Centro Maya



Initially the center had quite a few start-up problems. From 2004 to 2010 the centre changed accommodation five times and also had the same amount of new directors. The management of the center consisted of parents who often did not have the necessary knowledge or education. Many parents only spoke the Mayan language which caused a serious communication problem with aid workers and authorities and also the constant changing of volunteers did not contribute to the stability and continuity of the center.

From 2010 to present

After a conflict concerning the property rights of the accommodation, a building donated by the Japanese Government, a joint consultation of the representatives of the foundation, the director of the center and the children's parents decided to make a complete new start. The center elected a new management consisting of one representative of the parents and a number of people with a good degree of education.

Since September 2010 the center operates under the name "Centro Maya Servicio Integral", recognized as Guatemalan N.G.O. and now has its own accommodation that was purchased with the help of multiple organizations. The Centre currently has twelve Guatemalan employees (2013) and working with foreign volunteers is constrained to a minimal and only under strict conditions.

The Guatemalan employees at the time of writing and their duties:

  • The Director is responsible for the daily running of the Centre but she also maintains the external contacts. Moreover, she is closely involved with the national organization for persons with disabilities, CONADI.
  • The Administrator accounts for the finances of the Centre as a Guatemalan N.G.O. for the purpose of the Guatemalan Government. She also accounts to the various non-Guatemalan relief organizations (such as the Dutch www.lilianefonds.nl) concerning the spending of the funds.
  • The psychologist works with the pupils of the Centre but it is also in close contact with the Office of human rights in Santiago Atitlán. This Office regularly calls for her assistance for victims of violence, etc. from the vicinity of the Centre. She also organizes meetings in which information is provided on issues such as the rights of people with disabilities, domestic violence, family planning, etc.
  • The physical therapist treats children from the Centre and occasionally patients from the villages.
  • The speech therapist works with children with speech problems.
  • The nurse regularly takes children and their parents to medical specialists in the capital. Often she acts as an interpreter because many elderly people do not speak Spanish.
  • There is a teacher for preschool guidance, a teacher for the older group and a music teacher.
  • The nannies take care of the children in the field of hygiene. In addition, they prepare the meals and they keep the common areas clean.

Foreign staff:

  • Marinella Bachio, Italian, social worker by profession. She was sent to the Centre by the Italian Development Organization COE for a period of three years. Her mission is to set up an employment project for older children. The accommodation for Marinella and her family in Guatemala, as well as the costs associated with her project, are fully financed by the COE.   www.coeweb.org (F.B.: Alma de Colores, San Juan La Laguna) web:http://www.almadecolores.org/
  • Raul Maroto Prats sent out and paid for by the Spanish organization Senderos de Maiz (www.senderosdemaiz.org). He focuses on the development of autistic children with a specially trained dog.


Retrospectively we can definitely conclude that with the initiative of the Foundation Support the Maya’s an important institute for the disabled care, “Centro Maya Servicio Integral”, has been set up. The Foundation has also largely contributed to the acceptance of people with disabilities. People who before were often considered as "a punishment of God" and therefore often lived in isolation.

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