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Once we had our team all together and on the same page–excited and ready to give out as much school supplies to kids in need as possible–Jonathon, KK, Caira and I went to meet with our very first Guatemalan non-profit: Mayan Families.
Mayan Families is a nonprofit that reaches out in the Highlands of Guatemala, working to provide opportunities and assistance to the indigenous and impoverished people through education and community development programs. They believe that receiving an education is one of the most significant and sustainable ways in which children can improve the standard of living for themselves and their families and we couldn’t agree more.
So far over 2,500 students are being currently sponsored to attend school through their program that would not have been able to go to school without a sponsor. We were all very excited to see how we could work with them and get school supplies into the hands of the kids who needed it the most.
We sat down with the co-founder of the organization, Dwight, to learn more about what they do and to introduce ourselves as well as Life Out of the Box to him. Many years ago, Dwight and his wife came to Lake Atitlan to volunteer their time with another organization to help kids around the Lake get the medical attention they needed.
After a few experiences with the kids, they felt that they wanted to do even more for the people, so they packed up their stuff and moved down to Panajachel to start their own organization that would provide assistance to the Mayan people in villages all around Lake Atitlan. We, of course, connected with their story right away and felt the passion that he and his wife Sharon had for the work they did right away.
We went onto explain the process of Life Out of the Box and the work we had done in Nicaragua with BPP, The Peace Project and San Juan del Sur Biblioteca Movil. Both LOOTB and Mayan Families passions were aligned perfectly and we couldn’t have asked for a better organization to introduce us to the area.
Dwight introduced us to some of his other staff members, who were lovely young & driven ladies, and then invited us to come with them in their pickup truck the next day to their preschool in San Jorge (the next town over from Panajachel on the Lake) to give kids school supplies. They were bringing a group of donors and sponsors from America to the preschool so that they could see the work their money had been going to. We thought this was fantastic.
We left the meeting filled with excitement for what was to come. We were looking forward to joining them in San Jorge and their other preschools all around the Lake. We connected with Dwight & his wife’s organization that we made it our goal to not only give as many kids school supplies from their organization as possible, but to also spread the word to as many people as we could about the wonderful work they do.
We headed over to the local Liberia to grab as many notebooks & pencils we could get our hands on so that we were prepped for the giving in San Jorge the next day.