For the past 5 years, the Rotary Club of Santa Barbara has been sending a team of 6 to 16 people each year, to the Lake Atitlan area of Guatemala to volunteer with NGO, Mayan Families ( This year’s team just returned from a very successful trip to help the indigenous Mayan population. 
Why Guatemala? It is the second poorest country in the western hemisphere, 40% of the population lack access to water and sanitation systems, and it has the fourth highest rate of childhood malnutrition rate in the world!

Each 9-day trip involves some sightseeing but most of the week is volunteering to improve the lives of the indigenous population in the highlands of Guatemala. Money is raised in advance of each trip to pay for various projects during the visit.

During the 2018 recent trip the projects included: Building 14 Onil Stoves (most families cook on the dirt floor & this new stove has 2 burners, smoke is vented outside, and it uses 70% less wood); Installed 8 solar lights; Provided 6 water filters; Provided food for 1 elderly feeding program, and for a family of 6, built one new bedroom and added an outdoor bathroom/shower.