This month we are featuring an exceptional non-profit organization called The Guatemalan-Maya Center located in South Florida. As you will see their efforts are far-reaching.
A special thank you to Linda, our Director of Customer Service for sharing her support of this organization. We also want to thank Joyce, Director of Finance, and Hafsa, Executive Administrative Assistant for generously sharing their passion for the work their organization is doing to impact so many lives.
They said it best, so we thought we’d share it with you:
Our story begins with our Executive Director Father Frank O’Loughlin, who has spent the last 50 years advocating for migrant workers.
Father Frank began his commitment to the Mayan people in the early 1980’s, while serving as a parish priest in Indiantown, Florida. The Mayan migrant workers Father Frank encountered during this time were refugees fleeing for their lives as a result of the Guatemalan genocide.
In 1992, The Guatemalan-Maya Center was formally founded. Initially, our programs addressed the dire need for prenatal care for indigenous women in Palm Beach County. We began working to provide cultural interpretation for the medical community as well as transportation to doctor appointments for families in need.
Over the years, our programs have grown to support the emerging needs of our community. By using a family-centered approach, we continue to serve over 1,000 families each month from over 28 different countries.
For a staff of 33 people (plus volunteers), they are a mighty team. Let us tell you what else they do:
- Provide social services, education and advocation for farm works, migrant workers and undocumented immigrants. They will help anyone who needs help filling out social security paperwork, and translations and help them understand the benefits they are entitled to.
- Food distribution program that feeds 1,000 families each month. Some families come to pick up food and they also distribute food to the communities. There are volunteer opportunities for you to help and help is always needed.
- Two schools to provide education for farm workers families and children.
- Free Clinic offering basic medical care, including skin cancer screening. This is for anyone that does not have insurance. They have saved lives with this Clinic being able to identify people that needed emergency treatment and get to a hospital.
- Help people get vaccinated and teach them to protect themselves from getting COVID. Quantum Foundation provided a grant for the Clinic for this venture.
- Children’s Dental Van sponsored by the pro-golfer Jack Nicholson.
- Legal Aid Society helps them with advocacy and people in domestic situations, rental abuse issues, and more.
Right now, they are planning for the holidays, and they do an annual toy drive to help give gifts to the kiddos and make sure every child has food and gifts in the holidays. If you want to get involved you can donate money, bring food (beans and rice are great staples to donate), toys, Walmart gift cards.
For more information, visit our website www.guatemalanmaya.org or check them out on Facebook and Instagram @guatemalanmayacenter !
P.S.: I had the opportunity to speak with Joyce and asked her what she loves about the Center. She has spent most of her career working for non-profits and has a strong philanthropic nature. She shared that working at the Center in Finance enables her to give back to the community by using her expertise to keep things running smoothly financially. She grew up on an Arkansas farm and worked with sharecroppers. They play a major role in the food chain in the US and farm workers are very important to our communities.
For all that we have mentioned, we thank everyone at the Center for their amazing work.