Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Celebrate Mother's Day with Mayan Families 2013

Mother's Day Food Basket!
Indigenous Women
Celebrate Mother's Day with Mayan Families! 
Mothers Day in Guatemala
Celebrate Mother's Day with Mayan Families! 
     Mother's Day is May-12-2013.  
We invite you to celebrate the amazing mothers we serve at Mayan Families by sending a Mother's Day Food Basket!  Every day of the year these women make tremendous sacrifices so that their children can eat, go to school, and have a chance for a better life.  El Dia de la Madre (Mother's Day) gives us the opportunity to salute these women and commemorate their strength, hard work, and ingenuity. 

These mothers face challenges that we in the developed world can hardly imagine. They live in extreme poverty in cramped, uncomfortable conditions. Most never had the chance to go to school and do not know how to read and write. They rise at dawn to collect firewood and make tortillas and then work long hours for little money, spending days weaving items to sell for a few dollars, cleaning in private homes, working in the fields, hand-washing clothes, all while carrying babies on their backs. 
Many are single mothers who have been abandoned by husbands who contribute nothing to the children's welfare. Others are widows who lost their husbands to illness or violence and are now the sole breadwinners.  Some live for years with medical conditions for which they can't afford treatment.  

Every day these mothers struggle to feed their families on a tiny bit of income.  By sending a Mother's Day Food Basket, you can give a mother a much-deserved break and enable her family to celebrate her love and tireless effort with a sumptuous, nutritious meal. 

For the children in our Orphan Care program, Mother's Day is particularly difficult.  By sending an orphaned child a Mother's Day Food Basket, you will enable him or her to share a special meal with extended family and make this day a lot brighter.

The Mother's Day Food Basket includes a chicken, fruits, vegetables, oil, rice, beans, and corn or vitamin-enriched cereal, packed in a plastic basket that will be used afterward to stack and wash dishes, hold food, etc.   Click here to donate a Mother's Day Food Basket for $40 that will feed approximately 10 people.

The elderly mothers and grandmothers in our Elder Care program often live alone and do not have enough to eat.  For just $10, you can send them a small bag of food that will bring a lot of happiness and relief to them. 
Mothers Day Food Basket 
This year, why not celebrate Mother's Day by sending a food basket to a mother, orphan, or elderly person through Mayan Families? 

 You may designate a specific family to receive this gift or let us choose a mother most in need.   Click here to order a food basket for El Dia de la Madre today! 

Your food basket donation can make the difference between another week of hunger, and the joyous celebration of an important holiday.

 Any donation you can send will help to relieve the crushing poverty that these children and families endure.   

If you would like to give a basket of food to your sponsored student, or any family in great need, please send a donation of $40 to the Community Aid Project at Mayan Families. You can make a difference now! 

The Mother's Day baskets  will be distributed on May 9th and 10th.  Please get your order in as soon as possible! 

Click here to purchase a basket for a family in need or you can send a check to:
Mayan Families
P.O. Box 52
Claremont, N.C. 28610
If your donating by check, please send us an email letting us know that your doing it this way.
To send a general donation please click here!

IN HONOR......
If you would like to give this gift in Honor of someone special, please send us an email to:  
We will announce your gift on our website in the IN HONOR section and we will also notify, if possible,  the person that you are honoring with a special email...letting them know of your gift in their honor. 

Thank you for your support! It makes a big difference in these families lives!
Each year, Mayan Families distributes Mother's Day food baskets to our students and families in need.

Rural Mayan Women and her baby  
  Mother's Day Food Basket
Mother's Day Food Basket  
Elderly woman   

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Monday, April 15, 2013

Ponciana's funeral

We see so many people pass away here but Ponciana has affected everyone who knew her.
5 days ago, a group of Mayan Families staff members went to the house to visit , taking flowers, coffee, sugar, bread and corn. 
Some of us, will be joining the funeral procession.
Eric, our driver, who lost his first wife to cancer..about 5 years ago was very close to Ponciana...he drove her to each of her appointments in the city and picked her back up.  He said that his heart hurts most for the youngest child...who is about 5 years old...he would always come and wave goodbye to his mother when she left and he was always waiting in the fields when she got back and he would jump up and applaud because he was so happy she was back.
Eric said he wanted to take a photo of this little boy but because it tore at his heart so much, he couldn't do it...
Sharon Smart-Poage
registered 501.(c).(3) Non Profit Charity

Friday, April 12, 2013

Sewing Class Graduation with Mayan Families in Guatemala

Two days ago we had our Sewing Class Graduation party....there were 7 women who graduated from this sewing course.
They were all very excited.
Most of them have very little fact, one of the women in her Thank you speech told me that she had been wanting to learn to sew for a long time but every where  a course was offered, she was not eligible because you have to have a 6th grade education to be able to apply.  These women are very thankful for this opportunity.
But now I know the even harder part for these women is to start to try to find work.
So this morning, I had an idea...we have some lovely fabrics that have been donated...but they are western fabrics and it is going to be hard to make things to sell to tourists because they want the Guatemalan fabrics.
But the children here ...and adults can wear a very simple box style blouse.....these can be embroidered or they can be plain. So I thought ...what if we got the women making blouses from the donated all sizes for all the different age groups...and the good thing with these blouses is that they can fit many different sizes...and we put a rack out at Mayan Families and sell them at a low price so that the mothers can afford to buy them.  
Then we can pay the women...say approx. $2 US to make a blouse.....and once they are experienced they could possibly earn $6 -$8 a day. ...BUT...and there is always a but!!!....we need some start up money to be able to have a fund to pay the women till their blouses start to sell....( of course, there is no guarantee that they will sell....but they just might !) .
..and these blouses fit in with traditional clothing...they are worn with a corte..( traditiional skirt) so it is also keeping girls in their traditional customs...
 If you think this is something that might work.......and have a spare $2 to sponsor a woman to make a blouse to put out on a rack to sell...then  I am very willing to give it a go!
Sharon Smart-Poage
a registered 501.(c).(3) Non Profit Charity

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

An addition to Pocianas story, Guatemala

Thank you for your very kind words......I feel it is a privilege to have so many people let us into their lives...the people here face such extreme situations with so little....Ponciana's husband called a little while ago to say, through his tears, that Ponciana had left a message...she told him to tell us how grateful she was for all the help...that thanks to the help she received she was able to have extra time with her children ....and that she would be taking, in her heart, all the people who had helped her and she would be watching over her from Heaven.

Sad news about Ponciana in Guatemala

Sadly , I have to tell you that Ponciana passed away an hour ago. 
Ponciana is the woman in her late 30's, mother to 4 children....when we found her two years ago, she had a gangerous tumor on her foot...we amputated her leg above the knee...she was the happiest person to have her leg removed....she said that the children and family could not eat with her because the smell had been so bad but now they could eat together again.
At first, the news was very positive...Ponciana did very well with the chemo...though she hated losing her hair...then just when it seemed that she would be o.k. ....the cancer went into her lungs...the chemo slowed it but eventually could not stop it.
The funny thing is this morning when I woke up ...I thought about Ponciana and was concerned that she did not have enough food....I was going to check today that she was o.k. we will make sure that her family has enough food to help them get through this .
She has such young is only about 5 years old..and another girl who is about 10 years old.
Ponciana was an inspiration to me...she smiled through everything that happened to her...she had a beautiful smile.  I remember watching her husband carry her on his back up the hill to their house, through the cornfields.  He told her that he didn't care about having her leg amputated, that he loved her not her leg.
Sharon Smart-Poage
registered 501.(c).(3) Non Profit Charity

Young Woman in Tierra Linda

Just as we were getting ready to finish for the afternoon today...I got the message about a young woman, 20 years old, who had drank poison in Tierra Linda.  
She did this on Thursday ...trying to escape a situation where she had become involved with a married man...when she wanted to break off with her...he threatened to tell about their affair on the internet...( the double edged sword of the internet!!) seeing no way out and fearing this terrible humiliation she did what others have done to take their lives....she drank poison that is used on the crops.   
From what I have been told, they took her to the local hospital but they refused to take her in...( I am not sure about the details of this or why they refused...maybe they didn't feel they had the way to treat her)...and the parents then took her to a private clinic...she spent two nights there and the bill for them came to $300 .....and they just could not afford to keep her there any longer. they have taken her home.

One of the members of the school committee called late this afternoon to tell us that this young woman is suffering terribly, that her mouth is going purple, she is in a lot of pain ....and she can barely swallow any liquids. 
We will be sending the doctor to see her tomorrow...and we will be finding out from the private clinic what kind of treatment that they gave her and what they recommend that we can do with her now.

Such a terrible shame that this young girl felt the need to take such drastic action......unfortunately, she is only one of many young women who have felt there was no other way for them...and drank poison. I can't even imagine how terrible this must be. 


Dominga is a woman in her early 40's.
She has lived a life of grinding poverty.
She has had 8 children ...and a husband who is an alcoholic.
She has struggled for years to feed her children and Mayan Families started sponsoring the younger ones...they were the first to ever learn to read or write in their family.

Then Dominga was diagnosed with cancer. 
While we arranged treatment for her...I really tried not to hold out too much hope for her as quite often we only can start treatment when it is too late...people just do not get medical help earlier enough, they are used to suffering without help,  they can't afford it and Dominga certainly couldn't afford it.

But for once, something went very right in Dominga's life. The tumor was removed from her stomach ..and she had chemotherapy.....and it was very successful!!!!!
Dominga is still weak from her chemo and she has not been able to work but she is definitely on the path to recovery.  

During Semana Santa her husband who had not been drinking too much for awhile, fell into old habits...and the stress for so many of Semana Santa ...not having food, not having the clothes to give to your family...not being able to celebrate... he started drinking heavily and collapsed.  He was taken to the hospital and basically the hospital sent him home and said that there was nothing to do for him but wait for him to pass away. 

The family came to us for help but there was nothing that we could do for him either.  We gave them some food so that they had something to eat and we tried to keep Dominga in as good as health as possible by giving her some of the food that we have received from "Feed my Starving Children" .....

Yesterday we had to send Dominga back to the city for medical care....she had to stay overnight in the we went in to pick her up, she is unable to travel by public transport at present. .....while she was driving back home..we had a call from her family  that her husband had passed away. 
We didn't have the heart to tell Dominga while she was traveling for the three hour drive back we waited till she got home before she got the news. 
The family has nothing to eat except for the emergency packets of food that we have...and now they have to pay for a coffin for the father.  
This family has no money....they will have to go into debt to be able to borrow to pay for the coffin.
While I wished the father had thought about his actions and what he was doing to his family....I know that he had his own illness and demons ...but now we are watching this family struggling even more. 

If anyone would like to give even the smallest donation to help would be greatly appreciated.
The funeral will cost $250 US. ...and the family needs some food...whatever amount could be given to them would be really helpful. 

If you would like to help Dominga with even a can put the student #41 ...even though this student is no longer in school....we will know who it is to go to.
Thanks, Sharon

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Help us get on the @GreatNonprofits Top-Rated Hall of Fame!

Help us get on the @GreatNonprofits Top-Rated Hall of Fame! It's time to renew our Top-Rated status for 2013! We could get a trip to Silicon Valley to meet with leaders in philanthropy and technology or ad space worth $20,000! All you have to do is write a review of your experience with us! 
Also in the section: Should this review be counted for a specific campaign?
Please use the drop down menu and choose:  2013 Top-Rated Awards.

Surgeon, anthropologist lead effort to bridge Western health care, indigenous cultures / UCLA Today

Surgeon, anthropologist lead effort to bridge Western health care, indigenous cultures / UCLA Today

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Rodolfo getting married in Guatemala

Today we are celebrating the wedding of one of our staff...Rodolfo....who is 28 years old and getting married today.
He has been planning his wedding for a year now.
He was so nervous for the past few days I thought he would collapse but late yesterday afternoon they had the civil ceremony and today one hour is the church wedding. They are having the reception at the Mayan Families office which has a big open space for the tables and chairs etc. We are trying to help them keep their costs down so we are happy to have them use this space.

We have a photo on facebook of the "Bachelor party" we had for Rodolfo at the office.  I love the games people play here, they usually cost very little to nothing and use a lot of imagination and create a lot of fun.   On the Picassa albums you will see Rodolfo and Patricia...Patricia is in Family Aid...and she represented the bride.  Outfits were created for them from toilet paper and it was  a lot of fun!

Well, dashing off to the church is always nice to have something positive to celebrate!
Sharon Smart-Poage
registered 501.(c).(3) Non Profit Charity