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Wednesday, October 17, 2018
Donor Visit Updates
Lauren Erlandson

Our sponsors do so much to support the education of their students, and we encourage all of our donors to see all of the work we do in person! Visiting Guatemala and seeing what Mayan Families does firsthand is an amazing and rewarding experience, and it is a wonderful opportunity to create a special relationship between sponsors and their sponsored students. Whether you are in Panajachel for a day or a week, we have various options for groups, volunteers, and visiting donors of all ages and abilities. 

Please note that a support fee is assessed for all activities requiring transportation to a secondary location. Mayan Families provides transportation via pick-up truck and can accommodate no more than 12 adults per truck. Pricing for transportation is calculated per vehicle, so the cost for one person up to 12 people remains the same. Additional support fees apply when a second vehicle is required. Thank you for your understanding.

Community Visits

Elderly Care Center:​​ The elderly population is one that is often neglected in Guatemala due to lack of government funding and family resources. Our care centers in San Jorge and Panajachel provide hot meals and support three days each week to over 100 elders and youth in our Kids in Critical Need programVisit the Elderly Care Center, fund the cost of ingredients to provide the meal, serve the meal, and then enjoy lunch with the Ancianos. Cost: $150  

This approximately 2-hour activity includes the support fee of transportation to the village of San Jorge plus a translator or volunteer coordinator.

ONIL Fuel-efficient cook stove:​​ More than 3 billion people in developing countries burn traditional biomass fuels indoors as a source of household energy. This method of cooking cause for burns and respiratory problems due to inhaling smoke daily from these fires. Cooking on open fires creates several major hazards. We install a durable stove which meets local cooking needs, while reducing wood use by 70%, minimizing the risk of burns, and removing smoke and combustion gases from inside the home. Community visit and install ONIL Fuel-efficient cookstoves. Cost: $186  

Dependent upon the village and the number of stoves installed in one day, this may be a 2-3 hour activity. Based on the number of people in your party and the staff support required (driver, stove building instructor, translator, volunteer coordinator), a support fee will be quoted before your confirmation.

Eco-filter water filter: Lack of access to clean drinking water affects the indigenous communities of the Lake Atitlan region acutely, leading to preventable yet fatal health concerns such as diarrhea and malnutrition. According to the World Health Organization, the second highest leading cause of death in children under five is diarrhea while 49% of the country’s children are affected by chronic malnutrition, making it the highest in Latin America and fourth greatest worldwide. Community visit and install water filtration. Cost: $70  

This is a 1-2 hour activity, depending upon the village to which the water filter is delivered and whether multiple filters are delivered in one day. Based on the number of people in your party and the staff support required (driver, translator, volunteer coordinator), a support fee will be quoted before your confirmation.

Student Sponsor Visits

Preschool Visits: We have Preschool Nutrition Centers in six communities around the lake. Preschools are currently operating in Panajachel, San Jorge, Tierra Linda, El Barranco, Peña Blanca, and San Antonio. These are the only schools run entirely by Mayan Families and are for students aged 3-5. A preschool visit is a very special experience for both students and visitors. Our students’ education is valuable, and it would be great if you want to engage and be a part of their educational growth! A typical visit generally lasts two hours, including travel time. 

Preschool Visit with Activities that you provide: $100

Preschool Visit with Activities that Mayan Families provides: $150

If you are a Sponsor and would like to visit your sponsored student and their family at their home, please fill out the form found HERE.

●Student visit at the office: $30 (approximately 1 hour)

●Student visit at the student’s home: $70 (approximately 2 hours and includes transportation)

Contact for pricing on visits to multiple students or multiple locations.


Artisan Program Visit

Through our Artisan Program, we purchase handcrafted beaded jewelry, handbags, housewares, accessories and more, directly from local Guatemalans at an ethically determined price, and we sell them both locally and internationally. The sale of fair-wage Guatemalan artisan handicrafts not only allows us to continue to run our various programs, but it also provides women and men with the chance at economic advancement, supports the local economy and provides each recipient with a beautiful piece of Guatemala. The following artisan demonstrations (approximately 30 minutes each) are available at our office location for a group of any size:

●Backstrap Weaving Demonstration:$40 per group

●Beading Demonstration:$40 per group 

●Both demonstrations:$70 per group

The price includes transportation for the Artisans to come to our office and the materials used for the demonstration.


Medical Program Visit

Due to the case-by-case nature of our work, there is not an official list of projects or associated costs for volunteering with the Medical Program.  For more information, please contact

Detailed guidelines for visiting medical professionals are available HERE.

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