Meet Mabelin: A Story About Empowering Guatemala's Youth

“From the lush mountain that surrounds this beautiful institute, I am inspired by the lovely singing of the little birds to write this letter to you, hoping you are well along with your dear family. Please receive a cordial greeting from me and a big long-distance hug.” 

Meet Mabelin, a middle school student at the top of her class in rural Guatemala. What would be considered a proud moment for most Americans is an unattainable dream for nearly 70% of children in Guatemala, because unlike Mabelin, most kids don’t have the luxury of getting an education, owning a book, or even learning their country’s national language of Spanish. 30 years ago Mabelin would have never been able to escape this shocking reality. But, 30 years ago Adopt-A-Village Guatemala was established and the futures of Mabelin and others like her were changed for the better.


Adopt-A-Village Guatemala is the light at the end of a dark tunnel for the north-west region of Guatemala, a light growing brighter every day for the past 25 years. The mission? To help empower the Mayan people of north-west Guatemala through educational and practical skills to break the historic cycle of poverty in their communities. Maya Jaguar is the middle school and high school that is the cornerstone of the mission and a state-of-the-art facility where students graduate with three diplomas in academics, computer science, and sustainable agriculture. The three diplomas provide students the necessary skills to pursue a higher education, jump straight into the workforce, or apply more efficient agricultural practices to their home communities, which are in the poorest and least-served regions of Guatemala. After all, the best way to drive change is to inspire the youth that will soon be our world leaders.


Maya Chia is a proud Corporate Sponsor and Advisory Council Member of Adopt-A-Village Guatemala. We provide scholarships to disadvantaged youth with a burning desire to learn, fund emergency medical services, and give donations that go directly to the numerous Adopt-A-Village Guatemala programs in place. They don’t mess around with their funds either. Every donation goes directly towards improving and expanding their work and their founder makes sure to keep the process as transparent as possible. Speaking of, meet the fearless leader of Adopt-A-Village Guatemala, Frances Dixon.


Frances is a powerhouse innovator on the forefront of change and a daily inspiration for our company. Frances arrived in Guatemala during a four decade long civil war in which the native Maya people suffered the most. They became the population with the fourth highest level of child chronic malnutrition in the world and the lowest literacy rate in South America.

After spending years traveling the world, Guatemala brought her life to a screeching halt. How could she dismiss these atrocities staring her in the face? How could she resume her normal life? The simple fact of the matter was that she couldn’t. A fire was lit inside her in 1991 and it became her life’s passion to see that Guatemala find the change it desperately needed.


For most of us it is difficult to truly understand the severity of the problems in Guatemala because even though we have all experienced our own problems, we have lived privileged lives in comparison. It’s the norm for entire communities across Guatemala to be uneducated, poor, sick and malnourished and this was the tragic reality for Mabelin and her family. Adopt-A-Village Guatemala saved her life in more ways than one.

Shortly after receiving scholarships to attend the Maya Jaguar school, Mabelin faced health concerns that threatened her life. Emergency medical funds from Adopt-A-Village Guatemala provided her with life-saving medical treatments that she wouldn’t have been able to access otherwise, allowing her to live out her dreams of getting an education. Within just a month of overcoming her health concerns, Mabelin was at the top of her class and moved into an accelerated learning program studying algebra, computer programming, communication and language, and so much more. Her passion to learn is unparalleled!

Unsurprisingly, Mabelin loves to talk about her journey at Maya Jaguar and sends us the best letters detailing the highlights of her education! I could talk about the impressiveness of Adopt-A-Village Guatemala all day but her words perfectly encapsulate the beautiful work being done in Guatemala:

“The quality education that is offered to each student, the purity and naturalness of the surroundings, the quality of the natural foods we eat here, and the teachings imparted by the professors, which I consider will benefit me in the future.”

Mabelin is one of many who have benefited from Adopt-A-Village Guatemala, but there is still work to be done. To learn more about the incredible work Adopt-A-Village Guatemala has been doing in Guatemala, or to make a donation, please visit