ChristmasReceiving a Christmas gift, their first Teddy Bear!
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In This Issue
Matching Funds
Sponsor a Student
Tamale Basket Success
Enjoy Tax Time a Little More
Vet Clinic
Reflections from a Volunteer
Help us gain more support

Matching Funds
Medical help needed
The medical matching funds drive is still underway - we are currently matching donations to the medical program up to $2,000! These funds help us get treatment for families with urgent medical needs. We haven't reached our goal yet - click here to donate and help us get there!  
Sponsored Students
Student needing Sponsorship!
There are still many students awaiting sponsors for the upcoming 2011 school year. To read their stories, go to our Sponsor a Student page,
Click here!
and help give a child the gift of an education.

Part 2,
December 2010 Monthly

Happy New Year!
Tamale Basket Success!

Thank you so much to everyone who contributed to this year's Holiday Tamale Basket drive. With your support, we were able to give out a total of 1,581 baskets! We also gave out around 5,000 toys to children all around Lake Atitl�n.


It was a big task to get the baskets ready and distributed, and all of the staff were hard at work. Each basket included beans, oil, sugar, rice, drinking chocolate, fortified cereal, a dozen large carrots, bread, Christmas cookies, a pineapple, and an entire chicken! Fortunately, we had a few volunteers on hand to help bag and organize the food. It took four days to get all of the baskets handed out, and many families traveled wide and far to get theirs.


One of the families from the dump 
One of the families who lives in the dump.

For some who received a basket, it truly made the difference between celebrating Christmas and not. While Mayan Families staff was looking for street dogs for the upcoming vet clinic (see below), they stumbled across something startling in the town's dump: three families, living in the dump, who work sifting through garbage to find recyclables and other goods. They usually make around $1 a day. Each of these families received a Tamale Basket for Christmas, and it brought not only much needed food, but a little bit of Christmas cheer to three families who truly needed it.


From all of us and from the families of Lake Atitl�n, thank you to everyone who helped us meet our Tamale Basket goal this year. Your gifts helped made Christmas a little happier for families in need.

Enjoy Tax Time A Little More ...

Make One Last Gift to Mayan Families! 
Mayan Families Mother and Girl


And come tax time, your generosity comes back to help you. So remember, there's still time to send in your last gift of the year. It might not make the April tax-filing time any less dull. But it will be a deduction! And one that will remind you of how much good you've done throughout the year. Thank you for your energy, your friendship, your compassion, and your willingness to take action to achieve small miracles in the lives of so many children and their families here in Guatemala.


All of your contributions to Mayan Families are tax deductible. But the window of 2010 is closing fast so hurry to send your last gift for the year! If you have already given, please accept our sincerest thanks for your generosity.  If you find that you have the means to give another gift, we hope that you will.


Any and all contributions will be put to good and necessary use by Mayan Families. We are as committed as ever to paving the way for hundreds of children and families towards academic achievement, and with it, improved opportunities and quality of life.  Your gifts translate Mayan Families mission into reality.

Vet ClinicHope for the Animals

This past month was a busy one for the Hope for the Animals program. We'd like to send a huge thanks to Dr. Meredith Vargas and her husband, Juan, who arrived with a team of 3 doctors and 7 assistants to help us run spay and neuter clinics in Panajachel, Chuk Muk, and San Pedro. This was the third year that the clinics took place. The team worked alongside four Guatemalan veterinarians and vet students to accomplish a total of 217 surgeries in four days! In an area struggling to maintain a growing animal overpopulation problem, these clinics go a long way in decreasing the number of unwanted, sick, and potentially dangerous street dogs.


Meredith and Juan own Culpeper Animal Hospital in Culpeper, Virginia. You can read more about this year's clinics and previous clinics on their website at or on their Facebook page- Culpeper Animal Hospital. This year the clinics were funded by money raised by offering low cost spay and neuter clinics at Culpeper Animal Hospital and Village Animal Hospital in Kentucky. Thanks again to Meredith, Juan, and their team!
Reflections from a Volunteer
Volunteers at Mayan Families
Jessica in pink, Stephanie in black, with their Traditional Aprons given to them by Gloria

My name is Jessica - some of the sponsors may recognize the name from e-mails beginning with "Hello, I'm writing with an update on your sponsored student...". For the past three months, my two friends (Ronnie and Steph) and I have had the privilege of working with the wonderful staff of the Mayan Families office. It's been an unforgettable experience - we've met families, students, staff and volunteers with incredible stories to share, and seen things I could never have imagined back home in the U.S.


Our primary tasks were to update the Family Aid and Elderly Care blogs with current information, and to help organize these two programs (and of course, to help write newsletters!). In this, I was lucky enough to get to know you, the readers and donors who make all of this possible. The compassion, dedication, and outpouring of support for the various projects we've worked on has been truly incredible, and I think that the Mayan Families supporters should feel very proud of the work they've accomplished this year. In the past three months alone we've witnessed the construction of two new homes, the addition of several new members to the Elderly Care program , the graduations of hundreds of students preparing to move on to the next level in their educations or lives, the distribution of enough tamale baskets to feed 16,000 people, and a countless number of special, individual success stories in the lives of families all around Lake Atitl�n. The stories of the people here are unforgettable, and we are so happy to have been able to share them with all of you.


To everyone we've gotten to know, either here in the office or even just via e-mail, it has been a real pleasure meeting and working with you. Thank you for all that you do, and from myself, Steph, and Ronnie, have a wonderful new year!

If you would like to help Mayan Families gain more support, please consider forwarding this e-mail to your friends, family, and colleagues. You can do a Facebook or Twitter posting, put up posters, shout from mountain tops -- get creative! Spreading the word is free, and lets the world know you think Mayan Families is doing a good job and deserves their support. It is a huge help to us, and introduces our programs to people who would never hear about them otherwise.
Thank you again for your support!
To make a contribution please go to our website
and go the General Donation section to send a donation.
If you would like to pay by check please send your donation made out to Mayan Families to:

Mayan Families
P.O. Box 52
Claremont, N.C. 28610
If you would like to give this gift in Honor of someone special, please send us an email at
giving us the details and we will put them on our IN HONOR OF web have an e-mail sent to the person you are honoring - please send us their email address.
Please, dig deep down into your hearts and make the most generous gift you can today. Then please forward this e-mail to family, friends and contacts, asking them to do the same. In 2011, as thousands of children and families have their dreams come true, it will be because of you. 
Thank you for your kindness! 
Mayan Families is a small non-profit group working in the Highlands of Guatemala. We are a registered 501(c)(3) Non Profit Charity of the Internal Revenue Code.
Your donation is tax deductible.
Can you organize a fundraiser in your community?
Every little bit helps! 
P.S. Please help spread the word about Mayan Families by forwarding this e-mail to your community or posting it on your personal blog, web page and your social networks such as Facebook, You Tube, MySpace, Twitter, Google Buzz, Hi5, Blogs and any others that are appropriate.
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Thank you once again for supporting Mayan Families and Happy New Year!
Sharon Smart-Poage
Mayan Families
Tel: 619-550-2608 
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