Thursday, February 7, 2013

Mayan Families January 2013 Newsletter

This is the link for the Mayan Families January 2013 Newsletter!

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January 2013
In This Issue
Student In Need of Sponsorship
Anciano In Need of Sponsorship
Remembering Gabby Lewis
Preschools Monitored for Malnutrition
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Student In Need of 
Juan Esteban, #68, from Panajachel is currently in 3rd grade and in need of  
sponsorship for the 2013 school year. 
Sponsorship is available for $30 a month, ($360 per year). Please click here to sponsor Juan!
Anciano In Need of 
Maria Coroxon lives in San Jorge, in a little room by herself. Because she has been sick recently, she has been unable to come to the Elderly Care Feeding Center to eat. She has her grandchildren bring her food to her every day. When they can, they bring her a little food from the meals they make with their own families. We have brought doctors to Maria several times over the last few months. She is currently receiving treatment for the wounds on her legs, as  well as some stomach illnesses and severe headaches. When we visit, she is always sure to embrace us and give kisses on the cheek, even though she does not speak much Spanish, hear or see well.

To help, click here. To sponsor Maria for $35 a month, click here.
At the start of 2013, we would like to say thank you to all of our wonderful supporters who were able to make 2012 such a great year for Mayan Families. Over the past year, we were able to sponsor over 2,000 students to go to school from preschool to university, provide over 200 families with fuel-efficient wood-burning stoves, sponsor 20 elderly people in our Elderly Care Program and begin to stabilize the program, as  well as distribute over 1,400 tamale baskets this holiday season to families in-need and give out countless presents to children who otherwise would not have received a gift.  
We are also very grateful to the sponsors who have already committed to sponsoring or co-sponsoring a student for the 2013 school year.  Over 2,300 students have already come and picked up their school supplies to continue their education, which will provide them with a much brighter future!  

As the new year begins, we ask that you please consider renewing your commitment to Mayan Families. Whether it be sponsoring your student for the 2013 school year, purchasing a carton of eggs for a family, or even just telling your friends about the work we do, every little bit makes a difference.

Thank you for being a Mayan Families supporter. Together we can create a better future for the indigenous people of Guatemala!
 Remembering Gabby Lewis
Becky Lewis and librarian Josué Bocel 
Becky Lewis has raised over $5,000 to start a new library in Tierra Linda in memory of her daughter, Gabby Lewis, who was adopted from Guatemala. In 2011, Gabby was the young victim 
of a tragic car accident. Becky, her husband Shane, and their son Tucker, also adopted from Guatemala, chose to honor her short but beautiful life by providing a safe and fun place for the 
children of Tierra Linda to learn and play. 
Tierra Linda is a remote community that Mayan Families has been working with because of the high level of poverty and non-existent government programs. With the help of sponsors and donors like Becky and her family, Tierra Linda now has a Preschool Nutritional Center, a middle school and a marching band, a new addition to the elementary school, and now a beautiful library. Having a library is very uncommon in rural Guatemala, and the Gabby Lewis Memorial Library is the first library ever in the village of Tierra Linda. The library includes laptops, a play and learn loft with puzzles and toys, a reading nook, an area to do homework and activities, and hundreds of books that range from preschool level to reference books for the older students. Josué, the librarian, hosted a Vacation Program for the local children to participate in and Becky Lewis gave out 20 awards to children who participated in the activities. The middle school students also showed off their dance moves for Becky in appreciation of the new library, including some great break dancing and beautiful traditional Guatemalan marimba.
Our hearts go out to Becky and her family for their great loss and we'd like to let them know how grateful the village of Tierra Linda and Mayan Families is for the honor of commemorating Gabby's life and her loving spirit by providing the children of Tierra Linda with a stimulating and motivational
environment to support their education. The Gabby Lewis Memorial Library will lead to lasting transformations in the lives of the children and among the community members who will benefit from this great resource.
Preschools Monitored for Malnutrition 
Last week Mayan Families sent a team to Chukumuk, a remote village which was built after the devastation of Hurricane Stan in 2005. The Spanish government had built homes and schools in the area, after the village of Panabaj was declared a mass grave and its surviving inhabitants were relocated. They spent the next 6 months to 4 years living in a refugee village erected by the Guatemalan government.
Chukumuk is one of the poorest and most malnourished villages that Mayan Families serves per research and data compiled since last June by volunteers.  We went to Chukumuk to verify our results, interview families and bring fortified food packets to those we identified as severely malnourished, with plans of implementing a more regular system of distribution to those in need.
Our in-house Dr. Louis De Peña was able to medically evaluate the current preschoolers while we took their measurements, and later evaluated about 30 mothers. The rest of the team interviewed families to better locate root causes of a child's malnutrition. Later, the doctor performed house visits for several children who were ill or flagged as severely malnourished.  These families were provided with food packets from Feed My Starving Children, in hopes of temporarily alleviating their situations.
This will be the first of a continued monitoring process that will help us better understand how to serve our communities and the life and death issues they face.  Feed My Starving Children has agreed to provide Mayan Families with over 96,000 meals this year, and this will help us to combat the chronic malnutrition that plagues the children and their families in the Guatemalan highlands.
If you would like to help support this project, you can donate to the Health and Nutrition Program at, please check the Nutrition Blog in the upcoming week for a comprehensive article on Chukumuk, Hurricane Stan aftermath and our Preschool Monitoring project here. Thank you for your support!
Ready To Help?
Open Letter & Gallery Call 2013 
In an effort to raise money for the ancianos (elderly) I would like to host fundraisers at local or at-large galleries, featuring the photos & stories compiled of our program participants. We have their blessing to share their stories with the world, and I am hoping this will procure the necessary funding to allow our program to continue. If you or someone you know has a gallery which could lend frames or negotiate fundraisers for the Mayan Families Elderly Care Program, please direct this information to Megan at
In addition, I will be working on compiling a book of the elderly's - ancianos photos and stories, along with interviews and photos taken by the girls in our Las Fotos project: sponsored youth from our schools were selected to be in the project because of their good grades. Project managers will teach them camera skills, and the girls will interview and photograph some of our ancianos-- not only to have beautiful subjects from which to hone their photography skills, but also to foster relationships between youth and their elders. Look for their interviews and photos in the coming months!
Thank you,
Mayan Families Ancianos Coordinator 
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. Less than 1% of eligible nonprofits won a place on the 2012 Top-Rated List. Check out our great stories:
Mayan Families' Valentines!
Check out our Valentine's Day fundraiser benefitting the Feeding Center for elderly people and orphans in San Jorge!
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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