Two Posts in One Day for Good Reason

I received a newsletter from Mayan Families today and wanted to share the information with you in hopes that those who read this will please donate something to help those who are in desperate need. Thanks.


Dear Amigos of Mayan Families,

As many of you may be aware, Guatemala has been devastated by natural disasters this year. The President of Guatemala has declared a national state of emergency.

First a volcano eruption, and then, the first storm of the year, Tropical Storm Agatha, ravaged the highlands of Guatemala. Many families had loved ones buried alive as they evacuated their homes in the night. Fragile infrastructure was destroyed: bridges washed away, water pipelines burst, electric lines toppled, water treatment systems undermined, roads devoured by crumbling mountains. In following months, torrential rains, have slowly eaten away at the mountain sides, with one landslide after another. People dependent entirely on agriculture have had their livelihood and their crops washed away. Additionally, a cyanobacteria bloom in Lake Atitlan has further undermined the already crumbling tourism sector of the economy.

Daily, we at Mayan Families work with families, to invest in their children’s education and see people pull themselves out of poverty – with a long-term perspective. This year, we have had to devote a lot of resources, time and energy to another, distinct type of development work– emergency disaster relief. Because of our relationship with the poorest of the poor in these communities, we are in a unique position to provide this help. Our staff which are over 80% indigenous, from the local communities, are especially well-prepared to deliver this aid quickly and fairly. In these times, we desperately need your help to meet these needs and to sustain our on-going programs.

Being here for these people who we love and care for at the time when they most need us is the reason Mayan Families exists.

These storms have had a chain of consequences impacting the lives of the people we serve. The poor in the community, the most vulnerable, bear the brunt of the devastation. The medical needs we are facing now have tripled from 2009 to 2010. Families who were struggling to feed themselves in health, have had one or more family members bed ridden with weakening infections. People without access to clean water, are the first to get hepatitis or cholera, when they have no alternative. Viruses have rampantly spread through standing water and mosquitoes affecting the weakest, the young, the old, the malnourished. People who could only afford to rent a room on the most undesirable land have been evacuated from rising water, and mudslides. People who had only a few possessions, lost everything. People with only one or two sets of clothes, and one pair of shoes, have worn them out or lost them in the mud.

Through your help, Mayan Families currently feeds over 170 children every day at our four pre-schools. These are children that have been identified as under-nourished or are in danger of becoming malnourished. We have seen these children recover their health and blossom with regular food. We have added people to our milk program, elderly feeding program, and family aid programs in these months in the hope and faith that we will eventually find sponsors to sustain them.

This is a crisis situation and while we believe in long term solutions…right now …people who are hungry or sick, cannot wait for crops that will grow during severe weather conditions. They need help today.

Children who suffer from chronic malnutrition are not in immediate danger of starvation, but they will face stunted growth and a diminished mental capacity.

The United Nations children’s fund, UNICEF, reports that Guatemala has the worst malnutrition problem in Latin America, even higher than the 35.2 percent average in Africa!

How to help….

Please click on the link to visit our website and donate online at and put it in the General Donation area, “Where most needed”.

Or some options are:

– Sponsor a child for the pre-school – after school feeding program in areas that are hardest hit, at $180 a year.
– To provide a meal for an elderly person in our Elderly Feeding program is $3 US per day.
– 100 lb bag of corn is $28US. This will supply a family of five with tortillas for two weeks.
– A 100lb bag of black beans is $95 US.
– A 100 lb bag of rice is $80 US.
– A carton of 30 eggs is $5 US.
– A basket of food with a cooked chicken is $35 US.
– A water filter providing a family clean drinking water costs $50.

To help a family get through these desperate times, please consider donating today.

Any donation of any size, to help feed a child and their family, deal with Medical issues and other emergencies would be greatly, greatly appreciated.
We don’t want to turn people away that we know can be helped.
With your generous donation, we can help those who are in
terrible situations and give them hope.

If you would like to nominate your sponsored student to receive your gift,
we would be very happy to do that.

Please click on the link to visit our website and donate online at and put it in the General Donation area, “Where most needed”.

You may also choose to send your donation in the form of a check. Please
make it payable to Mayan Families and send to:

Mayan Families
P.O. Box 52
Claremont, N.C. 28610

We are asking you to join in our efforts to help the Guatemalan people by
giving a tax-deductible donation.

We hope that you will be able to help us with a donation of $25, $50 or
more, this will feed, give medical attention and provide aid to a lot of children. However, any donation no matter how small is always welcomed and appreciated.

We make every dollar count!

We are asking that all contributions – personal, employee and corporate – be
made as soon as possible.

You can make a difference right now, today!

Thank you for your support.

Best wishes,

Sharon Smart-Poage
Tel: 619-550-2608

Mayan Families is a small non-profit group working in the Highlands of
Guatemala. We are a registered 501(c) (3) Non Profit Charity. Your donation
is tax deductible.
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Mayan Families Connection Blog
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Thank you once again for supporting Mayan Families!

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