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.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Summer 2011 Trip to Panyebar

Three of the UC Davis InterVarsity alumni families traveled to Panyebar this summer to visit the school and meet with our friends in the village. The three families were those of Ron and Amanda Giles and their three kids, Ethan (15) Elaine (13), and Laurel (10); Ed and Lisa Snyder and their two boys Dominic (13) and Andrew (12). Leanne and I also went with our daughter Allie (7). (Little Kayla, 21 months, had to stay behind with grandma.) We were in the village for a week, June 11-18, and then two of the families spend an extra week in Guatemala before returning home.

The main point of the trip was relational, mainly to check in and see how the school was doing, catch up with the teachers and students, but we did manage to actually do some work.

With the help of helped repaint the basketball court and some of the walls at the school, and we also fixed the baños, for which the water intake had become clogged (and some fiend had made off with the toilet seats).

Overall Colegio Bethel Panyebar is in good shape. There are more kids at the school, about 75 now, than ever before, and they are expecting that there may be as many as 100 next year. They have noticed that a large number of kids are finishing sixth grade in the regional primary schools, and so the teachers want to try to offer two classes of Primer Basico (7th grade) starting in the beginning of the school year next January. To do this, some construction needs to happen on the new second level--a new banister needs to be installed to keep kids from falling off. This is important work and we covet your prayers and possible financial support for this project.

There are some challenges that have arisen related to Catholic-Evangelical issues among the staff. We are hoping and praying that they can be resolved in a fair and even-handed way, and that the school can continue to serve all children in the village regardless of denomination.

The school is seeing fantastic continuation rates into later secondary school. Nearly all of the graduates go on to the equivalent of 10th grade in either Santa Clara, Solola, or Quetzaltenango, where there is a little community of our former graduates all living together in some apartments!

Thank you for your wonderful financial support of what God is doing up in this small village in Guatemala!



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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.