Milbridge, ME   |  http://www.manomaine.org


Work with farmworkers and immigrants to settle and thrive in Maine.

Ruling year info


Executive Director

Ian Yaffe

Main address

P.O. Box 573

Milbridge, ME 04658 USA

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NTEE code info

Elementary, Secondary Ed (B20)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (R01)

Ethnic/Immigrant Services (P84)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Our mission revolves not only around the problems facing communities today, but the reasons why those challenges exist in the first place. Community members continue to face barriers when accessing basic services such as transportation, language fluency, and an increasingly fractured and complex social services system that is challenging for even a highly educated, white, English-speaking person to navigate. Through Access to Essential Services, we provide community-based responses to ensure that immediate needs are addressed. This important first step cannot be overlooked; we can’t begin to challenge systems with community members if they face immediate basic needs. Racial inequities and anti-immigrant bias produce disparities for communities of color. Internalized racism and racism within the wider community, employers, schools, institutions, etc. result in discrimination with real material consequences.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Access to Essential Services

Mano en Mano’s Access to Essential Services program operates as a drop-in resource center and home visiting program so that immigrants and farmworkers can thrive in Downeast Maine. In addition, Mano en Mano provides six units of affordable housing for farmworkers at Hand in Hand Apartments.

Population(s) Served

The goal of Mano en Mano’s Community Advocacy Project is to empower migrant, immigrant, farmworker, and Latinx communities in Downeast Maine to have a voice in challenging and changing systems that too often silence them. Through community meetings, home visits, and workshops, we help develop leadership, consciousness, confidence, capacity, and commitment among and within members of the Downeast Latinx community.

Population(s) Served

Mano en Mano partners with the Maine Migrant Education Program (MEP) to provide educational services to over 325 migrant children and youth across Maine. Families come from a wide variety of backgrounds including the Passamaquoddy and Mi’kmaq Nations, Central America and the Caribbean, and the United States. Services include mentoring, tutoring, parent engagement, and even a full-service summer school called the Blueberry Harvest School.

Population(s) Served

Where we work


Founder's Award 2011

Coastal Enterprises, Inc.

Patriotic Employer Award 2011

Department of Defense / ESGR

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Our vision is, “A stronger, more inclusive Downeast Maine where the contributions of diverse communities are welcomed, access to essential services, education, and housing are ensured, and social justice and equity are embraced.” This vision of opportunity and equity requires us to be both highly-intentional and relationship-based. It is based on the premise that se hace camino al andar (we make the road by walking) in that we are constantly working with the community to implement programs and services that benefit these individuals and families and at the same time, and to develop a model by which our programs are continuously being evaluated and improved.

Ultimately, our vision is to shift power dynamics so that immigrants and farmworkers are not only welcomed, but given an equal seat at the table; that as a wider community, we begin to actively and collectively address the ways in which health disparities are directly related to race, language, and income; and that the communities we work with have the opportunity to raise healthy families in healthy communities as a matter of basic human rights and dignity and not because an organization is advocating on their behalf.

Specific 2017-2020 goals developed by community, board, staff, and partner organization members include:

1. Support immigration in Downeast Maine by serving as a welcome center for immigrants and farmworkers; working with Maine Mobile Health and others to support new immigrant communities (such as Haitian farmworkers); and working with the Sunrise County Economic Council and employers to communicate the economic importance of immigrants in rural Maine.

2. Ensure access to health, social, and other community organizations through language services and by increasing access to safe, decent, and affordable housing.

3. Increase educational and economic opportunity by partnering with the Department of Education to deliver instructional and advocacy services to migrant children/youth; expanding educational opportunities for bilingual children/youth; explore interests and develop partnerships to assist community members with career advancement, business development, and financial planning.

4. Foster community leadership, social justice, and equity by continuing to support and partner with Nuestra Voz; increase community events, partnerships, and bridges; provide access to equity training; inform public policy using data to tell the story of farmworkers and immigrants in rural Maine; and take a leadership role in statewide advocacy groups such as the Maine Immigrant Rights Coalition.

Our strategy is based on the belief that the community we work with has the solutions for their collective liberation. We will strategically think about power alongside of them and support their vision for change.


Through this program, we empower community members to access resources and navigate complex and fractured social service systems, while tackling barriers such as discrimination, economic or language access, transportation, complicated qualification requirements, immigration status, and more. We provide this support when and where community members need it through a combination of drop-in, home- and community-based approaches that center the dignity, respect, and decision-making power in those we serve.


Mano en Mano’s Advocacy Program ensures that community members have a voice in transforming systems of oppression that so often silence them. We develop leadership, political consciousness, and capacity in order to create of the kind of community that individuals and families want to collectively thrive in.


The lack of clean, adequate, safe, and non-employer housing for farmworkers in Washington County led to the construction of Hand in Hand Apartments. This six-unit multi-family apartment building is the first of its kind in Maine and ensures that farmworkers have a healthy place to raise their families. In addition, by ensuring that rents are affordable (they are subsidized to 30% of family income), we ensure that farmworkers can use limited financial resources to prioritize things such as food, medicine, education, and employment.


Mano en Mano ensures that migrant students across Maine have access to supplemental instructional and support services that directly impact students and families. Through this program, we also provide a three-week summer school called the Blueberry Harvest School.

-- Approach: We value and invest deeply in consistently connecting with our communities. Our outreach differs greatly from other organizations. We also uphold a community-led approach that keeps decision-making power and organizational leadership in the hands of those who are most affected.
-- Communities Served: While there are many organizations in Maine that focus on serving immigrants and refugees, there are very few that focus on migrant farmworkers and Latinx communities, and fewer that focus on these communities in rural parts of Maine. The communities that we serve are a growing part of Maine’s population and economy.
-- Rural and Collaborative Focus: The communities Mano en Mano works with offer an alternative narrative on immigration, race, and rural Maine. We offer a unique way for community-led organizations to expand their collaborations beyond Maine’s urban centers as well as effective models of addressing health disparities due to race, ethnicity, and language in a coordinated manner despite geographic isolation. This geographic isolation allowed us to hone our ability to work collaboratively with a variety of institutions and organizations across lines of difference, power, and geography including: other community-based organizations, state agencies, economic development organizations, municipalities, Federal agencies, religious organizations, and national networks and consultants.
-- Anti-Racism Framework: We challenge ourselves to directly address racism internally as an organization, externally with partner organizations, and within the wider community.
-- Community and Data-Based Decision-Making: Mano en Mano ensures that our decision-making and data collection processes are centered in the voices of community members.
-- Growth: Mano en Mano has experience raising resources from a variety of sources including transitioning from a smaller organization to one that maintains its grassroots focus but effectively operates with individual contributions, foundation grants, as well as state and Federal funding (and compliance). This diverse framework allows us to offer comprehensive supports to community members.

In the late 1990s, the small coastal town of Milbridge, Maine experienced a rapid influx of Latinx farmworkers who decided to leave the “migrant stream” and settle here Downeast Maine. Mano en Mano was founded through a combination of grassroots organizing and municipal leadership to create a stronger and more inclusive community by building bridges of understanding, fostering leadership within and beyond the community we serve, and standing for social justice, equity, and self-determination.

Mano en Mano’s mission is to work with farmworkers and immigrants so that they may settle and thrive in Maine. For us, this means not only meeting needs of community members today, such as healthcare, social services, housing, employment assistance, and education; but also challenging the reasons why those needs exist in the first place. Mano en Mano ensures that a vulnerable yet increasingly stable immigrant community in Washington County has the opportunity to succeed and has an active voice in changing systems that produce disparities for immigrants and racial minorities.

Key accomplishments over the past several years include: completion of Hand in Hand Apartments (Maine’s first affordable housing project for farmworkers); playing a leadership role in statewide services and advocacy for migrant children/youth; continued development of a group of residence leaders called Nuestra Voz en la Comunidad (Our Voice in the Community), a group of resident leaders who have met with legislators in Augusta; and a Board of Directors that is increasingly representative of the communities we serve.



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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


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Connect with nonprofit leaders


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Board of directors
as of 01/02/2019
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Laura Thomas

Cobscook Community Learning Center

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes