Blog > Community Development > October Newsletter

Wednesday, October 9, 2019
October Newsletter
Donor Relations
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Greetings Friends of Mayan Families!
Before we begin sharing the news from last month, we’d love to start by thanking everyone who contributed to our Sponsorship Campaign. Thanks to you, many of our students were matched with new sponsors and can feel secure in the fact that they will be able to go to school next year! 
To thank you, we’d like to share a special message from some of the teachers in our preschools. They want to extend their thanks, as well as share their thoughts on the importance of education and the difference a sponsorship can make.


Sewing Program Graduation Celebration

During the last week of September, we celebrated the graduation of 24 Mayan women who completed our Level 1 Sewing Course, one of the flagship programs offered through our Trade School.
Throughout the course, the students demonstrated their passion for learning how to sew at a professional level. For many, this was their first real chance to experience formal education, for others it was a chance to improve their current skillset. 
Wilma, one of our graduates, started the course with no previous experience and saw it as an investment in herself. During the graduation she shared with us, “Learning to sew has been a dream of mine for the past 3 or 4 years, and now it will be a good source of income for me and my family.” 
The graduation ceremony was an opportunity for the women to display some of the amazing traditional clothing they had made throughout the course, accept their diplomas as their husbands and families cheered them on, and receive a highly subsidized sewing machine to take home. By completing the course, these women now have the skills and tools they need to support their families in the future.  

INCAP’s Nutrition & Health Symposium 

As we continue the process of evaluating and restructuring our Nutrition and Health programs in order to more sustainably support Mayan communities in the region, we are constantly looking to partner with and learn from other organizations that are working towards the same goal.
For that reason, we were honored to be invited to attend a two-day Nutrition & Health Symposium titled “Low Height in Guatemala: Interpretation of the Evidence for Action.” The program was sponsored by INCAP, the Institute of Nutrition of Central America and Panama. It highlighted the importance of addressing malnutrition from a multi-sectoral approach, and provided examples of how that has been done successfully in other countries.
At the Symposium, Mayan Families was represented by Rosa, one of our Health Educators, and Nicole, an intern working with us through a collaboration with one of our local partner organizations, SHARE, and Kansas State University. In Nicole’s words, “Our focus during the Symposium, as nutrition and health advocates, was to learn best practices in order to work solidly as a team and contribute to improving Mayan Families’ Nutrition and Health Program, to prevent chronic stunting in children.”

“¡Viva la Independencia!” - Celebrating Guatemalan Independence Day

The 15th of September is Independence Day in Guatemala, and in here Panajachel, the streets were full of people, colors and music. It was nearly impossible to escape the sounds of trumpets, drums and marimba and BOOM BOOM’s, as the schoolchildren prepared for and marched in the patriotic parade. It was a great day for Guatemalans to celebrate and get together in their communities, as well as honor their country and its richness of culture, natural wonders and diversity.


  • Erin Comes to the East Coast - Erin is fresh off of her trip to California, where she spent time with current and new supporters of Mayan Families discussing her vision, answering questions, and inviting new friends to sponsor students and support our work. This month, she’ll be visiting Washington D.C, New York City, and Boston, where she’ll be hosting a special Packing Party on October 20th to prepare our Fall Shipment. Click here to learn more about her trip, and if you'd like to attend an event or meet up with her, please reach out here.
  • Fall Shipment Reminder - If you are interested in including a package in our Fall Shipment, whether it is a care package for a Sponsored Student or an item to help support our programs, we’d like to send this reminder that all items must arrive to our collection point in Boston by October 18th to be included in the final shipment to Guatemala. For details and a list of suggested items, please visit our Fall Shipment information page or contact our Shipment Coordinator if you have any questions.
  • Sponsorship Renewal Season - For those supporters who sponsor students on an annual basis, October is the month we begin working with you to renew those sponsorships! If you are ready to renew your Sponsorship today, please visit our Sponsorship Donation page.

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