Wednesday, January 31, 2018
Exciting Changes Coming to the Well Mother, Well Baby Program
Lauren Erlandson
blog image Written by Alysa Grude, Nutrition and Welfare Development Program ManagerChronic malnutrition is a preventable condition that largely inflicts the children in the communities in which Mayan Families works. In the community of Peña Blanca, we have approximated that 81% of children under f

Friday, September 29, 2017
Nutrition Gives Hope for the Future
Lauren Erlandson
blog image Written by Anna Aspenson, Food Security & Community Development Program Manager This is Rosa, she first came to our office in 2012 with her youngest son, carried on her back with a traditional baby sling called a zoote. Maynor was one year old and weighed only six pounds. He was being taken

Wednesday, June 21, 2017
Look at us grow! Introducing the Well Mother, Well Baby Program to Peña Blanca
Lauren Erlandson
blog image Written by Alysa Grude, Nutrition and Welfare Program Coordinator“I am afraid to eat too much during my pregnancy and possibly have a hard time giving birth,” a pregnant mother told us as she recalled what she had eaten the day before.  We recently spoke with a group of mothers in P

Wednesday, June 14, 2017
Supporter Appreciation: Community Building with St. Michael’s College
Lauren Erlandson
blog image Written by Alysa Grude, Nutrition and Welfare Program Coordinator, and Anna Aspenson, Food Security and Community Development Program ManagerWe had an incredible time hosting the students from St. Michael’s College in May! These recent college graduates spent months before their trip raising f

Thursday, April 27, 2017
We did it! Time for a celebration!
Glen Thesslin
blog image Written by Mark Prunella-Miller, Donor Relations ManagerGracias from the San Antonio Preschool Class of 2017! (Gif by Livvy Runyon)Over a year ago, the mission to provide a permanent and spacious building for the preschoolers in San Antonio began. Thanks to you, we finally have the funds to make thi

Thursday, January 12, 2017
Why Pre-K matters: Meet Yenifer and Nicolasa
Student Sponsorship
blog image Written by Student Sponsorship Coordinator Anne-Sophie RobinFor generations of indigenous children in the rural highlands of Guatemala, attending preschool has never been in the cards. Nicolasa was no exception. When this mother of five was given the opportunity to send her youngest daughter to the

Tuesday, December 6, 2016
A Guatemalan Christmas: How to Make Tamales

blog image         Written by Anna Watts, Multimedia AssociatePhoto by: Anna WattsIn Guatemala, an essential part of holiday traditions is the Christmas tamale. For an entire day before Christmas, mothers and their eldest children labor over mortar and pestle, open fires

Tuesday, September 20, 2016
Opportunities and Leadership Through the San Antonio Community Garden
Family Aid
blog image Written by Anna Aspenson, Strengthening Communities CoordinatorOver the past year, we have seen our San Antonio Community Garden grow from bare dirt to rows of corn, amaranth, carrots, medicinal herbs, and seasonal fruits. Each crop represents an opportunity. An opportunity for learning and health i

Friday, September 9, 2016
Fruit Salad and Economic Empowerment at Well Mother, Well Baby
blog image Written by Clarke Glavin, Nutrition and Welfare Program ManagerBy mid-morning, Mayan Families staff have worked up an appetite. Local vendors take advantage, selling everything from ice cream to empanadas at our headquarters in Panajachel.This gave Ana Yach, Mayan Families Comadrona (traditional mid

Wednesday, August 3, 2016
Supporter Appreciation: Families for Guatemala Make Connections
Natalia Fernandes
blog image Written by Audrey Ward, Volunteer Program CoordinatorWe had a wonderful week hosting a group of volunteers from Families for Guatemala led by Jennifer and David Withrow at Mayan Families! This group of incredibly caring and kindhearted people came prepared to work hard to make a big impact in the li

Monday, August 1, 2016
Supporter Appreciation: Community Church of Poway Makes a Special Connection with Guatemala
Executive Assistant
blog image Written by Anabella Coria, Executive AssistantWe were happy to receive this summer a group from the Community Church of Poway! This group comprised of incredibly big-hearted people who spent their week doing a wide variety of activities that helped dozens of Guatemalan families.First this amazing bu

Tuesday, July 26, 2016
Estefany Wins a Battle Against Malnutrition Thanks to the Preschool Nutrition Centers!
blog image Written by Stephanie Kim, Family Aid Intern Five year-old Estefany is bursting with energy as she runs and plays with her friends on the Panajachel Preschool Nutrition Center playground. Mayan Families’ Preschool Nutrition Centers provide 3 to 5 year old children from underserved communit

Tuesday, July 26, 2016
How Empowering Guatemala’s Indigenous Will Lead to Better Health
Medical Intern
blog image Written by Sophia Kecskes, Medical Program InternMany tourists and volunteers are drawn to Guatemala by its diverse cultures—especially the beautiful traje (indigenous clothing) worn by indigenous women in the highlands. However, behind this rich and beautiful clothing lies a history domi

Tuesday, July 12, 2016
Stories from the Field: Two Programs Step up for Maria
Medical Intern
blog image Written by Sophia Kecskes, Medical Program InternEight month-old Maria is the youngest of five children and lives in Panajachel with her siblings, mother, and grandmother. When her mother was four months pregnant, her father abandoned the family. Her mother only has a third grade education and

Thursday, June 23, 2016
Stories from the Field: Magdalena’s Story

blog image Written by Anna Watts, Multimedia AssociateRosa* races up the steep path to her home in the village of San Antonio. Her mother Magdalena* follows on her trail, laughing at  Rosa’s enthusiasm and energy, which has increased ever since she entered preschool the year before.Rosa and her moth

Monday, June 20, 2016
Fighting Malnutrition Through Mothers' Empowerment and Education
blog image Written by Clarke Glavin, Nutrition and Welfare Program CoordinatorA group of fifteen mothers attended a workshop as part of a series of educational talks on family planning and reproductive health, held by the Well Mother, Well Baby Program this June.One of these talks was led by Evelyn Roquel, an

Friday, June 17, 2016
It’s a team effort: Including fathers in the Well Mother, Well Baby Program

blog image This blog was written by Gabriela Burkey, our Nutrition & Welfare Development intern.“La familia es lo primero para un padre,” says Juan with energy and a bright smile. “Family comes first for a dad.”Juan was one of three men who requested time off work on a Friday evenin

Thursday, June 9, 2016
Staff Spotlight: Gricelda - Teaching a New Generation in San Antonio
Education Manager
blog image Written by Amy Porter, Education Program ManagerGricelda del Rosario Pérez Pérez grew up in the small town of San Antonio Palopó on the edge of Lake Atitlán, home mainly to indigenous Maya Guatemalans, like Gricelda. Today, she teaches at the Mayan Families Preschool Nutr

Tuesday, May 31, 2016
Stories From the Field: Fortifying for Future Generations with Vitamin Angels

blog image Written by Anna Watts, Multimedia AssociateWith the highest rates of stunting and chronic undernutrition in the Americas, Guatemala faces a serious challenge. These nutritional deficiencies are most prevalent in rural, indigenous areas, affecting about 80% of indigenous children. Our Preschool Nutri

Friday, May 27, 2016
Fighting Diabetes at Mayan Families
Med Coordinator
blog image Written by Rosie Mazzarella, Medical Program CoordinatorMost indigenous Guatemalans believe that diabetes is caused by a susto, or fright. While the worldwide rate of diabetes has doubled in 1980, there is still little to no understanding of the severity of the disease.According to the World Health

Monday, April 18, 2016
A Year in the Life of a Mayan Families Preschooler: Meet Zoila!
Education Coordinator
blog image Written by Megan Furnivall, Education Program CoordinatorEvery year in January all 3,000 of our sponsored students come into our offices to pick up their school supplies and shoes in preparation for the year ahead. Among these are our newest and youngest students - our preschoolers. Zoila, a prescho

Monday, February 22, 2016
Look at us grow! Introducing new foods to our Well Mother, Well Baby Program
Grace White
blog image Welcome to a new year of Well Mother, Well Baby! Though we have already started the year, we want to let you know about them as we begin to see their impact on the lives of our mothers and infants! The first change we want to tell you about is the addition of full servings of fruits and vegetables a

Tuesday, February 2, 2016
Five Reasons Why the Guatemalan Health System is in Deep Crisis
Tatiana Petrovick
blog image Guatemalans struggle with some of the worst health issues in Central America and, in some cases, the world. The country has the fourth highest rate of chronic malnutrition in the world, high maternal and child mortality, and a large prevalence of diabetes and heart diseases. Many of these health pro

Tuesday, February 2, 2016
Starting Fresh: El Barranco Debuts a New Classroom!
Lauren Erlandson
blog image With the beginning of each year comes a sense of newness—new shoes, new books and new classmates. Whether you are a teacher, a student, or a parent the first day of school requires preparation, and provides an opportunity to start fresh. In El Barranco, a small farming community in the highlan

Tuesday, November 10, 2015
Staff Spotlight: Combating Chronic Malnutrition with Wendy Morales
Grace White
blog image Wendy Morales is an exceptional Guatemalan social worker who plays an important role within the Well Mother, Well Baby Program. The program aims to ‘reduce malnutrition in infants and provide indigenous mothers with the necessary nutritional knowledge to prevent chronic malnutrition in their c

Wednesday, October 21, 2015
Traditional Medicine Series - Part 2
Tatiana Petrovick
blog image Here at the Charlie Gomez Medical Clinic, we have found that many patients will come to our clinic only after they have consulted with a traditional healer. In rural Guatemala, traditional, plant-based medicine is still widely used. As a result, we have tried to familiarize ourselves with the t

Thursday, October 8, 2015
Supporter Appreciation: Vitamin Angels & Their Life-Saving Support
Claire Allen
blog image We have an invaluable appreciation of the work Vitamin Angels does and we were thrilled to welcome them once again, along with their corporate sponsors, The Vitamin Shoppe, to give a helping hand in the Lake Atitlán region this September.Vitamin Angels generously donates annual supplies

Tuesday, July 28, 2015
#World Hepatitis Day: How This Disease Affects Guatemala
Daniella Graziano
blog image Worldwide 400 million people are living with hepatitis B or C. Despite being a highly preventable disease, 1.4 million people die each year. This means that 4,000 lives are lost a day, which we believe is 4,000 too many. The loss of these lives is a tragedy of unnecessary pain and suffering. To prev

Tuesday, July 14, 2015
Hygiene Behaviors, a Worldwide Problem
Info Mayan Families
blog image         An important part of the Mayan Families Preschool Nutrition Centers’ curriculum involves teaching both preschool students and their parents about things like hygiene, nutrition, various health topics, and how to help their children succeed in school even i

Thursday, June 25, 2015
Water Filters To Fight Against Elderly Illnesses
Grace White
blog image Last week we were very lucky to start implementing another phase of prevention across the Elderly Care Program focused on getting all elderly filters for their water. The Elderly Care Program already addresses a huge preventative measure - appropriate nutrition. Malnutrition, a disease its

Wednesday, May 6, 2015
Our Well Mother, Well Baby Program Gives Hope and Health
Grace White
blog image The mothers that come to our Well Mother, Well Baby Program show a certain resolve and humility that words can barely describe. These mother’s first admit that they are unable to provide fully for their children and lack sufficient or appropriate education to nourish them.Photo Credit: Ju

Monday, May 4, 2015
Remind her that someone cares this Mother's day
Grace White
blog image As Mother's Day draws near, many of our Kids in Critical Need feel a particular sense of loss and pain. In school, the children are encouraged to make decorations and cards expressing their adoration of their loving mothers. For our Kids in Critical Need their mothers have either passed aw

Wednesday, April 29, 2015
What is it like to be a mother in rural Guatemala?
Grace White
blog image With Mother’s Day on the horizon, we are taking the time to honor the strength and sacrifices made by the women living below the line of poverty in rural Guatemala who we work with every day.  The mothers in our Well Mother, Well Baby Program often do not have access t

Wednesday, April 15, 2015
A Well Mother, Well Baby Success Story: Andy's Story
Grace White
blog image A wonderful success story for the Well Mother, Well Baby Program as we finish weight and height measurements for the sixth time this year: Andy Romario has graduated!The Well Mother, Well Baby Program helps the most severe cases of infant malnutrition during the critical stage of developme

Sunday, March 29, 2015
Save Our Elderly & Kids In Crisis Feeding Center in San Jorge: Ingrid's Strength
Grace White
blog image Ingrid is one of the many children who live in a true state of crisis. As a young child, Ingrid and her sisters suffered greatly due to a lack of food and a lack of care. Even though at that time, they had both parents, Ingrid’s mother had an illness that prevented her from giving materna

Tuesday, March 24, 2015
Save Our Elderly & Kids In Crisis Feeding Center in San Jorge: Rolando's Story
Grace White
blog image The Kids in Critical Need Program is a program that cares for the most forgotten and vulnerable children of rural Guatemala: those with no parents, those with no home, and those with an extreme risk of suffering from malnutrition. Frequently the stories are too sad or their lives too diffi

Wednesday, March 4, 2015
A Story of Hope & Encouragement: Doña Isabelle
Grace White
blog image We were met on the street by Doña Isabelle and two of her own children to make a routine home visit, a mandatory part of our Mayan Families “Kids in Critical Need” Program.  The objective of these quarterly visits is to check in on the families a

Wednesday, March 4, 2015
Community Garden Update: The Garden Mamas Graduate!
Claire Allen
blog image Time has flown since April of 2014, when we began surveying levels of experience & interest in a pilot community garden program among mothers of students attending the San Antonio Palopó Preschool Nutrition Center. I was the gardener from the U.S. who couldn’t keep names straig

Tuesday, March 3, 2015
Well Mother, Well Baby Program: Education is Key
Grace White
blog image For all of us in the US or similar countries who are lucky to have access to dependable medical expertise, the internet or even the ability to read books on infant nutrition, the decision of “what to feed my baby?” is a well-informed one and relatively easy to answer. Most of our fears o

Wednesday, January 14, 2015
Through Their Eyes: The Lives of the Mayan Elderly Documentary Series
Katy Morris
blog image Thank you to Nancy Hewett, volunteer and enthusiastic supporter of the Mayan Families Mission, for the contribution of this blog post. I’d just arrived in Panajachel a few days earlier to begin my three month volunteer stint with Mayan Families when I was invited to attend an inspiri

Tuesday, December 9, 2014
The Vanajeros Visit the Elderly
Grace White
blog image As the Coordinator for the Elderly Care Program, I get to spend many lunches chatting with the ancianos that come to our program. During these lunches, the elderly are always content to be in each others company and frequently find humor in my attempts at Kaqchikel. During home visits, however, the

Friday, October 24, 2014
Community Garden Update: Pride Growing in the Garden
Claire Allen
blog image About a month ago, our women-run Community Garden Project experienced a lull in participation. This lead us to call a meeting to discuss what could be done to overcome the various challenges we were facing, such as when our last planting of chipilin, amaranth and mint was partially washed away

Thursday, October 16, 2014
World Food Day: Our Efforts to Combat Food Insecurity & Hunger in Guatemala
Katy Morris
blog image Today we join thousands of people across the globe to celebrate World Food Day, acknowledging the particular spotlight on the importance of “Family Farming”. Here in Guatemala, hunger and malnutrition is a constant yet very real concern that we see every day. In rural areas, includi

Friday, September 12, 2014
Preschool Spanish Evaluation Results Are In!
Katy Morris
blog image One of the ways our Preschool Nutrition Centers help young students prepare for a successful education is by teaching them Spanish. Since most rural Guatemalans tend to speak only their indigenous language, many are unable to find jobs or navigate public medical and financial services on their

Saturday, September 6, 2014
The Inside Dirt on the Community Garden Women's Day Out
Katy Morris
blog image Thanks to our supporters, last week 30 of the women managing the Community Garden ventured by boat from their home village of San Antonio Palopó to San Lucas for a daylong class at the one-acre Hotel Toliman Organic Garden.As we set foot on the boat, the lively azure pallet of the l

Monday, September 1, 2014
MATCHING GIFT CAMPAIGN: Grow Your Dollar in San Antonio Palopo
Katy Morris
blog image Our main goal here at Mayan Families is to promote long-term development in each of the rural communities we work. That’s why we are thrilled to have the opportunity to purchase a key piece of land in San Antonio Palopo so we can continue to expand our various programs in that village.Read on

Tuesday, August 19, 2014
World Neighbors Help Mayan Families Prepare for Emergencies
Claire Allen
blog image Mayan Families has received a generous donation of 1,500 lbs of VitaMeal rice from our friends at World Neighbors. This nutrient-enriched, long-lasting emergency food will be used to help families cope with the severe drought that is currently affecting Guatemala, and any remaining stocks will be ke

Thursday, August 7, 2014
In the News: Guatemalan Children Exodus & How We Can Help
Dwight Poage
blog image I’m sure by now you have seen the well-publicized humanitarian crisis of unaccompanied children fleeing Central America seeking refuge in the United States. Unfortunately, this issue is far from new; according to the Washington Post, the arrival of immigrant children to the US southern bo

Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Planting Seeds of Change with Indigenous Women: Petronila's Story
Katy Morris
blog image Petronila bashfully smiled as her baby fidgeted in her sute (Guatemalan baby sling). Despite rising from her cement floor “bed” well before the sun that morning - just like every other morning - to tend to her family’s cooking and cleaning, she appeared spirited and attentive.The s

Thursday, June 12, 2014
Community Garden Project Update - Back to Work!
Katy Morris
blog image Here is our weekly update on our Community Garden Pilot Project with our fantastic Nourish International Volunteers!  As last week's tropical storm passed and heavy rains subsided, we were finally able to resume garden work. We eagerly headed to San Antonio for the first time in over a wee

Saturday, June 7, 2014
Community Garden Project Update - Rains Present a Challenge
Katy Morris
blog image It’s been a wet week for the Community Garden Project. With a tropical storm passing over Mexico, conditions here have been too bad to continue with work on the garden. Back at the office, we asked the volunteers from Nourish International to tell us a little about their time he

Friday, May 9, 2014
Introducing Our "Well Mother, Well Baby Program"!
Katy Morris
blog image We are excited to announce that what was formerly known as our “Milk Program” has recently been relaunched as our “Well Mother, Well Baby Program.” Now we are able to ensure that our most severely malnourished and vulnerable babies receive the su

Monday, May 5, 2014
Maximo & Angelina Need Your Help!
Katy Morris
blog image Back in September we were horrified to learn about the extent of severe acute malnutrition affecting one of the families we work with in Cerro de Oro. Angelina, age 4, weighed merely 16 pounds, and Maximo, age 10, weighed only 26 pounds and both children were in serious danger of literally starving

Monday, April 28, 2014
Mayan Families Community Garden Pilot Project
Katy Morris
blog image Mayan Families has recently been presented with the opportunity to pilot a community garden project in one of the local villages in which we work.... And we are thrilled to be collaborating with Nourish International and a group of women who currently have children in the Mayan Famili

Monday, January 27, 2014
Update on baby Myra (FA-347)
Jack Alderson
blog image We want to thank everyone who donated so that Myra could receive the medical attention she so desperately needed for her severe malnutrition. At 3 months old, Myra weighs just 5 pounds and is just skin and bones. Fortunately, Myra and her mother are now in a Nutritional Recovery Center in Quetzalten

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