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It is our belief that the road to a brighter future must begin with education and toward this end we wish to establish and/or aid in the establishment of one or more quality schools in areas of Guatemala and/or other Latin American nations where few or no educational opportunities currently exist. Education and the school(s) shall be the main focus of the organization and at minimum shall provide a pre-school, primary school, and adult education free-of-charge to as many individuals and families as possible that would otherwise not have access to an educational facility or could not afford it if they did. Additionally we wish to provide secondary education, trade school education, and university scholarships to as many children and/or adults that wish to further their education as possible.
In addition, the organization will try to provide education, adequate housing, nutritional meals, medical care, clothing, and complete and loving care to as many orphaned, abandoned, and/or abused children as possible. Every effort shall be made to provide these children with something as close to a "family life" as possible and to insure that they mature into responsible adults ready to take their place in society and, when legally possible, to attempt to locate and assist qualified, responsible families to adopt and care for these children as their own.
While we recognize that donations, sponsorships, and/or grants from the general public or organizations may always be needed to provide a vital and much appreciated source of funding, the organization shall make every effort to engage in one or more forms of "for profit" type business ventures in order to become as self-sufficient as possible. Even though they may be on-going business enterprises, all such ventures shall be fund-raising in nature and have the following goals in mind:
1. To provide funding to the organization in order to accomplish its' mission as stated herein.
2. To provide jobs or income to local individuals and families and thus much needed economic stimulus to impoverished areas.
3. To provide training and apprenticeships to those individuals without saleable skills.
4. To provide improved or needed services to the area and, where possible, without putting ourselves into competition with other local entrepreneurs.
These business ventures may take the form of partnerships, wholly owned enterprises, or cooperative ventures but in all cases any and all "profits" accrued by the organization in such ventures shall go to the organization for the purposes of furthering its' mission and in no case shall any director of the organization or any foreign volunteer receive a salary from such business ventures. Any such business venture found to be "unprofitable" after a reasonable period of time as determined by the board of directors shall be discontinued unless such venture can be shown to bevital to the community it serves or vital to the mission of the organization.
The organization may also engage in any number of other non-profit ventures or services including but not limited to health services, nutritional services, infrastructure improvements, housing construction, farm research, ecological services or research, transportation services, communication services, or any other venture or service that may be needed or that promotes the well being and improves the lifestyle of those individuals, families, or villages that we serve. In any business venture, service, or function of the organization in the furtherance of its' stated mission a prime consideration shall be a minimal negative impact and the preservation of the ecology of the area. In fact, the organization shall make every effort to improve the ecology of the area and to educate those around us of the need for and methods of ecological improvement and sustainability.
Finally, the organization shall at all times attempt to preserve and foster the culture of those indigenous communities with whom we live and work and at no time shall we attempt to force our own lifestyle, belief system, values, or culture upon these indigenous peoples. In those rare cases where the indigenous culture may be a cause for physical or mental harm to children, women, or other individuals within the community; create a health hazard; cause economic strife or ecological damage to the area; we will attempt to effect change by example rather than by any method that may appear to be forcing our own cultural values on these people. At no time do we wish to attempt to make changes or provide services to the communities that are either not needed, unwanted, or may be culturally offensive. It is our intent and prime objective at all times to work within the cultural boundaries of those we are attempting to help and, most of all, in every way possible to foster and promote that one undefeatable human quality that sets us apart from other species - hope for the future.
Mayan Hope is a non-profit corporation organized under law of the the United States of America. We are a charitable organization dedicated to providing educational, nutritional, medical, ecological, and other needed services to indigenous families, villages, and abandoned or abused children of Guatemala and other Latin American nations. We are a direct and hands-on charitable organization meaning that, as such, we work in close cooperation and side-by-side with the people in the communities where projects are located. We sincerely hope you will join us in this endeavor.
Mayan Hope is brain child of a number of former long-term volunteers from other projects, schools, and orphanages in Guatemala and Latin America. As a result of our combined experiences we knew there had to be a better way and our dedication gave us the determination to find it. While there are any number of excellent and very beneficial projects throughout Guatemala and Latin America, we too often found some projects to be poorly managed, inefficient, and very wasteful. Schools often have inexperienced, unqualified, and poorly trained teachers and, as a result, produce students with minimal skills and unable to compete in the job marketplace. In some cases children were provided with poorly balanced diets and inadequate nutrition. Some projects maintained children in such isolated conditions that it caused them to become institutionalized and unable to cope with the outside world as adults. In addition we sometimes found projects that were profit motivated, damaging to their environment, and often even at odds with the villages and communities around them. We are not so egotistical as to believe that we have all the solutions or answers to these problems but we are dedicated to doing our job here to the best of our abilities and to the greatest benefit of the communities which we are here to help and serve. We are not wide-eyed optimists out to save the world. Between us we have many years living and working in Guatemala and other areas of Latin America. We understand the problems that exist in these areas and realize that they require not only dedication but a long-term commitment to solving them. No member of the board of directors or anyone working directly with Mayan Hope is salaried. All of us are volunteers and thus all funds donated to Mayan Hope go directly and completely to one of the projects of the organization.
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