Mayan Families

San Diego, CA   |  www.mayanfamilies.org

Mission

Mayan Families works to advance education, nutrition & health and economic development, through community-led initiatives which build on existing resources and knowledge in the Lake Atitlán region of Guatemala.

Ruling year info

2020

Executive Director

Mrs Erin Mooney

Main address

9450 Mira Mesa Blvd, Suite C120

San Diego, CA 92126 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

20-8433997

NTEE code info

International Development, Relief Services (Q30)

Community Improvement, Capacity Building N.E.C. (S99)

Services to Promote the Independence of Specific Populations (P80)

IRS filing requirement

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

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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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?

Student Sponsorship

Guatemala has one of the highest malnutrition and lowest school enrollment rates in Latin America, primarily due to the high cost of attending school which prevents many indigenous families from receiving an education.  Approximately 30% of all Guatemalan adults over 15 cannot read or write, and only 22% of children who complete the sixth grade move on to the Junior High Level. Receiving an education is one of the most significant ways a child can improve the standard of living for themselves and their families.  

The Student Sponsorship Program, established in 2005, works to provide access to high quality education to indigenous children in the Western Highlands of Guatemala.  Sponsorship dues for students in preschool through 12th grade is $420 a year, with university sponsorship totaling $1,350 per year.   These sponsorships provide students with the tools to succeed in their education and break the cycle of poverty; including school supplies, access to physical and mental health services,  as well as regular academic support by an indigenous social worker, and additional tutoring as needed.

For more information about the Student Sponsorship Program please visit: https://www.mayanfamilies.org/page/studentsponsorship

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Adults

For our youngest students, Mayan Families Preschool Nutrition Centers (PNCs) lay the foundations that foster future success.  In 2015, Mayan Families operated six centers around Lake Atitlan, all of which focused on four primary pillars: early childhood numeracy and literacy, parental education, nutritional support, and bilingual fluency.  As over 80% of children who enter the PNCs are chronically malnourished; our comprehensive approach includes a nutritious meal, snack, and multivitamins during the school term.

Most families in this region speak indigenous languages, meaning many children grow up speaking no Spanish. Primary schools are taught in Spanish, and as a result, many students drop out simply because they cannot understand their teacher.  Our Preschool Nutrition Center students enter first grade better prepared than their peers, passing at a higher rate than the national average.

For more information about the Preschool Nutrition Centers please visit:  https://www.mayanfamilies.org/page/nutritioncenters

Population(s) Served
Infants and toddlers

Guatemala's healthcare sector is chronically underfunded and relies heavily on nonprofit organizations to fill gaps in coverage. Our work focuses on reducing and preventing chronic malnutrition in rural communities, through screening, education/commu city prevention, and treatment of chronic malnutrition cases when diagnosed.

Population(s) Served
Families
Children and youth
Infants and toddlers

In the communities where Mayan Families works, economic opportunities are scarce and many lack the skillset to be able to earn a fair and reliable wage. The Mayan Families Trade Schools equip men and women with skills in four areas: sewing, carpentry, welding, and small business development.

Population(s) Served
Parents

Where we work

Awards

Paul Harris Fellowship 2009

Rotary Club

Service above self 2011

Rotary International

2010 Top Rated Non Profit 2010

Great Non Profits

2011 Top Rated Non Profit 2011

Great Non Profits

2012 Top Rated Non Profit 2012

Great Non Profits

2013 Top Rated Non Profits 2013

Great Non Profits

2014 Top Rated Non Profit 2014

Great Non Profits

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of program participants who receive a secondary school diploma or GED

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adolescents, Indigenous peoples

Related Program

Student Sponsorship

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

In 2018, 89 Mayan Families sponsored students graduated from high school. In total we sponsor 1802 students from preschool through university in the department of Sololá, Guatemala.

Number of children who have emerging literacy skills such as beginning letter recognition and phonological awareness, story comprehension, and use of writing materials.

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Infants and toddlers, Indigenous peoples

Related Program

Preschool Nutrition Centers

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Mayan Families operates 4 Preschool Nutrition Centers which provide high-quality, play-based, bilingual education and highly nutritious meals to children ages 3-5 in rural communities.

Number of students enrolled

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth, Indigenous peoples

Related Program

Student Sponsorship

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Decreasing

Context Notes

These students were provided with the tools to succeed in education, from preschool to university, through school enrollment, supplies, primary health care and tutoring support.

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.

Mayan Families works to advance education, nutrition & health and economic development, through community-led initiatives which build on existing resources and knowledge in the Lake Atitlán region of Guatemala. Our strategic goals are to increase quality of education, reduce the risk of chronic malnutrition, and improve economic well-being in the communities where we work.

All of our work is based on the following:
*Promote Mayan traditions, culture and language, using ancestral techniques and knowledge.
*Focus on developing expertise and capacity in specific themes and objectives, based on community needs and strengths.
*Center community benefit, promoting independence, self-sufficiency and internal solutions.
*Seek to make the most of and fully utilize the organization’s existing resources -infrastructure, staff, funding - and existing skills and resources in communities. Interconnect our three pillars of work, strengthening one another to achieve a truly holistic development.

Our Education programs aim to complement and strengthen the educational systems around Lake Atitlán to provide increased quality educational opportunities to students of all ages focused on advances in three key areas:
1) Preschool Nutrition Centers which provide quality early education in rural communities, promoting bilingual education through learning Spanish while preserving and valuing Mayan languages, and preventing and treating malnutrition in children under 5 years of age.

2) Community Learning Communities which provide face-to-face tutoring to students who are struggling, which involves training and support from older students, encouraging leadership development and community participation.

3) A Scholarship Program which provides support Indigenous students who lack the resources necessary to complete their studies and offers better opportunities of access a quality education.

Our Nutrition & Health programs generate access to nutritional and medical services with cultural relevance, reducing the impact of child malnutrition and improving the quality of life of vulnerable populations in the rural communities around Lake Atitlán, focused on three major programs:
1) Community Health Programs which strengthens local governance systems to create access and availability to vital community services, working in the areas of water and sanitation, affordable food, nutrition education and support for the elderly.
2) Medical/Nutritional Services provide preventative and culturally appropriate medical care to pregnant women, children under 5 years of age and the elderly, through mobile health & nutrition clinics, sexual and reproductive health, and promoting traditional Mayan medicine at the community level.
3) Creciendo Sano, our flagship malnutrition prevention and treatment program seeks to reduce the risk of chronic malnutrition through health services and comprehensive nutritional education, treatment of child malnutrition, and pre-and post-natal care.

Our Economic Development programs aim to advance professional and economic growth, promote local knowledge and techniques and increase opportunities for income-generation for  families and communities through an Artisan Program and technical trade school.

We are effective and capable because we are led by our values and a strong Indigenous Leadership Team with subject matter expertise and abilities in our pillar of work. We couple strong local expertise with an eye on International trends, data, and research to assure that our programs align culturally-relevant and locally-driven solutions with proven methods.

Our values drive our work and decision making:
Cooperation – We work as a kind, effective and supportive team in collaboration with our communities.
Integrity – We act honestly and ethically, thereby earning the trust and confidence of both communities and supporters.
Transparency – Our processes and use of resources are reasonable, justified and clearly communicated.
Respect – We treat all people kindly and fairly, with dignity and empathy.
Humility – We recognize our role as facilitators, centering and valuing local expertise. We evolve based on constant learning and self-improvement.
Accountability – We thoughtfully and responsibly manage our resources to ensure both efficient use and intentional impact.
Reciprocity – We believe in dignified, equitable relationships with our community, fostering agency, active participation and service to others.

Our values are at the core of everything we do. We believe that all of our work is necessarily and infinitely strengthened by being:
1. Led by local Indigenous staff.
2. Oriented towards community-led solutions by listening to community voices.
3. Focused on long-term, holistic and sustainable programs.

Since 2005, Mayan Families has sought innovative approaches to empower communities through consistent and reliable support. This holistic methodology seeks to fulfill locally identified needs through culturally sensitive practices, and to provide access to high quality services based on the strength and dignity of the community that we serve. Through our experience, both good and bad, we have learned to partner effectively with local communities to create change together, based on their inherent strengths and knowledge. We currently manage 4 highly-effective preschools, support 1200 students to complete their education, train university students as tutors and mentors for younger students, provide culturally-relevant medical nutritional care to hundreds of families, and provide over 40 artisans with access to markets and sales to help sustain their families.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    We work within the Indigenous Maya community of Guatemala to advance education, nutrition & health and economic development, through community-led initiatives which build on existing resources and knowledge in the Lake Atitlán region of Guatemala. Our staff and leadership team reflect the community where we work and we actively build community participation and leadership to drive our work. Our Guatemalan board is majority Indigenous and 100% Guatemalan.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Paper surveys, Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Community meetings/Town halls, Constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    Our work is community-driven and co-created with community leaders from our region. Community voice greatly influenced our strategic plan and guides our program decisions.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    We used to be a very top-down, foreign-led organization but have worked very hard to shift power and center the expertise and leadership of the Maya community. This builds trust, collaboration, and makes our work better and more impactful.

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We act on the feedback we receive,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don’t have the right technology to collect and aggregate feedback efficiently, It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection,

Financials

Mayan Families
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Operations

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

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Mayan Families

Board of directors
as of 7/12/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. William Dutton

No Affiliation

Term: 2020 - 2021

Mark Vorobik

Jean Muller

Guillermo Gonzalez

Elizabeth Hegee Zambrano

Vitamin Angels

Jonquil Bertshi

Roberto Melendreras

Nicole Fiorintino

Hugo Ramirez

Vision y Compromiso

Emily Hendrick

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

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 07/12/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

Equity strategies

Last updated: 07/12/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.