Living On One

A few years ago, a small group of filmmakers and economic majors still in college ventured to the rural Guatemalan town of Peña Blanca. They were on a mission: to reveal the truths and hardships of living in extreme poverty. 

After nearly 2 months of discovering the difficulties of day-to-day living in extreme poverty, they crafted their experience into a documentary called Living On One Dollar.

You can help the community of Peña Blanca by giving to the Community Development Fund.  

Stars of Living on One: Where are they now?


The team of Living on One was so compelled by Rosa's story, that they released a short film called Rosa These Storms in 2015.

Rosa started her third year of nursing school in 2017, and is getting a lot of hands-on experience working at the Charlie Gomez Medical Clinic here at Mayan Families. Thanks to hundreds of generous donations, the rest of her education is completely funded! We have established the Rosa Scholarship Fund to help other indigenous women like her get a university education.

Chino, and his family

In the film, Chino and his family were struggling with illness, food insecurity, and a crumbling home. However, thanks to generous donations, their lives have become much more comfortable. A new room was added to their home, and they got a new electrical connection.

Chino has decided to stay in Guatemala City working at a tienda (corner store) and practicing his Spanish. We still speak with him frequently to help open up any opportunities we can. His sisters are all in our Student Sponsorship Program and, thanks to the diligent support of their sponsors, are excelling in their studies. Many girls their age have already dropped out of school to help their parents work in the field, but thanks to this support the girls will not have to.

Anthony is doing very well, and is still working for a hotel in Panajachel. All of the children in his family are sponsored, and receive all the supplies and the fees they need to attend school. Anthony continues to help out where needed around the community and you will never find him without a smile on his face!

Your Impact

Following the global release of Living on One Dollar, Mayan Families has partnered with the filmmakers to set up a fund to directly provide assistance to families living in the area.  

Since then, the Peña Blanca Community Development Fund and the Rosa Scholarship Fund have raised over $425,000. This money has gone directly towards community development and education intiatives in the community, including two new classrooms in the primary school and a water project that will bring running water to over 700 people.  

 New Preschool Nutrition Center in Peña Blanca (Coming 2018!)

How to help

For more information, contact


Mayan Families is an accredited 501(c)(3) non-governmental organization.



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