Mayan Partners is a small 501c(3) non-profit organization with its roots in a group of alumni from Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship at UC Davis. Our vision is to partner with Quiche and Tzutuhil communities in the western Guatemalan highlands in the development of schools, the introduction of efficient woodburning stoves, and medical clinics that have strong local support. Part of our mission is to attempt to rigorously evaluate the impact of these efforts whenever possible, for possible reproduction in other communities. The home base for our work is San Pedro La Laguna (shown above) located on the shore of Lake Atitlan.
Currently our focus is the development and ongoing support of the Panyebar Middle School, a non-denominational Christian school with approximately 60 students from the local area. In this community, located in the mountains above Lake Atitlan, there is poor access to middle school. Dropout rates after grade six are extremely high in the area, and we endeavor to reverse this trend. We also support the local community library, which is a safe, quiet place for kids to come after school to read or do their homework, and various public health initiatives in the village.
A group of lead supporters that form the core of our network help to support the school, with a number of other friends (and friends of friends) who also contribute through sponsoring individual students at the school, participating in trips to Guatemala, and other practical ways.
We desire to begin with involving others in our respective social networks in this partnership with the local Guatemalans, taking work groups to the area regularly, and taking on additional projects as more individuals become involved. Our goal is to work through friendships with one another and with the local Guatemalans, with long-term relationship building a key aspect of our vision.
We are a network of friends who are active in our Christian faith and attend different churches, and our primary partnerships are with local Guatemalan churches, but Mayan Partners welcomes involvement from anyone interested in providing opportunities and an escape from poverty for the rural poor in western Guatemala.