Sept. 13th, 2010

Hola from Mayan Families Canada.  Our volunteers have just returned from a humanitarian trip to the Panajachel area of Guatemala and we wanted you to know what they did and how they found things down there.

Tropical storms have devastated the area

Tropical storm after tropical storm has hit Guatemala since the beginning of May.  This has led to mudslides and flooding that has had disastrous effects on the infrastructure of the country.  Hundreds of houses have been lost and many families are without adequate food and shelter.  Mayan Families volunteers spent much of their time delivering food to needy families, arranging doctor appointments for those suffering from colds and infections, and assessing the need for new housing. 


As usual, installing fuel-efficient and ventilated stoves was a primary mission of the volunteer trip.  However, heavy rains throughout the visit hampered the process making it difficult to access areas where homes and families were in need and allowing fewer stoves than usual to be installed.


One of the stoves went to a family that was in particular need.  Tragically, these four children’s mother passed away a year ago and their father was recently killed in a bus accident.  Their grandmother was also seriously injured in the same bus accident.  When our volunteers visited, they found all the children, plus an aunt and uncle, sleeping on the mud floor of a tiny one-room house.  A small “kitchen” room was attached to the house and cooking was carried out over a blackened fire pit.  Their new Onil Stove will allow this family to cook in a healthy and ventilated environment and with a fraction of the wood required by an open fire pit.


GIRLS AFTERNOON FUNDRAISER AND APRIL Dinner Drive Funds supplied monies for emergency food and supplies

Thanks to everyone who participated in our Girls Afternoon fundraiser in June and our April Dinner Drive.  Because of you we were able to react to the incredible need for food and emergency supplies created by the devastating effects of the recent tropical storms.  We were able to supply food to all our sponsored families as well as 14 other families in hard hit San Antonio.  Along with the much-needed food, we supplied other necessities, such as medical aid and clothing.  The family mentioned above even received two beds and all the linens they needed!  

Visiting Sponsored Students and Families

We were able to visit all of our sponsored students and their families during our trip.  Everywhere we went it was easy to see that lack of food was a major problem.  Many jobs have been disrupted because of the heavy rains and mudslides and families just don’t have the money for food. 


As well, many houses have been affected by the conditions.  This family’s house was in such terrible shape that we were afraid to go in it!

Update on Elvis and Family



Many of us were devastated to learn that the house built for Elvis and his family is now too close to the river for them to live in.   The storm in May created flooding in the river and washed away the underpinnings of part of their home.  We are unsure if they will be able to live in it again.  Our volunteers visited with them on this trip and found that they were managing OK, despite living in a one-room house with no amenities.  Donations of monies to buy them food, including a special dinner out at a restaurant, clothing, shoes, and instruments to play in the school band provided an incredibly bright spot in their lives.  Thanks so much to those who made this possible.

We Are Raising Funds To Build Two New Houses

Our goal this year is to raise the funds to build two new houses.  The first will be for brothers Otiniel and Jose, whose family have been told that they must vacate the house they are presently living in.  They have a small plot of land but no money to build upon it.


The second house will be for Gloria Esmeralda, whose house is situated in one of the areas most heavily damaged by the storms.  At this time, it is dangerously close to being washed away in a slide.

Upcoming Fundraisers

Look for Mayan Families Canada at local craft fairs; including Knox Church on Nov 6th, Fairwinds Centre Nov 14th, and Kris Kringle Nov 18th to 21st.  We will be selling beautifully handcrafted items from Guatemala as well as Stars of Hope created by local middle school students

2011 Volunteer Holiday

We are now taking applications for our July, 2011 trip.  If you are interested in joining us for this awesome experience, please let us know.


Mayan Families Canada is a registered charity and we are happy to issue a tax receipt for your donations.  Many of our families are in extreme need at this time due to the recent storms and mudslides. If you would like to donate, please make contributions payable to:

Mayan Families Canada

2960 Anchor Way
Nanoose Bay, BC
V9P 9G2

Thank you again for your ongoing support of Mayan Families Canada.

For further information about any of our projects please visit our website at:

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