Mayan Families Education programs complement and strengthen the educational systems in the Lake Atitlán Region, to provide increased quality educational opportunities to students of all ages.
Through three core programs we support students, families and educational systems and provide increased quality and access s to students of all ages
The Seeds of Education Fund
We want to make sure that the entire educational community (parents, teachers, schools and local government) succeeds and is strong and self sufficient.
Your donation to The Seeds of Education Fund serves our mission of complementing and strengthening the educational systems in the Lake Atitlan region to provide increased quality educational opportunities to students of all ages.
Built on three focus areas (Preschool Nutrition Centers, Community Learning Program and Scholarship Program), the program models Mayan cultural strength to center an approach based at the level of the community rather than the individual. Centering a community benefit approach also promotes independence and internal solutions.
The flexibility of the fund will allow us to directly support children of all ages to succeed in their education. Also, the synergy between program elements will enable us to make sure that every $1 spent will go toward maximizing the group benefit.
If you wish to know more about specific programs and how we go about it, please let us know in the comment box.
From all of us at Mayan Families and on behalf of all of our students and their families, we appreciate your support so much!
Seeds of Education
Situated in communities with no formal schools for children of 5 years and under, our Preschool Nutrition Centers provide high quality early education promoting bilingual education through learning Spanish while preserving and valuing Mayan languages.
Where children are able to go to school, one on one support from their teachers is limited when classrooms have 30+ students. To strengthen their education, this program provides face-to-face tutoring to students who are struggling.
Our Scholarship program provides access to quality education and support to students who lack the resources necessary to complete their studies, including mentoring, workshops, and training for students, parents and teachers.
We'd love your help in helping us reach new, enthusiastic sponsors like you. We encourage you to forward our emails, share our Facebook and Instagram posts, and tell your friends about our program. If we all activate our networks, we can help make sustainable change happen in the Mayan communities of Sololá.
With our key principles of collaboration and community focus, our three programs serve the needs of the community starting from an early age, proving access to education and strengthening their knowledge along the path. Our staff also works with educators, parents, and schools to increase the quality of education and build support and capacity for education that is accessible to all, bilingual, culturally-responsive, and fosters critical thinking, creativity and cultural pride.
Towards a brighter future
Education is key to personal development and creates a positive feedback loop that benefits the whole community for years to come. By helping Mayan students in the Lake Atitlan Region gain access to education today, you can be a part of creating the generational change needed to help our communities raise themselves out of poverty in the future. By supporting the programs of our Education Department, you not only provide essential support to students with a scholarship, but also help them to have the tools necessary to develop both personally and professionally. This means that with your support, they’ll be prepared to be the future leaders their communities need.
How does our Scholarship Program work?
Our Scholarship Program pools together funds from generous donors like you to deliver educational support ranging from preschool to University level to over 1,380 students and their families in the region. While in the past, we provided support for specific costs and items such as school fees and supplies, 2021 marks an important step forward as we switch to conditional cash transfers for families, for these reasons:
- Each family will have the freedom to use the support of the scholarship in the way that most benefits them.
- Families assume more responsibility for the education of their children and are active participants in the program.
- Much-needed resources are being freed up by lowering our overhead costs, so that every $ you gift to us will have the most impact in the communities we serve.
Connecting donors and students
While Mayan Families will continue to support and honor existing sponsorships (with minor changes), in lieu of starting new ones, we ask donors to support our powerful education work as an entirety. This you can do by making a monthly donation of any amount.
We are so grateful for the sponsorships that we currently carry, and are also excited to transition to a more sustainable model with maximum impact: supporting more students and communities in a fair and equitable manner.
For donors that have an existing sponsorship, there are exciting updates about the ways to connect with their sponsored student. As a sponsor, you will continue to receive photos of your sponsored student at designated points throughout the year. In 2021 we are introducing for the first time an annual art contest for students, through which they can share their dreams, identity and culture in creative and age-appropriate ways with their sponsors. This unique and meaningful exchange will create more freedom for the students to express themselves and create pieces of art that they would love to have in their own homes as well.
Come and visit us here in Guatemala to see our work firsthand and to have the opportunity to get to know your sponsored student and their family personally.
Preschool Nutrition Centers
Our Preschool Nutrition Centers are located in communities where there are limited options for early childhood education. The teachers are dedicated not only to delivering high quality educational support, they are also dispensing vital nutritional support to these students in the age group of 3-5 years. By doing so, they develop their physical, emotional and intellectual capacities in an environment that is loving and engaging at the same time as it is culturally affirming.
Classes in our centers are taught both in Spanish and Kaqchikel, the mother tongue of the Mayan students that occupies a back-seat in the Guatemalan school system. By doing so, not only are students prepared to succeed in the Spanish-dominant school system, they are also strengthening their pride in Mayan culture alongside individual self-esteem.
Our Tutoring Program focuses on supporting students in our Sponsorship Program who are struggling in school or who are at risk of failing a course. The program is offered to students in elementary and middle school, in the communities of Panajachel and Tierra Linda. It is designed to promote active participation in the learning process, collaboration, and unity amongst the students, with the stronger students being able to earn community service hours as student tutors.