In This Issue
Special Holiday Video
2014 Renweals!
A Student in Need
Anciano In Need of Sponsorship
Still time to send Holiday Baskets!
Giving Hope to the People of Peña Blanca
An Amazing Recovery for Our Puppies
Teamwork Improves Quality of Life!
World Diabetes Day
Orphan Story
Double Your Donation if you work for IBM!
Special Holiday Video

Each holiday season, Mayan Families makes and distributes tamale baskets to many impoverished, indigenous families in rural Guatemala.


We invite you to watch this video made by the children of Agua Escondido highlighting the remarkable impact of this program. Please click here to view.  


To make a contribution for the Holiday Baskets, please click here and enter your gift in the "General Donations" box.   


2014 Renewals!

If you have sponsored a child in 2013 and would like to ensure that they continue to be able to receive the gift of education make sure you renew your sponsorship ASAP. 


Login to the site and follow these easy steps.


1.  Go to Make a Donation and then click on Update Sponsorship

2. Enter your studentīs number 

3. Follow the prompts  to update your subscription. 


If for whatever reason you cannot see your sponsored child listed simply contact us and we will help you straight away. 


If you would like to take on a new student to sponsor please click here to discover the many other children in need of sponsorship for 2014. 

A Student In Need


Aged 13 and in 7th grade, Jennifer is one of those young women who has the determination and substance to change the course of her life. 
Her greatest obstacle is
financial, and a sponsor can close that gap!


Jennifer lives with her mom, Maria and two siblings. Maria lost her entire family to a catastrophic mudslide in the 2005 Hurricane Stan disaster. Since then has suffered from severe depression and gastritis.


Her husband, Manuel had held sporadic employment and abandoned the family in 2012 for another woman.


The family lives in a one room home on a small piece of land.  


They somehow manage with Maria's meager salary of $US15/week but their precarious status puts Jennifer's further education in jeopardy.


Jennifer is a stellar student and a sociable and happy young lady.  She and her mom are proud of her consistently high grades - mostly in the high 80's and 90's.  Math is her favorite subject, but she also does extremely well in English.


Your sponsorship can make the difference in Jennifer's future.  With your support of only $1 a day ($360 a year), Jennifer can continue her hard work as a student, possibly pursue further education, and change the course of her life.


You can sponsor Jennifer and other students in need of sponsorship here or email us for more information.

Change an Elderly Personīs Life
(A0070) is age 76 and she and her husband, Casmiro (A-85), have lived a  life of desperation and struggle.  
Their house by the river, where they'd raised their six kids, was washed away during Hurricane Stan in 2005 and they lost everything.  They rebuilt the house, which was again destroyed in 2010 during Hurricane Agatha.


Dolores and her husband now live with their daughter, where there are now eight people in a tiny house.  Dolores can no longer work due to an injury she suffered in a bad fall.  She has also developed diabetes and Parkinson's, and her constant shaking makes it difficult for her to walk.  
She's lost her speech, but fortunately maintains some hearing.  The medication needed to treat her condition costs $50./mo, but the family cannot afford it, and she goes without


Her husband, Casmiro, works every day at the river and earns $12./mo.  He also suffers from severe health issues, and the medicine needed to treat his ongoing open sore and infection costs the entire $12./mo that he earns.



Dolores desperately needs your sponsorship.  Your monthly contribution and loving support will ease her suffering and bring quality to her life. For just $35./mo you will provide her with a hot, nutritious meal every day through our Elderly Care Program.  She will also be included in the network of additional support and resources available through our Family Aid Department.


To sponsor Dolores, her husband and other elderly people in need of support lease click here.


For more information about the Elderly Care Program please email 
Help us  Feed our Elderly for a Year 

Every year we see thousands suffer from the downtrodden effects of starvation, neglect and a lack of social ceiling when there is no one to take care of them


To combat this we are currently involved in a crowd rise campaign to look to feed our elderly for a year so that we can attempt to remove some of this incredible burden from their already hard lives. 


If you can support this campaign click here or would like more information on how you could support is in raising awareness of the issue please contact us here. 


December 2013



Mayan Families would like to wish you and your family a wonderful Holiday Season. Thank you so much for all that you have made possible this year, we couldn't have done it without you!  

We work with so many families who are in need throughout the year, but this season is especially difficult for them.  In Guatemala, the traditional celebration includes being with close friends and family over a dinner of tamales.  Some families cannot even afford to purchase and prepare this traditional dinner, and receiving a gift is an even more remote possibility for so many of the children we work with.  While in the developed world we are so used to getting everything on our wish list, many children in the Highlands of Guatemala are accustomed to receiving nothing, and even going hungry.  
This Holiday Season, make a difference to a child in need. With your help, we can brighten the Holidays for so many!! 
Still time to send your Holiday Baskets 
As you celebrate the holidays with your loved ones, don't miss your chance to help one of our many needy families
It's simple to do, and gives the gift of tradition and hope with one small gesture.

How to send: 

Instructions for Donations:

  • Go to Send a Gift

  • Browse to find the ideal gift

  • Enter your student / family / elderly person's number and click SUBMIT or simply leave blank if you would like it to go to a family with the greatest need

  • Select Your Christmas Gift and click ADD TO CART

  • Add any special instructions or designations (such as sending the gift in honor of someone) in the Notes section

  • If you have any problems adding your studentīs number simply add a comment in the notes and will match up your gift from our end.

For more information on how to support one of our may families in need contact
Giving Hope to the People of Peņa Blanca

Following the global release of Living on One Dollar, a documentary following the plight of families in Peņa Blanca living on less than 1$ a day, we have partnered with the filmmakers to set up a fund to directly provide assistance to families living in the area.  
To discover more about this incredible documentary visit their website to watch the film today or click here to give a donation to the ĻLiving on OneĻ Project. 
If you would like to find out more you can contact 
An Amazing Recovery For Our Puppies
Our Animal Rescue Program continues with your donations, but your help is more important than ever!  The
cruelty and neglect these animals endure underscores the need to reach out, to treat and place our animals in adoptive homes, and to educate and enlighten our families about humane treatment of their pets.
Thanks to your generous and heartfelt donations, we are gratified to report a recent success story!
Since October we'd gotten two calls about puppies that had been bathed in oil in a misguided attempt to cure a skin problem.  The "treatment" resulted in severe burns on their skin, and both were found abandoned, one by a river and the other in the street, trembling and starving.  We rescued the pups, nurtured and cared for them.  Their
transformation was astounding!
With food, care, and love, they are growing and regaining their fur. They play with the other puppies, and can now be placed in adoptive homes!
Your help allows us to continue to reach out. Your $25 donation defrays the cost of spaying or neutering a dog
and to stem the cycle of over-population and abuse. Your generous donation will help reduce their suffering!
Or donate whatever amount you can - give yourself the gift of "making a difference" and helping our program continue its work! 
Teamwork Improves Quality of Life!

In early November, Transformational Connections and a group from Tillimook, Oregon both volunteered to install stoves for 32 of our families. The Oregon group represented their Rotary which had funded 20 of the stoves.  We speak for our families in gratitude for the self-less act of kindness shown by these two organizations, and invite others to follow their lead!


The gathering and hauling of loads of firewood by men, women, the elderly, even including small children, is a constant reminder of the physical struggle for survival among the indigenous population.  The new stoves are up to 70% more efficient, and they make the lives of our families more manageable, healthier and safer.   


You can be a change agent and improve the quality of life for an indigenous family!  It's simple, and your generous action will be valued and appreciated by a family in need.  Can you imagine a child of three hauling firewood or a pregnant mother carrying wood in a basket on her head?  You can change this cruel reality and give a family the gift of a hopeful future with your heartfelt contribution of only $186 which covers cost, installation and training the family by our staff. 


World Diabetes Day

In its continuing effort to respond to the needs within its indigenous community, Mayan Families formed a Diabetes Club in 2010 which meets monthly to support, educate, monitor and treat the growing number of individuals who have been affected by this world-wide epidemic.  Due to rapid changes in traditional diet in Guatemala with the influx of cheap, high calorie, and high sugar and salt processed foods, obesity, diabetes and heart disease have become particularly prevalent in impoverished populations.


Third world populations are even more vulnerable, as they lack the education and resources to manage their condition.  Even in malnourished families, the painful contradiction is that low-cost, available foods lack essential nutrients and further exacerbate risk factors, leading to obesity, diabetes and heart disease.  In the absence of resources and management, further complications of blindness and lesions are common, spiraling to depression and early death.


World Diabetes Day (WDD), observed every November 14, has become an international day of awareness.  Led by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), it was designated as an Official United Nations Day in 2007; and is observed by over 200 Member Associations in more than 160 countries and territories.  Their theme for this year is: "Diabetes Education and Prevention."


Members of the Diabetic Club at Mayan Families joined the effort and participated in the "Diabetes Day Walk" on November 14.  Those who were limited in their capacity to walk the route were accommodated with transportation. Participants met in front of the municipal building at 9 a.m. and proceeded down Calle Principal. The walk terminated at Porta Hotel del Lago with a light lunch. 

Orphan Story: Billy Anderson 
By the time he celebrates his ninth birthday this February, Billy Anderson (#1452) will have faced difficult and heartbreaking circumstances that no child should have to experience. A few weeks ago, Billy's father passed away in a tragic accident, leaving his four children alone with their unstable mother. Sadly, Billy's mother is unfit to take care of her children for a variety of reasons. As a result, Billy and his siblings have been unceremoniously separated and passed along to various family members. Along with his twelve-year-old sister, Yeimi Lizeth, Billy has been relocated here to Panajachel, which is an approximately three-hour drive from the small town near Chimaltenango that he has called home until now. 

Billy is currently living with his grandmother, who already has six of her own children living with her. She is a single mother who has fought tremendously hard to secure education and better lives for her children; four of her children are already sponsored through Mayan Families. However, although Billy's grandmother is doing her best to provide for Billy and his sister, she simply does not have adequate funds to fully support them. 

We are currently looking for sponsors for Billy to attend school. This is our highest priority, as an education is the best chance for Billy to create a better life for himself in the future. Billy is excited to enter third grade this January and continue his studies, but he unfortunately will not be able to do so without full sponsorship. School sponsorship costs $360 a year for full sponsorship and $180 a year for co-sponsorship. We are also looking for sponsors to pay for Billy's meals. This assistance would lessen the financial burden that Billy's grandmother faces with two additional children in her household. 

Since Billy is now in Panajachel, he can eat lunch at our Elderly Feeding Program five days a week at a cost of $35 a month, and he will also receive food rations for the weekend through this program. Alternatively, a sponsor could pay for food baskets to be delivered to Billy either monthly or bi-monthly at $40 a basket. Billy is in desperate need of your help. We would sincerely appreciate any assistance you could provide for this child. Please contact us at if you would like to sponsor Billy in any way.
Double Your Donation if you work for IBM!

We are proud to announce that IBM is now one of many companies that offer Employee Match Giving; meaning if you are an employee they will double your donation.
Many large companies will offer this incredible service. Simply inquire with your employers how to set this up with Mayan Families!
For more information about Employee Match Giving click here or email us for more information. 
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