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Maya Works

Mission Statement


MayaWorks began in 1990 with one suitcase of placemats woven by widows whose husbands had been killed by the violence which plagued the Guatemalan Highlands during the 1980's. A volunteer carried the suitcase back to the U.S. and quickly sold its contents. Funding grew out of the Behrhorst Partners for Development, founded by the late Dr. Carroll Behrhorst who dedicated his life to the rural poor of Guatemala.

Volunteers in the US promote and sell the colorful, attractive, affordable products made by Mayan artisans. Through entrepreneurial activity MayaWorks has interweaved the lives of Mayan artisans and volunteers in America. MayaWorks believes that community improvement happens through the economic development of women who otherwise have limited ways to participate or contribute to the economic stability of their families. Giving women an opportunity to earn an income from their skills gives them self-confidence and hope for themselves, their children, their family and their village.


  • Scholarships - Currently MayaWorks provides scholarships to 70 girls in Comalapa, Santiago Atitlan and Aguas Calientes. These young women have expressed desire to become doctors, nurses, teachers, and businesswomen.
  • MayaWorks Education Fund - Ensures that the girls being assisted by MayaWorks Scholarships will be able to continue in school as long as they desire and ensures that new girls will be able to join the program each year. MayaWorks provides financial assistance to girls and their families so that school-related expenses are not a barrier for attending school.
  • Study Center - In Comalapa, MayaWorks has established a Study Center where girls receiving scholarships can go after school to study and receive help from a teacher. The girls also participate in a program which exposes them to various career opportunities and women who can serve as role models.
  • Microloans - These small loans are helping the families of MayaWorks' artisans to improve their day-to-day life. Microloans help buy pigs and chickens, bulls, strawberries, avocados and sewing machines.

There are many ways to get involved with MayaWorks.

  • Become a donor- All donations are tax deductible and contributions of any size support volunteers and artisans.
  • With a $25 dollar donation you receive the MayaWorks newsletter by mail.
  • Sign up to receive the newsletter by e-mail.
  • Volunteer to coordinate a sale.
  • Use a MayaWorks Sale as a Fund Raiser for your Organization.


MayaWorks. 1 Oct. 2003 <>.