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Building a Bridge with Artisans in Guatemala

In San Antonio, a small town located on the shores of Lake Atitlán, Guatemala, hundreds of indigenous women and their families are trapped in poverty. Many of these women rely on artisan traditions like weaving or beading to feed their families. Artisan Bridge works with Mayan Families, a local organization in the Lake Atitlán region, to connect these women to wider markets. By being able to earn a living through their art, these women can afford to send their children to school, feed their families, and expand their own opportunities.

Artisan Bridge allows you the opportunity to make a “Purchase with a Purpose.” The beautifully crafted items are all hand made and are priced right so you can make a purchase you can feel great about.

Some Recent Projects

1 – New Home Construction

With funds raised,5 families have received newly constructed, safe homes in which to reside. Most homes in San Antonio are made of mud and sugar cane sticks.  With very little protection from the elements, families struggle through the rainy season and are in constant threat of mud slides. Lives are being improved immensely with the construction of these homes.

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2 – Stoves, Beds, Water Filters.

With the high level of poverty, many families cannot afford even the most fundamental of needs. The smiles on their faces when they receive a new stove or bed is priceless.  By providing these items, it helps families to function a little easier on a daily basis. We have delivered countless stoves, beds and water filters over the years.

3 – Playground and Soccer Field Construction

A place for the whole community to enjoy, we have had the privilege to work on 2 playgrounds and have built a soccer field. This allows for people to congregate and forget about their troubles and for kids to “just be kids”.

4 – Community Garden

Nearly seventy percent of Guatemala’s indigenous population suffers from chronic malnutrition. Mayan Families has been running a Community Garden Program for mothers of our pre-school in the community of San Antonio Palopó since 2014. The program has two main goals:

The San Antonio Palopó garden project is primarily a center of learning for the participants; a safe place where community ties are strengthened and healthy living is promoted. The program emphasizes mindfulness and well-being, and aims to demonstrate how anxiety can be channeled into stress-relieving activities such as gardening, community involvement, and caring for oneself and one’s family better.

5 – Reviver Challenge

Started in 2009, as an idea, this fundraiser has blossomed into a full blown Obstacle Course Race and a profitable fundraiser. Driven by passionate volunteers, the Mayan OCR has become a legitimate event in the racing world. Open to all ages, Reviver Challenge is a chance to run a fabulous race with the whole family, while helping out a great cause at the same time. Our motto is “Run a Race where Others Win.” While overcoming the obstacles on the course, you are helping others overcome the true obstacles in life. Visit our website to sign up. www.reviverchallenge.com

6 – Guatemalan Mission Travel

The country of Guatemala is a beautiful place to visit. Several times a year, we embark on mission trips to visit the people we are connecting with through our projects..It is always such a joy to cross over this bridge and build relationships, learn invaluable lessons, and draw life lessons from these resilient people. We connect with families through child sponsorship and visit their homes and always come away from our journeys with a grateful heart and longing to return.
Please contact Cat Reyes for more information about joining us: familiareyes2@msn.com

7 – Mud Dodgeball

When you take a dozen dodge balls add 5 tons of dirt and a whole lot of water you have what we call Mud Dodge Ball, and every fall we make it into a fundraiser of epic proportions, and a fantastic family event! This day always brings a lot of great pictures, laughs, and memories, and helps fund our projects in Guatemala. This past year we have seen a record number of kids, teens and adults showing up to get dirty and raise money, our participants get educated on the plight of the Guatemalan Artisans through our on-site educational booth. Sponsored by Goodwin Farms in North Smithfield RI.