September 1, 2008

As summer winds down, we at Mayan Families Canada have lots to think back on. We had a very successful year, which culminated in our Volunteer Humanitarian Holiday in July. We would like to thank all those who attended our fundraisers and donated monies and items for use in Guatemala. We would especially like to thank all the students who gave so generously and made such a difference in the lives of so many.

Humanitarian Holiday –11 volunteers ventured to the Panajachel area of Guatemala and took part in a number of humanitarian projects. They were able to see just how different life in rural Guatemala is from here in Canada, and were able to extend a helping hand and positively affect many individuals. The trip was a great success.
A House For Elvis – In the Spring, we put the word out that money was needed to build a new house for a family in desperate need. Nanoose Bay Elementary School sponsors the three boys of this family, and the youngest, Elvis, has really captured the hearts of everyone here. We were amazed by the generous response we received from individuals and schools in our community. Elvis and his family give thanks to everyone involved in making their new home possible.
Stove Project – This year we raised enough funds to purchase and install forty-eight new ventilated and fuel-efficient stoves. On our July trip, volunteers installed these stoves in homes that were previously cooking with open pit fires or old, non-ventilated stoves. The difference in the air quality of the homes after installing the new stove is incredible. And, the new stoves will require only a fraction of the wood, making life much easier for these families.
Chickens – Mayan Families Canada was able to purchase 200 baby chicks, which were given out to twenty families, along with one months worth of feed. These will become the foundation for a small egg selling business for each of these families.

Student Sponsorship – With your help, we are now sponsoring 25 students and will send our first one to University in January.

Other Projects

  • While we were in Guatemala we were able to check on the status of the Women’s Centre in San Jorge. It is almost finished and will double as a community centre for the town.
  • We also began construction on a second house for another needy family and much needed repairs on the leaky roof and dirt floor of a third house.
  • Several families experiencing food shortages received bags of corn.
  • Two higher-level students received the loan of a laptop, while students at a small village school were given supplies.
  • Shoes, clothes, toys and hygiene items were handed out to numerous families.

Please visit our website at to get more information about these projects and what we’re planning for the coming year. There is also a new Photo Gallery. If you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to contact us at

Plans are in the works for next year’s Humanitarian Holiday. If you wish to volunteer see the website for further information.

We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all you have done to make this work possible!