Mayanza, Inc. is a registered 501(c)(3) not for profit organization

​Contact us:

Mayanza, Inc.

PO Box 85 

Rocky Hill, NJ 08553


Jami Smith, MPA, MEd, PA-C

Founding Member and President

Both a dreamer and a planner, Jami was first introduced to the community of Santiago in 2013 as part of a medical team.  She has returned every year since, working with a dedicated team to provide education and supplies for improved health of the community.  She dreams of a time when everyone has access to quality health resources and plans for projects to improve the health of the community. She is grateful to be part of this team working to improve health outcomes for the community of Santiago.

Emilee Thomas, MMS, MPH, PA-C

Founding Member and Treasurer

Emilee has always had a love for travel and public health. She is incredibly grateful to have found a way to do both through Mayanza. Emilee earned a dual Master’s degree in both Medical Science and Public Health, and education continues to be a priority in many facets of her life.  She currently lives in Manhattan where she works as a physician assistant in oncology. Participating in the work done by Mayanza and interacting with such a wonderful community in Guatemala is an opportunity that Emilee feels very lucky to be a part of.

Carla Pardee, MS, PA-C

Founding Member

Carla currently practices as an emergency medicine physician assistant and as
an Assistant Professor for Rutgers University. A die-hard Rutgers girl, she
studied for seven years at Rutgers, graduating with a Bachelors of Science in
Public Health and Psychology in 2008 and a Masters of Science in Physician
Assistant studies in 2016. Her love for health education and promotion first
began during her undergraduate years when she worked as a peer educator
teaching about various public health topics. During her first medical mission to
Cusco, Peru, she worked at a maternal health clinic and provided necessary care to a rural population. Carla speaks both Spanish and Portuguese, and is working on learning Tz’utujil, Santiago Atitlan’s indigenous Mayan language.

Dolores “Lola” Ajtujal Chiviliu

Community Health Educator

Lola joined the Mayanza team in 2018 as our first community health educator.  She travels to our four partner schools each week to engage the children in interactive session centered around health education topics such as hygiene, nutrition, and exercise and tools for managing emotions.  In addition, she facilitates a diabetes lifestyle modification group for women of the community of Tzanchaj. Lola was educated as a primary school teacher and is originally from Santiago Atitlan. She is able to work with a variety of literacy and language levels in her students as her mother tongue is Tz'utujil, second language Spanish and third is English. She dreams of expanding the education sessions to the parents of the children in this community and to serve even more children.  She is thankful for the professional development opportunity to work with Mayanza and improve the health of her community.

Priscilla Lam, MS, PA-C


Priscilla is thrilled to join the Mayanza team and participate in her first medical mission trip as a clinician. She graduated from Wake Forest School of Medicine with a Masters in Medical Science in 2017. She currently works at NYP-Cornell as an inpatient Physician Assistant in oncology. Outside of work, she enjoys traveling, running, and baking. She is looking forward to meeting the Santiago Atitlan community and getting involved in projects to help improve healthcare in Guatemala.   

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