Saturday, October 26, 2013

Dental Awareness group...and their beautiful video!

This is a beautifully made video by the group.."Dental Awareness" that is working here in Guatemala and we are honored to be associated with them.  The pre school that they show is the Mayan Families San Antonio Palopo pre school....
Sharon Smart-Poage
registered 501.(c).(3) Non Profit Charity

Saturday, October 19, 2013

New Blog posts now located on our web site!

Hi everyone,
We have switched all of our Blogs over to our Mayan Families New Web Site. Please visit this link from now on to enjoy or new Blog posts!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Life out of the Box visiting Mayan Families

Hi, I thought you might like to see this post from a group called "Life out of the Box" who came to visit and volunteer with us.
There are  really cute photos of the very cute children at our pre school!
Sharon Smart-Poage
registered 501.(c).(3) Non Profit Charity

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Today we had a meeting with 15 people in Guatemala

Today we had  a meeting with 15 people . 
These were representatives of the different municipalities in the Department of Solola.  
They came to ask for our help. Their concern was the great problem of malnutrition amongst children.
They had a list of 149 children who were in danger of dying from severe malnutrition. 
They asked us if we could just help these 149 children with food.  They had been able to help them a little but they needed on going help. 
As I looked over the list of children they had printed out, there were children at different levels of malnutrition. 
The worst was coming to children who had a line drawn through their name and the word deceased next to it. 
What is the matter with this world that we cannot work out how to feed these children ???
They were very excited when they saw the bags of Feed My Starving Children and Kids Against Hunger.    We said that we would try our best to make sure that these 149 families were included when we next get bags of food.  We are very grateful to our friend, Tom Heaton from Mission Guatemala who shares this food with us and to Peg Meyer and Corlene Horan who work so hard to help us get boxes of food into Guatemala. 
It was a good young man told us that they had worked out that a family who had 10 children and the father only earned 30 quetzales a day ...would only have something like 62 centavos to spend on each child for food for that day. ...That will not even buy one egg. 
He also said that he saw the main cause of poverty being the lack of family planning. He talked about the two different sides of the reality that people live in...they have the physical side where having too many children can cause a great hardship for the family...and the spiritual side that teaches them that having a lot of children is a great blessing. 
It was a thought provoking meeting ...and it was so good to see so many young people concerned about the children and having such a strong desire to make a difference in their community and the future of Guatemala.   I hope we can help them. We just need to get some containers of food here!

Baby in Urgent Need

This baby boy was born on September 17th.....his name is 
Aristides .....the same as his father. 
He is the 11th child to be born into this family.
The father works in the market carrying heavy loads for customers.
He does not have a fixed salary, it just depends on how much he earns in tips.
Some days he earns $5, some days $6 and if he is lucky, $7 a day.
Little Aristides weighed 4 1/2 lbs when he was born. He is not premature. 
He has problems with his kidneys...they do not seem like they are functioning properly  and his intestines appear to be damaged.   He also seems like he has jaundice. 
Little Aristides is a fighter but he needs help. 
The hospital required several examinations that the father borrowed money to be able to do the examinations. The father has already given the bank the papers for his land and house.  There is no way he can now borrow more money without these papers. 
But Aristides still needs one more examination. He has to go to the city by ambulance . He needs a exam his blood vessels and circulation it seems to be .  They are trying to find out what is causing the problems that he is having and they do not have much time. Little Aristide is losing weight.
Little Aristides needs $350 to pay for the test and for transportation. We need to get him help as soon as we can. 
If you can help with just a little to make this examination possible. and note that it is for Baby  Aristides. 
Sharon Smart-Poage
registered 501.(c).(3) Non Profit Charity

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Thank you Patti Ann's Teddy Bears & Dollies!!!

Nearly 800 dollies that have been made in many different locations and shipped to Pat..will be heading to Guatemala to brighten Christmas for many little girls!
Thank you Pat and all your friends for all this hard work!
Sharon Smart-Poage
registered 501.(c).(3) Non Profit Charity

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Today is Children's Day in Guatemala!

Today is a celebration in all schools for children in Guatemala!  It is a fun day!
This year we are not celebrating Children's Day in our pre schools until tomorrow.
This is because the pre schools were closed last week for vacation..and they re opened it took an extra day for the teachers to get organized.

We would like to celebrate at each pre school with chuchitos, a drink of horchata, and jello ...........and a gift!
  • Chuchitos ("small dogs") are a very typical kind of Guatemalan tamale made using the same corn masa as a regular tamale but they are smaller, have a much firmer consistency and are wrapped in a tuzas (dried corn husks) instead of plantain leaves. Chuchitos are often accompanied by a simple tomato salsa and sprinkled with a hard, salty white cheese traditional from the Zacapa region. Chuchitos are a very common and are commonly served at luncheons, dinners and celebrations. )   Chuchitos are very delicious...they are delivered wrapped in leaves and steaming.. in a basket.kept warm by layers of plastic and cloth over the chuchitos. 

horchata .... Horchata varies in taste across Latin America. Although the drinks may share the same name, the flavor of each is unique to its country of origin.
While in some countries the drink is usually tan and "milky", some recipes call for milk, and others do not. Other ingredients often include sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla. Though horchata was once typically homemade, it is now available in both ready-to-drink (shelf-stable or refrigerated) and powdered form in grocery stores. Horchata, together with tamarindo and jamaica, are the three typical drink flavors of Mexican agua frescas.
  • In Mexico and Guatemala, horchata is made of rice, sometimes with vanilla and always with cinnamon.

  • The children will also receive jello ...which we make in little bags and the children tear a hole in the little plastic bag and the children tear a corner in the bag and suck the jello through that.

  • We will also be giving the children a gift of a stuffed animal...a beanie baby...thank you to everyone who has sent us toys and beanie babies that we are able to do this!

As it is for many people, money is very tight for us..   We need help .to be able to do these celebrations. We need to be able to have some extra  funds for the celebrations for the children.
This food not only will fill the tummies for these children for one day  but it will also give paid work to the women who we order the chuchitos  from and who will take the all  day to make them.

If you would like to help us to give the children a celebration are the amounts that we need for each pre school.
Chukumuk Pre school   ( Santiago. )
There are 70 children and you can provide this fiesta and food for these children for $85 US.    
They are hoping to have their party on Thursday. October 3rd at  

El Barranco pre school. 

There are 35 children. The  fiesta and food for them will cost $45 US. 

San Andres pre school. 
There are 40 children . The fiesta and food  there will cost  $55 US. 

San Antonio Pre school. 
There are 65 children in this pre school. The fiesta will cost $75 US.

San Jorge pre school. 

There are 65 children in the pre school in San Jorge. 
The fiesta and food will cost $80 US. 

Tierra Linda pre school 

There are 70 children in the pre school and 41 students in the jnr. high...which is all in the same building.
This brings a total of 111 students...
The cost is $126 US.   

These costs provide all the food, drink, bags for the jello, napkins and transportation to get the items to the pre schools. 

If you would like to donate this gift for the children in honor of someone special...we will be happy to have a sign made with that person's name and the children from one of the pre schools holding the sign ...( you can nominate the pre school ) .....

To provide a pinata and candy to the pre school , it is an extra  $25 US. 

To donate , please go to this link and in the notes section, put in the name of the pre school that you would like to help.  Any amount will help towards making this celebration for the children. 

The google art for today in Guatemala is very cute.  I tried to copy it but it doesn't come out...the two oo's in google have been replaced with two children, a boy and girl in traditional is very sweet. 


Sharon Smart-Poage
a registered 501.(c).(3) Non Profit Charity 
The Mayan Families Beauty Salon 

Picking up on the global demand for income generating programs for women, we launched an innovative training scheme in July of this year to teach local indigenous women the art of manicures and pedicures with the view to open a fully functioning salon that will meet the growing demand for tourists and locals alike. 

The Mayan Families Beauty Salon is the first of its kind within the region in that it selects women who have no formal education and are often in desperate economic circumstances to be trained from scratch by experienced beauticians from the US as well as Guatemala. 

Our Co-Founder, Sharon Smart, believes that projects such as this are key to creating sustainable change within the community. “For many of these women, this is the first time that they have ever had any sort of independent income,” she says. “One woman, Marilyn, lost her home after Hurricane Agatha. The home her family currently occupies has a tin roof and the walls are falling apart. Marilyn and her husband struggle to provide for their three children by holding unstable jobs such as selling cell phones or driving a moto-taxi. A steady income will give this family the ability to lift themselves out of poverty.

The school is currently seeking cash and in-kind donations. To sustain the project for the next 3 months, the organization needs $2,500 which covers the following costs: 
  • Restocking supplies and materials 
  • Training equipment 
  • Monthly bills such as water, electricity, rent 
  • And local Guatemalan teacher’s salary 
Help us raise $2,500 to continue this important project! If you are able to help with even a small donation, we would be very grateful. You can send a donation at Please fill in the amount in the field marked OTHER and in the DETAILS field, please indicate ‘Beauty Salon.’ 

There are several ways that you can get involved to keep the exciting project alive:

Option 1: Become a Beauty Salon Sponsor! 
For just $100 a month, you can be a principal project sponsor and enjoy the following benefits:

  • Your picture and name will be up on our salon “Hall of Fame” 
  • Free salon services when you visit us here in Guatemala
  • Pride for helping a Guatemalan woman empower herself and her children

Option 2: Give a small donation
To continue the project for the next 3 months, the organization needs $2,500 which covers the following costs:

  • Restocking supplies and materials
  • Training equipment
  • Monthly bills such as water, electricity, rent
  • And local Guatemalan teacher’s salary 

If you are able to help with even a small donation, we would be very grateful! 

Option 3: Send down in-kind donations
The salon is in need of in-kind donations as well. If you wish to send supplies, materials, products, training equipment, etc. please contact 

Once the first group of women is trained, the salon will open its doors to tourists and locals alike that can enjoy the services in exchange for a suggested donation, providing a new income source for the first group of graduates who will then pass on their skill to a new group of trainees!

Children's Day in Guatemala

These photos are from the celebration in 2012. This week we will celebrate Children' s Day in Guatemala .....Each child in our Nutritional programs /pre schools will receive a food and a gift....but we need help to do this. It costs $2 per child to make this possible. If you would like to sponsor a whole pre school...we have schools that have 35 children up to 111....any amount will help to make this a happy day for them. If you would like to sponsor in honor of someone special in your life, we will be happy to take a photo of the children with that person's name and send it to them. To send a donation, no matter how small..