the Elderly Care Program, 75 elderly are fed a nutritious meal that they would otherwise not have access to. When visiting the programs, it is easy to get caught up in the frenzy of meal preparation and the warmth of greeting the elderly as they arri

Wednesday, April 22, 2015
Mayan Families Staff Spotlight: Limitless talent in our Carpentry School
Bios
blog image When people speak of Mario Cota, a twenty-two-year-old carpenter at Mayan Families, they speak of his dedication, his diligence and his calm, yet cheerful demeanor.He first started working for Mayan Families in 2010 doing cleaning and maintenance work in the building that houses our carpentry school

Friday, April 17, 2015
Sabina portrait for unbreakable resolve
Grace White
blog image Home visits are an integral part of the Elderly Care Program. Not only are we able to prevent major illnesses by assessing our Elderly on a regular basis but we are also able to ensure that the Program is working and that quality of life has improved. As the person conducting the home visits, I

Thursday, April 16, 2015
Kids in Critical Need: Karina's Story
Grace White
blog image By Margaret LawlaceOn the night of December 19, 2012, 16-year-old Karina decided she couldn’t take her grandparents’ abuse any longer. She grabbed her 7-year-old sister and left her grandparents’ house with nothing in her pockets. They found an abandoned room to sleep in in San Jor

Saturday, April 11, 2015
Mayan Families Shelter Program Takes a "Step Forward"
Ashley Ford
blog image Under the direction of Mafer Molina Fuentes, the Mayan Families Shelter Program has undergone an impressive evolution in the past few years.  This evolution continues to formalize, technically refine, and modernize our system of providing safe and adequate housing that is efficiently constructe

Sunday, March 22, 2015
Celebrating World Water Day 2015: How Mayan Families Helps
Katy Morris
blog image In places like the US and Canada, having access to clean drinking water can be as simple as heading to our kitchen sink. But that is not the case for those living in extreme poverty in areas like rural Guatemala. About 100,000 people in the Lake Atitlán region rely on the lake

Thursday, March 12, 2015
Supporter Appreciation: Upper Arlington Rotary Club Visits El Barranco Preschool Nutrition Center
Katy Morris
blog image This February, we were thrilled to welcome back nine members of the Upper Arlington Rotary Club from Columbus, Ohio to Guatemala. They were able to visit all of the projects they have helped support, including the groundbreaking (literally!) construction of a brand new Preschool Nutri

Wednesday, March 4, 2015
Community Garden Update: The Garden Mamas Graduate!
Claire Allen
blog image Time has flown since April of 2014, when we began surveying levels of experience & interest in a pilot community garden program among mothers of students attending the San Antonio Palopó Preschool Nutrition Center. I was the gardener from the U.S. who couldn’t keep names straig

Sunday, February 15, 2015
A Proud and Festive Occasion: Opening Ceremony of the El Barranco Preschool and Community Center
Katy Morris
blog image Thank you to Nancy Hewett, volunteer and enthusiastic supporter of the Mayan Families Mission, for the contribution of this blog post.   As we walked along a dirt path leading to the site of our newly completed El Barranco Preschool Nutrition Center, we couldn’t help but sh

Monday, December 8, 2014
Construction of the El Barranco Preschool and Community Center Progressing Thanks to Generosity of Donors
Ashley Ford
blog image The road to constructing a brand new Preschool Nutrition Center and Community Center in the rural village of El Barranco has been somewhat long and challenging. And while the process is still underway, the progress we've made since becoming involved in the small hillside community in

Friday, November 14, 2014
Community Garden Update: Laughter is the Best Medicine
Camila
blog image Thank you to Corina Solis, our new Garden Project Coordinator Intern for this blog post. Corina is a recent Master of Environmental Management graduate, visiting from San Antonio, Texas. We had another productive workday at the San Antonio Palopo Community Garden last week. Our medicinal garden is i

Friday, October 24, 2014
Community Garden Update: Pride Growing in the Garden
Claire Allen
blog image About a month ago, our women-run Community Garden Project experienced a lull in participation. This lead us to call a meeting to discuss what could be done to overcome the various challenges we were facing, such as when our last planting of chipilin, amaranth and mint was partially washed away

Thursday, October 16, 2014
World Food Day: Our Efforts to Combat Food Insecurity & Hunger in Guatemala
Katy Morris
blog image Today we join thousands of people across the globe to celebrate World Food Day, acknowledging the particular spotlight on the importance of “Family Farming”. Here in Guatemala, hunger and malnutrition is a constant yet very real concern that we see every day. In rural areas, includi

Monday, September 22, 2014
Planting Seeds of Change with Indigenous Women: Cristina's Story
Claire Allen
blog image Cristina, 28 years old, is a single mother of two young children. Eight years ago, her husband stopped supporting the family after leaving for work in the U.S., where he started a new family. Since then Cristina has been determined to support her family by selling bracelets and washin

Saturday, September 6, 2014
The Inside Dirt on the Community Garden Women's Day Out
Katy Morris
blog image Thanks to our supporters, last week 30 of the women managing the Community Garden ventured by boat from their home village of San Antonio Palopó to San Lucas for a daylong class at the one-acre Hotel Toliman Organic Garden.As we set foot on the boat, the lively azure pallet of the l

Monday, September 1, 2014
MATCHING GIFT CAMPAIGN: Grow Your Dollar in San Antonio Palopo
Katy Morris
blog image Our main goal here at Mayan Families is to promote long-term development in each of the rural communities we work. That’s why we are thrilled to have the opportunity to purchase a key piece of land in San Antonio Palopo so we can continue to expand our various programs in that village.Read on

Thursday, August 28, 2014
A Mother’s Struggle to Provide Education for her Children
Katy Morris
blog image  Agustina is originally from Santa Catarina, a small village on Lake Atitlan. She speaks very little Spanish and has had minimal education. Her four oldest children were only able to study until the end of elementary school. However, thanks to the profits from her growing tourist so business en

Friday, August 15, 2014
Community Garden Project Update: Experimenting with a Superfood in San Antonio
Claire Allen
blog image With a population of approximately 3,500 and an economy based on small-scale agriculture and tourism, a passerby may think San Antonio quaint, it's mountains sublime. Yet like so many parts of rural Guatemala, a closer look at San Antonio’s hills reveals unstable homes, many without potable wa

Saturday, August 9, 2014
10 Worst Countries to be a Woman: Guatemala Ranks 6th
Katy Morris
blog image According to a list published by The Feminist Zine this past March, Guatemala comes up sixth out of the 10 worst countries to be a woman. Why is this? Guatemala is still recovering after 36 years of brutal civil war. The scars of this conflict remain raw all over the country - particularly with

Thursday, August 7, 2014
In the News: Guatemalan Children Exodus & How We Can Help
Dwight Poage
blog image I’m sure by now you have seen the well-publicized humanitarian crisis of unaccompanied children fleeing Central America seeking refuge in the United States. Unfortunately, this issue is far from new; according to the Washington Post, the arrival of immigrant children to the US southern bo

Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Education Eager: Sponsor, Student & Family Share Learning Love
Katy Morris
blog image Angela Grussing of Nuestros Ninos Charity shares her inspirational story of how sponsoring a student turned into a bonding of kindred-spirits. She rejoices in finding shared values and a mutual respect for education within her sponsor-relationship:Several years ago, we decided to spon

Saturday, July 26, 2014
Ohio State University to Launch a Female Engineering Volunteer Initiative
Katy Morris
blog image After hearing of the extremely low ranking Guatemala received on the United Nations Geneder Inequality Index, an Ohio State University organization called Women in Engineering (WIE) is conducting research to launch an annual woman-centered engineering trip, operated through Mayan Families.

Friday, July 25, 2014
Introducing the Charlie Gomez Medical Clinic
Katy Morris
blog image It has been an emotional week for us here at Mayan Families. We are still shocked and saddened by the sudden passing of our beloved friend, Charlie Gomez. While he suffered many medical challenges in his young life and was in pain on a daily basis, you would never know given his consistently friendl

Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Planting Seeds of Change with Indigenous Women: Petronila's Story
Katy Morris
blog image Petronila bashfully smiled as her baby fidgeted in her sute (Guatemalan baby sling). Despite rising from her cement floor “bed” well before the sun that morning - just like every other morning - to tend to her family’s cooking and cleaning, she appeared spirited and attentive.The s

Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Triumph in Adversity: Woman Becomes Artist After Losing Both Arms
Katy Morris
blog image Cristy was born to a very poor rural indigenous family in the Guatemalan Highlands. Like many impoverished young girls in the region, she never imagined the opportunity of having an education, or for that matter, many other life opportunities.Since her family could not afford to care for her and her

Tuesday, July 1, 2014
Garden Community Project Hopes for Increased Food Security in San Antonio
Claire Allen
blog image Thank you to Becky Rushford, our Community Garden Project Coordinator for the contribution of this blog post!A couple months ago I realized my year off from “dirt” would never happen. After years of working on vegetable & dairy farms in the U.S. & abroad, managing garden pro

Friday, June 20, 2014
Final Reflections from our Volunteers in the Garden
Katy Morris
blog image Our Final Reflections...As this week comes to a close, we finish our time volunteering in Guatemala. It leaves a bittersweet taste to return to our homes in the United States. Each of us has missed our family and friends back home, but it was a sacrifice that we were willing to make to have the oppo

Wednesday, June 18, 2014
Last Week for our Nourish International Volunteers in the Garden
Katy Morris
blog image Thank you again to our Nourish International Volunteers for a great blog post on their work on our first ever Community Garden Project!This past Monday marks our last week working with Mayan Families as Nourish International interns. Although there is never a shortage of work here, when we look back

Thursday, June 12, 2014
Community Garden Project Update - Back to Work!
Katy Morris
blog image Here is our weekly update on our Community Garden Pilot Project with our fantastic Nourish International Volunteers!  As last week's tropical storm passed and heavy rains subsided, we were finally able to resume garden work. We eagerly headed to San Antonio for the first time in over a wee

Saturday, June 7, 2014
Community Garden Project Update - Rains Present a Challenge
Katy Morris
blog image It’s been a wet week for the Community Garden Project. With a tropical storm passing over Mexico, conditions here have been too bad to continue with work on the garden. Back at the office, we asked the volunteers from Nourish International to tell us a little about their time he

Monday, April 28, 2014
Mayan Families Community Garden Pilot Project
Katy Morris
blog image Mayan Families has recently been presented with the opportunity to pilot a community garden project in one of the local villages in which we work.... And we are thrilled to be collaborating with Nourish International and a group of women who currently have children in the Mayan Famili

Friday, April 25, 2014
Things at our Panajachel Preschool just got a little bit brighter!
Katy Morris
blog image Things at our Panajachel Preschool just got a little bit brighter!We are continually blessed to have such amazingly talented volunteers come to shed a little light in this part of the world, and Jochen Gahrau certainly did in his recent trip to Mayan Families. Although it may sound simple to so

Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Earth Day 2014 Celebration: Kick Off to Natural Construction Program
Katy Morris
blog image In celebration of Earth Day 2014, we are excited to announce our pilot initiative to introduce a fully sustainable, local, off-grid construction effort within our Shelter Program. Our first project will be within the Mayan village of San Antonio, which was hit hard by Tropical Storm Agatha

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