Blog > Community Development Vocational School Artisan Program Income-Generating Programs > November Newsletter

Monday, November 4, 2019
November Newsletter
Donor Relations
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Dear Friends of Mayan Families!
By offering programs focused on Education, Nutrition & Health and Economic Development, we are supporting families in our communities to achieve a sustainable and better quality of life. As we enter the giving season, we are excited to take this month to highlight Economic Development, our organization’s third area of focus.  
When parents have the skills and ability to access opportunities to increase their incomes, they can support their children's education and improve the overall wellbeing of their families. Thus, offering programs that help parents in our communities access increased earning potential is absolutely necessary if the work of Mayan Families is to be impactful over time.
Today, we’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to our two initiatives that focus most strongly on economic development - our Trade Schools and the Artisan Program. Whether it's by teaching a skill or working with Mayan women artisans, through these two programs we are paving the way for members of our communities to create a sustainable income for themselves and their families.
I am incredibly proud of these programs, and I’m excited to share that they will be the focus of our upcoming Giving Tuesday Campaign. Throughout the month, we’ll continue to illustrate the impact programs are having in creating a sustainable change in our communities. We hope you enjoy following us, and appreciate your support along the way! 
Erin Mooney & The Mayan Families Team


Developing Economically-Viable Skillsets

“The Trade Schools seek to provide the necessary technical knowledge to people with an interest in self-improvement, so that they can use it to their advantage and achieve economic and social sustainability.”

Jorge Mario Julajuj, Director of the Trade Schools

The Trade Schools were founded with the purpose of helping groups of young people, women and adults develop new skill sets that would allow them to access the economic opportunities available to them in their communities. 
The Mayan Families Trade School Program offers extensive training and certificates in welding, carpentry and sewing. These subjects were specifically chosen to meet community needs and to ensure that our students are equipped with the necessary tools and competencies to provide for their families, whether that’s by saving money making items their families need themselves, accessing better job opportunities or by starting their own small businesses.


Turning Ancestral Knowledge into Income

“Artisanship is family work that encompasses several meanings. It’s an artform that represents emotions, traditions and knowledge”

Herlinda Barreno, Director of the Artisan Program

Being an artisan means much more than having a skill - it represents community, tradition, identity and above all, family. Techniques and skills are passed down from one generation to the next, and they hold cultural meaning and communicate heritage.
Our Artisan Program was created to act as a bridge between artisans and new markets, enabling artisans to transform their traditional skills into a source of income. We provide the artisans with both a physical and online Etsy shop where they are able to exhibit and sell unique customized designs such as handcrafted beaded jewelry, handbags, homegoods, accessories and more to both national and international clients. 
The program has supported over 200 women from communities around the lake who now feel more empowered and have the chance to enjoy financial independence. They are able to work in the comfort of their homes, which allows them to keep ancestral techniques alive in their families and communities, and subsequently share these creative expressions of their cultural heritage with the world.
As you think ahead to gift-giving this holiday season, we encourage you to visit our online Etsy shop to purchase one of their amazing creations. By purchasing from our shop, you are directly helping our artisans to make a living and support their families!

Visit Our Shop!



  • We’d like to take another chance to thank everyone who sent items in our Fall Shipment, spent time with Erin on the East Coast, and participated in our Packing Party! If anyone has any questions or is interested in learning more about our programs, we encourage you to reach out to us at
  • For sponsors who renew their sponsorship annually, we’ve begun sending invitations to renew your sponsorship for 2020, and would greatly appreciate your continued support!
  • We wanted to let you know that Christmas Baskets will be back this year! We will be sharing more information on how to participate in the coming weeks, and if you are curious to learn more sooner, please reach out to us at Stay tuned!

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