My first 2 weeks have been eye-opening to say the least. I am working with a non-profit called Mayan Families that does great work in this town and all around Lake Atitlan. I have never known an organization that did as much and in so many capacities as this one does. Through generous donations from individuals and organizations/communities, primarily in the U.S., Mayan Families makes a difference in so many people’s lives. The organization enables impoverished children to go to school, provides clean water and fuel-efficient cooking stoves to families, runs food shelters for elderly indigenous people and orphans, helps in emergency housing situations, and has even organized vet clinics to help the stray cats and dogs here in Pana. Mayan Families also plays a vital role in making sure its clients receive adequate medical attention when necessary; whether it’s transportation to see a doctor in Guatemala City, or help covering the costs of a life-saving surgery.
So far I’ve been getting acquainted with the various projects and services that Mayan Families provides through site visits, and I have been working on organizing its Community Service program that the older scholarship recipients are expected to participate in. One of the projects I will soon be working on is making sure that the beneficiaries of donations get the things they truly need. I am excited to get started on this project and to get to know several of the families that Mayan Families is working to help. I know that I will probably encounter trying stories and circumstances, but hopefully I can make at least a small impact.