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Mayan Families
Summer 2012
In This Issue
Student In Need of Co-Sponsorship
Animal of the Month
Mayan Families Holiday Cards
Mayan Families' Class of 2012
When Ana Estela Smiles
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Student In Need of 

Marta Lidia, #43, from San Jorge is in need of  co-sponsorship for the 2013 school year, where she will be going into seventh grade. Co-Sponsorship is available for $15 a month, ($180 per year). Please click here to co-sponsor Marta Lidia, specifying her student number, #43!  

Animal of the Month

Bandita is a sweet little black and white puppy who was brought to us in September so malnourished that she could not stand up. We worried we were going to have to put her to sleep, but after a little TLC, vitamins, and good food, she is running around with the other puppies and ready to be adopted! Thank you to everyone who donates to our Hope for the Animal Program!

Mayan Families Holiday Cards

This holiday season, consider giving your family and friends a Mayan Families Holiday Card. Teaming up with Project MicroMundo, we have created a free online template that you can download, print, and give to all of your loved ones, making a donation in their honor to Mayan Families. 


On Wednesday, November 7th, 2012, Guatemala was rocked with a 7.2 magnitude earthquake. The effects of the quake were felt all over Guatemala--from the areas closest to the epicenter off the pacific coast, to here in the Lake Atitlán region. The most severely affected was the area around San Marcos. In total 6,828 houses have been scheduled for demolition following the disaster.


As the recovery proceeds, more than 250 houses around the lake are being demolished this week by the government that have been deemed no longer safe or habitable .


Immediately following the powerful quake, Mayan Families sent a rapid response team to San Marcos to assess the damage and help those most in need. Working with Shelterbox and the San Marcos Rotary Club, Mayan Families was able to provide emergency supplies--food, water, and shelter--to over 60 families in the critical first days following the earthquake.


During this season of gratitude, we greatly thank supporters like you who have given us the resources and encouragement we need to respond in times of emergency and crisis. With your support, we were able to help those who had lost everything, from their homes to their loved ones, and help them start to get back on their feet.


We anticipate additional recovery needs and are working with the authorities as the rebuilding tasks move forward.  We welcome any funds to help the most needy of these impacted families around the lake. All of your generous donations will assist us in  providing additional tents, blankets, bedding, clothing, emergency food, and housing.  


Thanks for all of your support in helping Mayan Families rebuild following this tragedy!

Mayan Families' Class of 2012
Sponsored Students Graduate and Celebrate the End of the School Year
Mayan Families is happy to announce that over 400 of our sponsored students have graduated this year. Ranging from preschool to high school, we are extremely proud of all our students and wish them all the success in their next year of studies. Out of these numbers, 150 students graduated preschool and will be attending kindergarten in 2013, 172 students graduated sixth grade, 57 students graduated 9th grade, and 49 students graduated high school. Thank you for all of your support in granting these children a chance at a better future!
Little Estela in her first year of preschool
When Ana Estela Smiles
MF Employee Susie shares the story of one of our preschoolers 

Ana Estela #1309 is a 4 year-old student in our preschool in El Barranco. Estela is one of, if not our smallest, sponsored students, measuring no more than 30¨ tall. She has been attending the preschool since it opened last year. In her first three weeks of school, Estela spent the days with her face pressed into the apron of the school cook, Rosa. Just a glance at me would evoke a cry of terror and a constant stream of tears. Little by little, she let me look at her, and then she gave me a gift of a response. It was apparent that little Estela had not spent much time out of her house. In fact, I had never seen her before and I had worked for Mayan Families for over a year and a half!

Taken this year, Estela shares a big smile during Child's Day


I started to worry that Estela was developmentally delayed, in fact one of our sponsors, an expert in this field, stated the very same thing. Estela never made eye contact and rarely expressed any emotion besides fear, and I was worried she had autism. Each time I visited the preschool, I made sure that the teacher demanded the very same thing from Estela as everyone else. I was convinced that the lack of participation was for lack of understanding Spanish and not enough stimulation in the beginning of her life. 


As the weeks went by, Estela started participating in school activities. At first she would cry and have to be calmed by her family, but by the beginning of this year she could be seen dancing with her classmates, and this Children's Day, she was the winner of a dance contest!  Last week I was given a very special gift, I witnessed Estela run across the yard with a huge smile on her face while she effortlessy climbed a tree.


We see many young children start at our Preschool Nutritional Centers with symptoms of malnourishment including lack of eye contact, lethargy, and stunting.  With the nutrition and learning activities that the preschools provide, we are able to witness transformations, such as the case with Estela and withdrawn children to vibrant students who laugh and play and explore their world.


Mayan Families thanks photographer Robert Bain
During his short time volunteering with us, Robert Bain has helped document our numerous programs, as well as collaborated with the Elderly Care Program. Some of the photos featured in this newsletter are ones that Robert took while visiting our various programs. Thanks again, Rob! We hope to see you soon. Click here to check out his work with our Elderly Care Program.
Make your end of the year donations now!
We know it's hard to believe, but 2012 is almost over. Along with your New Year Resolutions, it's time to get that charitable contribution in so you can claim a tax deduction for this year, 2012. Please give what you can. All donations are tax-deductible as allowed by law. We ask you to consider giving your best financial gift now, making a life changing difference for the coming new year. There is a lot of work to be done and we need your help to do it. Please donate here now! Please consider a General Donation, "Where most needed".  
To qualify as a 2012 charitable contribution, online donations must be made by midnight, Dec. 31, 2012 and checks need to be mailed to
P.O. Box 52
Claremont, N.C. 28610 
and postmarked on or before December-31-2012.
Thank you for helping to make 2012 a great year!
We wish you much success, Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!
Ready To Help?
Give the Gift of Food! 

As we approach the holiday season, we ask you to please consider providing a family with a Holiday Tamale Basket for $40, which will feed a family of 10 or more.

The basket includes a whole chicken, oil, rice, a block of drinking chocolate, vegetables, fruit, sugar, a fortified cereal , black beans, pasta and a packet of Christmas cookies. 
As there are so many people in need this year, we are also offering a $15 bag of food for a family. This bag includes rice, oatmeal, sugar, a small block of chocolate, a small packet of cookies, beans, and corn.    

 To make a contribution for the Christmas Tamale baskets please go to our website your gift in the "General Donations" box.  If you would like to designate a particular family to receive your basket, please enter either their Family Aid number or a Student Sponsorship number in the box marked "Extra Notes".  Thank you for all of your support!

The Blind Sisters 
Mayan Families Elderly Care Program Seeks Support
Cayetana led her two blind daughters to lunch at Mayan Families Elderly Feeding Program everyday, and earned the income for the three of them, begging in front of the waterfall where tourists stopped to take photos. The day Cayetana said she could not breathe, and left the lunchroom, she led her daughters home, who followed, pinching her sleeves. Sometime later Cayetana left her body in the bed and her two blind daughters waiting for days for help to remove it.
It was the daughter's bed too, where the doctor said Cayetana would die of the swelling from her enlarged heart, and where she did die, bleeding through the mattress. The daughters, who did not have another, turned it over. 
The sisters were left helpless: with both of them blind and one who also cannot walk nor talk, they can hardly look after themselves. They had depended on Cayetana for everything. Now that she is gone, they cannot even walk to the comedor, the dining room where we host lunch for the Elderly. Someone brings their lunch to them each day. It is the only food they are getting, since they have no way to earn money, as both are disabled. Their house is simple and sparse, rebuilt after a mudslide took their old one. Their kitchen is a dirt patch wrapped in tin sheets and their bathroom is little more than a hole in the ground.
They are in desperate need of help with food, corn, a new double mattress to share, and monthly sponsorship to eat each day in the Elderly Care program.

Unfortunately, there are hundreds of Guatemalan elderly living this way. The Elderly Care program is seeking sponsors for approximately 70 of them living in Panajachel and neighboring San Jorge. If you would like to help Maria and Guatelupe, or any of the elderly whose stories are similar and who depend on kindness now that their bodies are unable to work, please consider donating today to our Elderly Care Program.

This Christmas, the majority of our elderly will pass the holiday alone, as their families struggle to save their last pennies to provide a meal or a gift for their children. Often, they will go without food, much less the traditional holiday tamales that mark the occasion in much of Latin America. To ensure that the elderly will have a chance to enjoy something special this Christmas, we are asking for Christmas Tamale Basket donations. Each basket provides the necessary ingredients to make tamales, as well as provide enough food to last till after the holiday.  
Thank you for your support in ensuring that our elderly clients do not get left behind this holiday season!
Top-Rated Nonprofit 2012
Thanks to all of the amazing reviews we got from all of you, we've won a 2012 Top-Rated Award from GreatNonprofits. Check out our great stories:


Disaster Relief Ratings
Thank you for giving us great reviews on Great Nonprofits.  We are the top rated 'Disaster Relief Nonprofit'!  Check out all the listings.
Download the Enliken Toolbar
Install Enliken and start donating today!Just browse the web the way you always do and help support the mission of Mayan Families.  Every internet search is an instant donation, free to you!
Volunteer Opportunities 

 We could use help, whether you're in Guatemala or at your own home! Check out our listings here!

Help Mayan Families
for free...
Use our resources to fundraise through third-party organizations, such as the Goodsearch toolbar, where we'd receive a penny for every single search engine search you perform.
Don't forget that pennies go a long way when families in our services live on mere $'s a day.


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