Mayan Partners

Mayan Partners is a 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.

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 Christian friends who attend different churches, and we partner with local Guatemalan churches, but we welcome involvement from anyone interested in providing opportunities and an escape from poverty for the rural poor in western Guatemala.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Environmental and Health Impacts from the Introduction of Improved Wood Stoves: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Guatemala

Kent Moriarty of Mayan Partners, Dan Ludwinski, and Bruce Wydick wrote a paper on the impact of the the high-tech Onil wood stoves Mayan Partners introduced in Panyebar in 2009. The paper was recently accepted at Development, Environment, and Sustainability, a journal edited at Cornell University. Thank you all for your donations to the wood stove project. The good news is that they really work! Here is the abstract to the paper:

Abstract: Improved wood-burning stoves offer a possible solution that can simultaneously impact both problems of deforestation and problems of respiratory health in developing countries. We carry out a field experiment in which new fuel-efficient wood stoves were allocated in a Guatemalan village via the use of a lottery. A 2008 baseline survey was carried out on 2,148 individuals in 351 households, and then a follow-up survey was carried out in 2009, four months after households received the stoves. We find that households with the new stoves reduced wood consumption by an average of 59.1%. We also find indications of reductions in indoor air related health problems, where point estimates indicate a significant reduction in reported respiratory symptoms by 48.6% among women and 63.3% among children.

To read the full article, use the following link:


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MayanTrekers 2013 (Sans Kids)

MayanTrekers 2013 (Sans Kids)
(front): Sarah, Rachelle, Daly, Bethany, Brooke; (back): Leanne, Catrina, Monica, Sarah, Bruce, Ian, Barb, Steve

Waiting Room for Medical Clinic

Waiting Room for Medical Clinic
We've carried out clinics in mountain communities, most recently in June 2008, and also in 2006 and 2003. This picture is from a clinic in San Miguelito in 2003. On our latest trip, Brooke and the medical students treated over 300 patients.

Mayan Partners Trip to Guatemala June 2008

Mayan Partners Trip to Guatemala June 2008
There were 32 people on the trip: 7 UC Davis InterVarsity Alumni, 3 spouses of alumni, 3 other members of Mayan Partners from Berkeley, 8 kids, 4 InterVarsity Undergraduates (USF & UOP), and 3 grad students. Bottom Row: Jim, Bruce, Jocelyn, Leanne, Allie, Miguel, Ron, Dave, Ariel, Naka. Top Row: Thomas, Kristina, Adrienne, Elise, Keith, Renee, Brooke, Monica, Cameron, Ethan, Jodie, Amanda, Troy, Everett, Cole, Brooke, Robb, Allison, and Pete.