Mayan Families

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Organización de Caridad
, Solola
8 Feb 2016 - 6:32pm
Lake Atitlan + Chimaltenango, Xela + Western Highlands, Pacific Coast
Dwight Poage
Más de 20
Education / Schools, Health / Medical, Cultural / Indegenous, Women's Issues, Engineer / H20 / Stoves

Mayan Families is a small non-profit group operating in the Highlands of Guatemala. We live and work in the Lake Atitlan region.

We operate a variety of programs as a comprehensive approach to give a hand up to needy Maya people and the communities in which they live. The work of Mayan Families is supported completely through donations, which are tax deductible in the U.S.
Mayan Families was founded by Patricia Mort, Sharon Smart-Poage and Dwight Poage. They have been living and working with the Maya indigenous communities of the Atitlan region of Guatemala for over twenty years.

Who we are: Patti, a mother of two and a grandmother to five, has lived in Panajachel for the past 22 years. She is a well-known member of the community and a successful businesswoman. Her business, Casa Alegre, has been in operation for 20 years. A devoted animal lover, Patti lives with her 2 dogs and 4 cats, all rescued animals.
Sharon, originally from Australia, met her husband Dwight in Guatemala. Together they lived in Panajachel from 1987-1995, where they worked with indigenous co-operatives, manufacturing and exporting clothing, textiles and handicrafts.
After adopting their daughter Zoe, Sharon and Dwight moved back to the United States but kept their close ties to the indigenous community through school sponsorship and frequent visits. In 2004, Sharon and Zoe moved back to Guatemala and adopted their second daughter, Aleeya. Sharon, Zoe and Aleeya shared their home with numerous rescued dogs and a cat.

Due to career commitments, Dwight remained in San Diego to help raise funds and manage many Mayan Families business affairs. In August 2009, Dwight moved permanently to Guatemala to be with his family and continue the great work of Mayan Families.

We began is a small way in 2004. In 2005 hurricane Stan attacked the Lake Atitlan region and the effects were enormous. Many lives and homes were destroyed. Countless people survived with nothing but the clothes on their backs. Because of the overwhelming devastation, Sharon, Patti, and Dwight decided to formalize their personal commitments and thus Mayan Families was formed.

After Hurricane Stan, there existed a massive amount of need within Panajachel and other indigenous communities surrounding the lake area. Both Sharon and Patti were committed to seeking solutions. They embarked upon fundraisers seeking support from the local regions and other countries, as well. Donations began coming in and eventually they were able to hire a small staff of indigenous locals to help.

In 2006 they met Bonnie who initiated and continues to moderate the Mayan Families Connections Yahoo group, an information web site for a growing community of donors and sponsors.

Many other enthusiastic people also started actively helping Mayan Families. Needed skills and energetic support came together and grew to help impoverished people get a hand up, and help them to develop their communities and villages.

In June 2007, Mayan Families acquired its Official 501.c.3 Declaration from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. Mayan Families is now a formally recognized non-profit organization, which provides assistance and opportunities to people in need through nutrition, education, health, construction, and other valuable services.

Fotografía (opcional)
The Blog: Updates from Mayan Families

Just a few hours left for a 2013 Tax deductible donation to Mayan Families!

Dear Friends,We have just a few hours left before 2014 arrives.  That means there is still time for you to make a tax-deductible donation to Mayan Families before the New Year. Don’t miss this important deadline.  Please make a donation now!No matter the size – big or small – your gift will make a difference!
On behalf of those we serve here in Guatemala, thank you for your generosity!Our many successes for 2013 show what we can accomplish when we work together!Help us achieve even more in 2014!
Thank you for your donations that brought hope to so many this year. 
Don’t miss this important deadline.  Please make a donation now.  We need your help.Whatever you can give...we will put to very good use!
Thank you for your support.!Wishing you and your loved ones a very happy and healthy New Year!
Sincerely,Sharon and Dwight
All of your 2013 contributions are tax deductible to the fullest extent permitted by law. But the window for this year is closing fast, so please get your last gift in today. Thank you!
If you have any issues with your donation please email us at

 You can also call in your donation at any time by calling 619-550-2608. You can also send your donation by check to:  MAYAN FAMILIESP.O. Box 52Claremont, N.C. 28610
Make your tax deductible donation now!P.S. Many of our supporters make a gift by December 31 for their tax-planning purposes. Your generosity is vital to help us plan and fund programs for the upcoming year. The need is urgent, and your support is crucial to our future success.


This is the home of one of our sponsored students

This is the home of one of our sponsored students. In many homes the roof is old and does not give sufficient protection from the rain....or the dust...or the spiders ...or even the dew that collects on the tin you will often see pieces of plastic or cloth above the bed in the attempt to stop the rain, dust, bugs etc from falling on the family when they are in bed.

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This single mother

This single mother has been struggling to sell a small amount of cooked food every week at the market with money that she borrowed. She would sell the food, repay the money she borrowed and have a little left over to provide a small amount of food for her children. Through a very generous donation this mother has been given all that she needs to open her own business.

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This single mother

This single mother has been struggling to sell a small amount of cooked food every week at the market with money that she borrowed. She would sell the food, repay the money she borrowed and have a little left over to provide a small amount of food for her children. Through a very generous donation this mother has been given all that she needs to open her own business.

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This family was

This family was among more than 60 people injured when a bus they were traveling in blew out a tire and turned over . This happened on the Pan American H'way above Los Encuentros earlier this week. The family had no money left to buy another ticket home, nor clothes for the children. Then they found that the baby had a head injury and had to be sent urgently to the city.

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Isabel needs Cosponsorship!

Student #44
Name: Isabel
Status: Needs Co-Sponsor
School Level: Junior High School
Sponsorship Fee: $360           
Sponsor This Child!

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Valentines Day 2013

Hi everyone, Here is the link to our Valentines Day 2013 newsletter!

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Holiday contributions to Mayan Families in Guatemala

Your special holiday contribution will give life changing education, food and hope to make sure children like Maria will never know the pain and suffering that their parents grew up with, caused by chronic malnutrition and poverty! Your gift will give mothers like Sandra the best gift ever— a way out of poverty for themselves, their children and their whole family!

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Comentarios / Experiencias


requisitos taller carpinteria?


Soy catalina de la cruz, fundadora de la asociación de Mujeres alanel. término quiche que significa mujer creadora, trabajamos con 4 programas salud, educación, agricultura y artesanía con 500 mujeres de Santa Catarina Istahuacán, Sololá, nos interesa conocer el trabajo que realizan y quizas podamos coordinar actividades o hacer alianzas, Dios los bendiga.


hola, que lindo es conocer sobre estas organizaciones que esta apoyando a la población pobre indígena a salir adelante. quisiera conocer mas sobre esta organización yo trabajo en una clínica donde apoyamos a las personas en el tema de salud, con escasos recursos tratando enfermedades con medicina natural. y si en algún momento podamos coordinar.

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