Tuesday, December 10, 2019
December Newsletter
blog image   Dear Friends of Mayan Families,As we near the end of my first year as Executive Director of Mayan Families, I am filled with gratitude. Gratitude for our team here on the ground in Guatemala, for the progress we are making and the incredible programs that we provide, for the community th

Tuesday, February 7, 2017
Supporter Appreciation: Beth and Juliana McFadyen Change Lives and Hearts
Volunteer Coordinator
blog image Written by Audrey Ward, Volunteer CoordinatorBeth and Juliana McFadyen spent a week with Mayan Families volunteering for Juliana’s Senior Service Week. While most students spent their Senior Service week locally in Massachusetts, Juliana traveled the furthest by coming to Guatemala. They spent

Tuesday, January 24, 2017
Supporter Appreciation: Welcoming back Waukesha County Technical College (WCTC)!
Med Coordinator
blog image Written by Eric Britton, Medical Program CoordinatorMayan Families was thrilled to have a volunteer group from the Waukesha County Technical College (WCTC) back for a third year! Visiting from Pewaukee, Wisconsin, the team of nursing and surgical tech professors and students had a very busy week. &n

Monday, August 1, 2016
Supporter Appreciation: Community Church of Poway Makes a Special Connection with Guatemala
Executive Assistant
blog image Written by Anabella Coria, Executive AssistantWe were happy to receive this summer a group from the Community Church of Poway! This group comprised of incredibly big-hearted people who spent their week doing a wide variety of activities that helped dozens of Guatemalan families.First this amazing bu

Wednesday, July 27, 2016
Supporter Appreciation: Guatemala HOPE Brings Smiles and Support to Families in Need
Education Manager
blog image Written by Amy Porter, Education Program ManagerThis July, we were delighted to welcome Caroline Tiffin and two groups of Guatemala HOPE volunteers to Mayan Families!  As always, Caroline, founder of Guatemala HOPE, and her group members arrived with boundless energy and enthusiasm, as well as

Thursday, June 30, 2016
Supporter Appreciation: Music With a Purpose For All Generations
Volunteer Coordinator
blog image Written by Ailsa Bryce, Volunteer Program CoordinatorAt the start of this month, we were lucky enough to host two groups from Studio 108: Music with a Purpose led by Debbie Lutes. While here, both groups had a packed schedule, playing music to our preschoolers, installing stoves, helping with constr

Tuesday, June 7, 2016
Supporter Appreciation: Heritage College Brings Care to Communities
Medical Intern
blog image This blog was written by Sophia Kecskes, our medical intern. Last week, Mayan Families had the privilege of welcoming a group of university students and professionals from Heritage College in Gatineau, Quebec, Canada.We were thrilled to have the help of two teams from Heritage College. The firs

Friday, May 13, 2016
Comprehensive Elderly Care: Building Community with the Ancianas
Elderly Care
blog image Written by Elderly Care Intern Thomas de MiniacThis blog is part of a series introducing new changes to the Mayan Families Elderly Care Program. Throughout the next few months, we will be introducing therapeutic activities into our program and blogging about the results. This is Part IV of this

Thursday, April 14, 2016
Comprehensive Elderly Care: How do the Elderly Like the Changes?
Elderly Care
blog image Written by Elderly Care Intern Thomas de MiniacThis blog is part of a series introducing new changes to the Mayan Families Elderly Care Program. Throughout the next few months, we will be introducing therapeutic activities into our program and blogging about the results. This is Part III of thi

Friday, April 1, 2016
Comprehensive Elderly Care: Testing Motor Skills with Dreamcatchers
Elderly Care
blog image Written by Elderly Care Intern Thomas de MiniacThis blog is the second in a series introducing new changes to the Mayan Families Elderly Care Program. Throughout the next few months, we will be introducing therapeutic activities into our program. This is Part II of this series, you can find Part I h

Wednesday, March 16, 2016
Comprehensive Elderly Care: Fun with the Word Families Game!
Grace White
blog image This blog is the first in a series introducing new changes to the Mayan Families Elderly Care Program. Throughout the next few months, we will be introducing therapeutic activities into our program. You can find stories about our other activities here.Before we could start our Comprehensive Elderly

Thursday, February 18, 2016
Presenting: The New and Improved Comprehensive Elderly Care Program!
Grace White
blog image Mayan Families has cared for and tended to the elderly, or ancianos, since early in our organization’s history. At first, the program focused on nutritional assistance since most of them were malnourished, anemic, suffered from undiagnosed diabetes, or were simply starving due to abandonment o

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

Tuesday, December 15, 2015
‘Tis the Season for Community Celebration at the Annual Christmas Party for the Elderly
blog image Holiday festivities are in full swing at Mayan Families! Last week we held our annual Christmas party for the Elderly Care Program and WOW, was it a success! Many of the elderly in our program have, very sadly, been abandoned by their families—mostly due to the family’s financial situati

Monday, September 14, 2015
Top 5 Challenges of our Elderly Living in Poverty
Grace White
blog image Our elderly in San Jorge and Panajachel are tougher than you might think. Even though many have been abandoned, they still push forward despite huge barriers to healthy living.Here are the top 5 concerns our elderly have mentioned on home visits that cause trouble for them in their old age

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

Thursday, June 25, 2015
Water Filters To Fight Against Elderly Illnesses
Grace White
blog image Last week we were very lucky to start implementing another phase of prevention across the Elderly Care Program focused on getting all elderly filters for their water. The Elderly Care Program already addresses a huge preventative measure - appropriate nutrition. Malnutrition, a disease its

Saturday, May 9, 2015
Quality Health Care for those Most in Need
blog image by Jennifer HickeImagine you have to shell out $500 for your husband’s life-saving surgery, when you make just two dollars a day to live on. What if, in the same month, your eleven-year-old son gets diagnosed with leukemia, and the nearest treatment center is four hours away?Sadly, w

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

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 9, 2015
Surmounting the Odds: Maria's Story
Grace White
blog image When we think of retirement in developed countries, many of us think of a period of rest, well deserved after decades of hard work and dedication to our families or for our communities. However, for the indigenous elderly in the highlands of Guatemala, the idea of retirement is simply transitio

Tuesday, March 17, 2015
In Honor of a Beloved Anciano: Don Victor
Grace White
blog image A few days ago I was strolling down the colorful and lively street of Calle Santander, the beating heart of Panajachel, considering splurging on an iced coffee- an American habit that I can’t quite kick. My phone started ringing and one of the co-founders of Mayan Families told me in a calm bu

Tuesday, March 17, 2015
Save Our Elderly & Kids In Crisis Feeding Center in San Jorge: GlobalGiving Campaign Launched
Katy Morris
blog image From day one, our main goal here at Mayan Families has been to promote long-term development in each of the rural communities we work. In doing so, we aim to educate, feed, shelter, and heal the most impoverished populations in rural Guatemala. Among the most vulnerable and poor individuals include

Wednesday, January 14, 2015
Through Their Eyes: The Lives of the Mayan Elderly Documentary Series
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. I’d just arrived in Panajachel a few days earlier to begin my three month volunteer stint with Mayan Families when I was invited to attend an inspiri

Tuesday, January 13, 2015
Supporter Appreciation: Nursing Students from Waukesha County Technical College Show that Human Connection Requires No Translation At All
blog image Heads bent close together, a chain of languages began. It started in English, English turned into Spanish, Spanish turned into Kakchiquel and it stopped with Kakchiquel. Then the chain reversed.The nursing students from Waukesha County Technical College came to the Elderly Care Center to t

Tuesday, December 9, 2014
The Vanajeros Visit the Elderly
Grace White
blog image As the Coordinator for the Elderly Care Program, I get to spend many lunches chatting with the ancianos that come to our program. During these lunches, the elderly are always content to be in each others company and frequently find humor in my attempts at Kaqchikel. During home visits, however, the

Tuesday, December 9, 2014
Thanks to a Sponsor's Support, Elderly Makes Great Recovery
Grace White
blog image It is always my great joy to provide good news to individual sponsors when a sponsored elderly has an amazing recovering or receives some wonderful news. Even more so, I think it is important to share these victories to all sponsors as you are a community of philanthropists that are supporting the E

Tuesday, December 9, 2014
Elderly Spotlight: Those with the Greatest Need
Grace White
blog image This month, one of the elderly in our program suffered in a very extreme and painful way. An unsponsored man, A-100 Eustaquio (or as the Panajachel groups knows him, Taco) has suffered a huge trauma and, without a sponsor, the Elderly Care Program has been using the General Fund to help dear Eu

Thursday, December 4, 2014
More than a Helping Hand: A Healing Touch for the Elderly
Grace White
blog image Last week, we were lucky enough to have a student sponsor visit Guatemala and dedicate an entire afternoon to providing medical care to the elderly of our Elderly Care Program in San Jorge. With some quick coordination from one of the cooks in the feeding center, the vo

Friday, November 14, 2014
A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words: Vanajeros Bring Light to Elderly and Kids in Critical Need
Grace White
blog image When visiting the elderly of San Jorge, I am always content to help distribute lunch and chat with them. However, on a recent visit, my day took an interesting turn. Through the excellent networking skills of one of our volunteers, an amazing group of photographers/videographers happened upon Mayan

Friday, November 7, 2014
General Elderly Care Fund Enables Flexible Support for Elderly in Need
Grace White
blog image The Elderly Care Program was started by our founders in their humble home many years ago. At that time, Mayan Families saw the need to support elderly individuals who were no longer able to provide for themselves and who also lacked the familial structure that could provide for them in the

Thursday, October 9, 2014
Las Cocineras: A Warm Meal Served with a Warm Heart
Grace White
blog image Las cocineras ("cooks" in Spanish) are integral parts of our Elderly Care Program. They provide more than just food and answers to their questions regarding medical or quality of life needs; they create a nurturing environment that provides our elderly and kids in critical need with a space that fee

Tuesday, October 7, 2014
Honoring the Passing of Luciana, One of our Beloved Ancianas
Grace White
blog image It is with great sadness that we say goodbye to one of our beloved members of our Elderly Care Program, Luiana. On the 21st of September, 2014, she passed away at the age of 87 after suffering from a failing heart and respiratory problems.Like many indigenous women, Luciana grew up in a social situa

Friday, August 8, 2014
Traditional Dishes for the Elderly and Kids in Need
Claire Allen
blog image Carefully tending to her baby cousin and his 5-year-old brother, Cindy makes the trek down the hills of San Jorge to eat her daily meal. With the little one on her back and the infant by her side, she knows that once again, she’s not going to have to worry about finding some scraps to eat.Her

Tuesday, August 5, 2014
The Stories of Indigenous Ancianos: Doña Encarnación
blog image We are thrilled to share the last installment in a series of videos produced by Emily Laliberté highlighting the stories of Ancianos in our Elderly Care Program.In this video we see Encarnación describe the many hardships she has experienced throughout her life as an indigenous woman l

Friday, May 30, 2014
Our Elderly Care Shelter is DESPERATELY in Need of Repairs
Katy Morris
blog image Here in Guatemala, the rainy season is upon us. We can expect some very wet and muddy days in the months to come (and certainly have already).  For many families, the rainy season can be a dangerous time as inadequate shelter leaves families extremely vulnerable to the elements and susceptible

Tuesday, May 20, 2014
Will You Help Adrian? Anciano #A108
blog image Here is yet another endearing person who is desparately in need of assistance. Meet Adrian. He is 75 years old and unfortunately, his wide died three years ago from Parkinson's Disease (she also suffered from kidney problems as well). Although they had two children together, they have since mov

Monday, May 5, 2014
Manuel Urgently Needs Medical Care
Katy Morris
blog image One of our dear Ancianos, Manuel, suffers from extreme prostate problems which requires him to use a catheter. Every three months he needs to go to Quetzaltenango to see an urologist, as we do not have any here in Solola. The other day, Iris, his niece and sole caretaker came into our offi

Wednesday, April 9, 2014
Volunteer Appreciation: A Touching Experience for Both Generations
Katy Morris
blog image Elderly Indigenous Mayan men and women are among some of the most marginalized, overlooked, and vulnerable people in Guatemala. They are often chronically isolated in rural areas and face pervasive barriers in their attempts to access basic needs such as food, shelter, clean water, and healthcare.Th

Thursday, March 20, 2014
Maria, Elderly Woman is Unable to Carry Water Up the Mountain to her House Anymore
blog image  Maria (A0030)  lives by herself on the steep side of a mountain. She has no water connection at her house and must carry her water from the spicket down in town. However becuase of her advanced age, she can no longer carry water up the mountainside to her house. We are look

Monday, March 17, 2014
Manuel (A-25), Elderly Man with a Million Dollar Smile, Needs Medical Help!
blog image Manuel (A0025) has been deaf and mute his entire life. Despite the hardships he has faced, Manuel always has a smile on his face, and he never fails to bring a smile to everyone else’s face. Unfortunately, Manuel has problems with his prostate and must use a catheter. Fortunately, his ded

Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Doña Iris
blog image Here at Mayan Families we are lucky to have talented photographers and videographers that come through to share their time and talents with us. Currently, we are excited to be working with Emily Laliberté who is with us for a few months to help highlight and preserve some of the stories

Monday, January 27, 2014
Ancianos in need
Jack Alderson
blog image Istaislada (A-58) and her 45-year-old daughter Juana (A-69) have crippling rheumatoid arthritis that keeps them in constant pain and unable to work and support themselves. They have one room where they share a bed which is a piece of wood covered with foam. Next to their one room, they have made a m

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