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Dear Friends,

Goodness gracious, where has the year gone? But at the same time, can we get to 2021 fast enough?

As we reflect on all that has happened throughout the United States, Guatemala, and the rest of the world during the past eleven months it is truly amazing. There has been hardship and stress. There has been strife. There has been sadness and loneliness. There has been sacrifice and loss.

There has also been compassion. There has been education and growth. Many have experienced a "slowing down of life" and return to time spent with immediate family. There has been a resolve to make changes for the betterment of the lives of others. There has been giving of oneself and hope.

We have seen each of the above in the lives affected by FundaMaya: those we serve, our donors and supporters, and our staff. We can celebrate the ways we have made a difference together and understand how we can still make a difference going forward.

We are nearing Giving Tuesday, the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving, on December 1, 2020. We, at FundaMaya, will be sharing our focus for our 2020 Campaign in the coming days. We have named our campaign "A Time of Giving & Gratitude."

We each give and have things to be grateful for. In turn, when we see how much we have to be grateful for, we also see more clearly what we have to give. Stay tuned...

Please take a few minutes to continue reading as we try to share the situation on the ground in our area of Guatemala, explain what we have been doing, and share where we still aim to serve.

We wish each of you peace, good health, and knowledge of our gratitude for your support.





List of Articles in Newsletter newsletter

  • Current Situation in Guatemala

  • Health & Care of FundaMaya Staff

  • Impact to Date

  • Meals Provided in Past 245 Days

  • Villages & Towns Receiving Food

  • School in Guatemala

  • Sponsoring Now...Change a Life Tomorrow

  • It Is Time! School Sponsorship Renewal

  • Typical School Year

  • Reality of 2020 School Year

  • Cultural Learning & Learning Beyond the Classroom

  • Motivational Books

  • On-Line Discussions

  • Kites for All Saints' Day

  • Independence Day (September 15): Art Competition

  • Puppet Show!

  • Christmas Toys & Tamales

  • Feliz Navidad!

  • Guatemalan Tradition: Tamale Baskets

  • Our Elderly

  • Senior Day & Sponsorship

  • A Glimpse in to the Past & Now

  • Ongoing Projects & Family Aid Donation Items

  • Update: Growing Strong Garden Project in Partnership with Cultiva International

  • Donate: Growing Strong

  • Family Aid Donation Items

  • Updates & Social Media

  • SmugMug

  • Facebook

  • Twitter

  • Instagram

  • Message to Potential Groups & Sponsors Wishing to Visit

  • Specific Student Donations

  • About the Coordinating Non-Profits (Guatemala, United States, & Canada)

  • Action Alliance International, Inc.

  • FundaMaya Canada

  • Fundamaya (Fundación Familia Maya)


Current Situation in Guatemala

As in much of the rest of the world, COVID-19 is still a force to be reckoned with for each of us and our families. As of November 15, the World Health Organization says Guatemala has 114,179 overall confirmed cases and 3,920 confirmed deaths (which are believed to be under inflated numbers).

The President of Guatemala has opened the country up for businesses to operate and there are no curfews. There is more work for people with stores and businesses being open, but it is still a real struggle against hunger for families.

However, there are more cases of COVID-19 - as many cases are not being reported now, along with there being a greater number of interactions amongst people. In Guatemala, there is a large "stigma" if you are identified as being sick with COVID-19. In indigenous populations, the effects of stigma can be that much more. So many are living on the "verge" of complete struggle. The idea of being associated with someone (i.e., family member or a close neighbor) with COVID-19 can then lead family members to not being able to work. If there are only one or two people working in the extended family, the effects of non-work and loss of wages, can be felt by a large number of people in the entire family.

We at FundaMaya, Action Alliance, and FundaMaya Canada are so thankful for all the support that you have given us during these very difficult months. Your support has allowed us to continue delivering food to hungry families four days a week since this pandemic started.

The needs of the people we serve are "now." In time, we will begin to focus on more long-term projects - but right now people are hungry and have very real medical problems. This is the reality and needs of those we serve.

Your partnership with us is welcomed and valued!


Health & Care of FundaMaya Staff

FundaMaya staff members have been on the "front lines" as we have compiled and delivered food to multiple communities.

We have our staff wearing protective outfits, plastic shields, and KN95 face masks when delivering food. They also carry hand sanitizer with them, and we utilize digital thermometers to regularly take their temperature.

We utilize portable bottles of disinfectant to spray everyone before they receive donations (standard practice here in Guatemala) and we have mats with disinfectant for everyone to stand on.

Everyone who comes into our offices follow the procedures and protocols set out by the local health offices.

  • Spray for clothes,

  • Disinfectant mat for feet,

  • Temperature taken,

  • Mask being worn at all times, and

  • A gel dispenser for everyone entering the office to clean their hands.

Even so this virus managed to infect four of our staff members. We immediately took action and closed the office for over two weeks to allow for quarantining. We had all staff members tested for COVID-19 (resulting in four staff members being confirmed with COVID-19).

Very sadly two of our staff, who are siblings, also had their father become infected, and he passed away. It has been a very difficult time for all of us as we care about each other, but we know that the need is very great here!

Nearly everyone needs food. Our staff members were ready to return to the work, as they understand the importance of being able to help their communities. We will continue to be as careful as possible while serving.

Thank you for your patience and grace as we all struggle at this time...thank you for your continued support for the work we all do together.


Impact to Date

Meals Provided in Past 245 Days

In March, when we first saw the start of this worldwide, life changing pandemic starting - we realized the need for food would be like nothing we had seen before.

However, even then, we couldn't realize the true magnitude of need - and how our supporters and staff would step up to help so many that had no idea how to find the resources for food. This wasn't due to a lack of "will" or desire to do it on their own. This was due to a pandemic that has affected our whole world and especially those who lack even the basic resources to begin with - or were on the "brink" of sustainability before.

Your donations have enabled FundaMaya to deliver over 1,000,000 meals* to students, families, and elders since March 11. This averages out to approximately 4,081 people getting 1 meal for 245 days! Amazing!

We can't begin to express our appreciation or what it has meant for the families, students, or elders that have received these meals.

Unfortunately, the lack of jobs here in Panajachel and the surrounding villages is still very real. There is a very valid concern from families as to where their next meal or bit of food is going to come from. We see it when they even come in to receive their food or we give it to them in their community. Though the masks cover their faces, the eyes can not hide the concern so many feel.

Donations towards food for a sponsored student, an elderly person, or towards our general emergency food fund is still welcomed. The mother or father who doesn't have to look at their hungry child and say there is nothing to eat again today - or the child or elderly person that doesn't have hunger pangs and a rumbling stomach - they say "Gracias."

To our donors and supporters, THANK YOU for your commitment in helping our vulnerable communities.

*number of meals based on 700kcal per mea

For general donations:

Villages & Towns Receiving Food

These are just some of the villages and towns FundaMaya has been providing/ delivering food to during the past few months with our supporters' help.

  • Panajachel

  • San Jorge la Laguna

  • Tierra Linda

  • Pena Blanca

  • El Barranco

  • Solola

  • Maria Tecun

  • Patanatic

  • Santa Catarina Palopo

  • San Antonio Palopo

  • Chukmuk

  • Santiago

  • San Lucas Toliman

  • Aqua Escondido

  • Jaibalito

  • Xepec

  • San Andres Semebetaj

  • Chaquiya

  • Xecotoj

  • Los Robles

  • Finca San Julian

  • Porvenir

  • Patulul

  • Cerro de Oro

  • Los Encuentros

  • Santa Maria

  • Concepcion

  • Monte Mercedes

  • Caserio San Luis

  • Cooperativa

  • Pixabaj

  • Poaquil de Chimaltenango


School in Guatemala

Sponsoring Now...

Change a Life Tomorrow

Would you believe these two adorable twins still need sponsors?

Can you be their sponsor? If not, we understand, but maybe you have a friend, coworker, or family member that might want to make a difference in a child's life. We know many of you give so much already.

We also know many sponsors have come forward when one of our existing supporters shares about the impact they can have and how sponsorship is just over $1 a day. Please consider sharing and facilitating more school sponsorships.

Education - wow, what a powerful, true gift to a child and community in the long run...

“It is in fact a part of the function of education to

help us escape, not from our own time — for we are

bound by that — but from the intellectual and

emotional limitations of our time.

– T.S. Eliot

They are in the FundaMaya Preschool in San Antonio Palopo.

To make it more confusing they are both called Maria! However, they use their second names.

Their names are Maria Solash (Reference #717) and Maria Mishell (Reference #716). They were born on December 15, 2015. If you would like to sponsor one of these beautiful girls (or both) - they would be delighted - and so would we!

The girls and their parents do not have a bed and instead sleep on a straw mat on the hard floor. There are six children in their family.

If you would like to sponsor either of these girls, it is $35 US ($47 Canadian) per month.

Please contact us at

We have many other students still needing sponsorship. If you, or someone you know, is interested in making a profound impact on the life of a child, please visit our Children Needing School Sponsorship Page for just some of the children in our community that are seeking the chance to continue their education.